In an op-ed for The New York Times on Sunday, Comey addressed the one-week time limit on the investigation by saying the fact-gathering process is “not as hard as Republicans hope it will be” and that “little lies point to bigger lies.”
“F.B.I. agents are experts at interviewing people and quickly dispatching leads to their colleagues around the world to follow with additional interviews,” wrote Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last year. “Unless limited in some way by the Trump administration, they can speak to scores of people in a few days, if necessary.”
Comey added that FBI agents are far better equipped to handle any investigation than politicians are, as the bureau’s agents “have much better nonsense detectors than partisans, because they aren’t starting with a conclusion.”
As for “nonsense,” Comey seemed to be referring to Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, specifically the nominee’s defensive responses to questions about his high school yearbook. Though the book appears to back up claims he was a heavy partier in his youth who would allegedly get blackout drunk, Kavanaugh testified to enjoying beer but denied ever drinking to the point where he had memory loss.
“Yes, the alleged incident occurred 36 years ago. But F.B.I. agents know time has very little to do with memory,” Comey wrote. “They know every married person remembers the weather on their wedding day, no matter how long ago. Significance drives memory. They also know that little lies point to bigger lies. They know that obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a flashing signal to dig deeper.”
They also know that little lies point to bigger lies. They know that obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a flashing signal to dig deeper. James Comey on Brett Kavanaugh's testimony Thursday
Comey’s words follow reports that the White House is limiting the FBI’s background investigation of Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women, including Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. The Senate Judiciary Committee had initially declined to ask the White House for an FBI investigation, but Republican leadership relented after several moderate senators demanded one on Friday.
Although Comey did not address specific restrictions the White House has reportedly imposed ― including limiting which people can be interviewed ― he did criticize the seven-day time limit.
“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,” he said.
Read Comey’s full op-ed here.
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