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Comey: Week Deadline Is 'Idiotic,' but FBI Can Do It

'It's not as hard as Republicans hope it will be'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2018 1:40 AM CDT
Former FBI director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last year.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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(Newser) – If lawmakers really want to know the truth behind the Brett Kavanaugh allegations, giving the FBI only a week to conduct an investigation is "idiotic," James Comey writes in a New York Times op-ed—but he has faith in the agency's abilities. "If truth were the only goal, there would be no clock, and the investigation wouldn’t have been sought after the Senate Judiciary Committee already endorsed the nominee," the former FBI director writes. "Instead, it seems that the Republican goal is to be able to say there was an investigation and it didn’t change their view." He calls the process "deeply flawed, and apparently designed to thwart the fact-gathering process," but says, "The FBI is up for this. It’s not as hard as Republicans hope it will be."

Unless they are limited by the Trump administration, agents will be able to interview scores of people in days, "testing them and pushing them in a professional way," Comey writes. "It is better to give professionals seven days to find facts than have no professional investigation at all," writes Comey. He predicts that either Republicans or Democrats—or possibly both—will be angry with the FBI when the week is up, but adds: "As strange as it sounds, there is freedom in being totally screwed. Agents can just do their work. Find facts. Speak truth to power. Despite all the lies and all the attacks, there really are people who just want to figure out what’s true. The FBI is full of them." Click for the full column. (The White House has denied reports that Trump is trying to limit the investigation.)

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