CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano challenged the network’s reporting Monday that the White House can limit the scope of the FBI’s investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
During a panel discussion with fellow CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell, Gagliano said that the FBI will not avoid “actionable leads” just because of a White House directive.
“I believe this whole thing about the White House trying to curtail or limit, you know, the scope of this thing is a tempest in a teapot,” Gagliano argued. “[The White House] can supply whatever recommendation to [FBI director Christopher] Wray they want to — he doesn’t have to listen to one of them.”
“No one is going to stand in front of an FBI agent and say, ‘you can’t go talk to people,'” he added.
Campbell disagreed, alleging that CNN’s “sources” say the White House is “setting the parameters” of who the FBI can speak with and what leads they can follow up on.
“This is a background investigation, it’s different from a criminal investigation,” Campbell explained. “The White House, as the client, sets the parameters.”
“I’m gonna go on record right now,” Gagliano declared. “The White House will not be able to restrict FBI agents from interviewing whoever they deem essential and necessary to the conduct of this investigation.”
The FBI has been tasked with conducting a week-long background investigation into claims of sexual assault against Kavanaugh before the Senate votes on his nomination.