The Federal Bureau of Investigation occupies an exalted and somewhat awkward position in American society. It’s simultaneously our lead federal law enforcement agency, with a broad remit, and our main domestic intelligence agency. The FBI catches Mafiosi, bank robbers, spies and terrorists, among other duties. Its national security activities are protected by a steep wall of classification. Although it rankles the FBI and its defenders, using the term “secret police” to describe the storied Bureau is not inaccurate.
One of the FBI’s missions, which is little understood by the public, is its role in conducting background investigations of senior executive branch officials. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, currently besieged by allegations of sexual misconduct, successfully passed no less than six FBI “BIs” (as they’re called in the trade) during his federal career in Washington, which stretches back to the early 1990s.
Since such BIs include a comprehensive look at the applicant’s personal and professional life, to include finances, foreign contacts, illegal activities, addictions, and even mental fitness, how someone as manifestly unfit as Judge Kavanaugh—if you believe the evolving Democratic accusations against him—could have passed FBI muster six times does seem more than a little odd.
Read the rest at The Observer …