The goal is not to convict or acquit Kavanaugh — it's about mending division, seeking truth and restoring trust in the Senate, the Supreme Court and our government's balance of powers.
The Senate was right to provide time for an FBI investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
This welcome change of heart came Friday after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona boldly broke ranks — he said due diligence is needed because “the country is being ripped apart here” — and a surprise request by President Donald Trump.
Clearing the air and getting facts with an investigation should be a bipartisan priority. It affirms that the Senate is adequately performing its role vetting nominees, preserving the last shreds of credibility in this process. It’s also necessary to uphold public faith in the court.
The Senate GOP leadership has not yet redeemed itself, however. They disgraced themselves by manipulating the nomination schedule, in 2016, to block President Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the court. That sin would have been compounded by rushing through President Donald Trump’s nominee despite concerns about Kavanaugh’s fitness for the lifetime appointment. Would they buy a house without an inspection, despite a credible warning that it might be infested with termites? It shouldn’t take strong-arming to get expert opinion before making such an important decision.
The goal is not to convict or acquit Kavanaugh — it’s about mending division, seeking truth and restoring trust in the Senate, the Supreme Court and our government’s balance of powers.
A parallel exists with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. America must know as much as possible about what happened so it can take whatever steps are necessary to strengthen and restore trust in its elections and government.
This gets to a larger concern about Kavanaugh. He has suggested in the past that presidents be exempt from criminal prosecution while in office, and he was nominated by a president apoplectic about Mueller’s encircling investigation.
Allowing Justice Department investigations to proceed is necessary to avoid further damage to the public’s faith in government, which was already fractured before the Kavanaugh nomination process highlighted just how tribal and dysfunctional Congress has become.
There’s no guarantee the FBI will be able to conclusively say whether Kavanaugh assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were teens at a drinking party in 1982. But they and every other American deserve an objective, professional investigation to provide as much factual information as possible before the Senate proceeds.