With the attempted derailing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court, I wanted to clear the air on a couple things.
First and foremost, I want Ms. Ford to be heard. She has every right to speak for or against Judge Kavanaugh. She should also be given the benefit of the doubt. However, any accusatory statements she makes need to have some kind of corrobation. Either physical evidence or statements by other people who were there. In this country, I like the fact that we run on the “innocent until proven guilty“ concept, not “guilty until proven innocent.” It’s impossible to prove a negative. Prove to me that the Sun rises in the East when it’s lunchtime.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has also been very accommodating of her reasonable requests, while telling her to pound sand on the unreasonable demands.
Second, accusations of a serious nature need to be resolved in a court of law or civil court, not the court of public opinion. She has leveled a very serious accusation and it deserves an appropriate investigation and prosecution if there is evidence to justify the charge. If Judge Kavanaugh is guilty, he needs to be removed from his current bench, not just denied a spot on SCOTUS. While Ms. Ford might be content with just denying Judge Kavanaugh his spot on SCOTUS, it stinks to high heaven as a Leftist political hit job if she does not press for criminal charges or does not press to have him removed from the Judiciary entirely if she manages to keep him off SCOTUS. That is called Justice and is based on that little, annoying phrase in the Constitution that reads, "...no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."
Third, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a federal police force. Their charter allows them to investigate only federal crimes. The FBI knew about John Dillinger ("Public Enemy Number One") but they couldn't go after him, as the dozen bank robberies he committed were not a federal crime in 1933. It took Dillinger taking a stolen car across state lines ("interstate transport of stolen goods" is a federal crime) that gave the FBI the authority to pursue and try to capture him.
Fourth, I believed that the point about her "passing a lie detector test" is significant enough to warrant it's own Deep Dive, The truth about lie detectors.
I also want to make clear the differences between a background check vs. a criminal investigation. These are two distinct police actions and it is critical if you are to have an informed opinion of this matter you understand the distinction between these concepts.
A background check (done by the FBI in this case) consists of two parts, a criminal records check and a check into your character. I know this because I used to have a Top Secret security clearance and I had to go through a background check to get it and every couple years they re-run a background check. My TS/SCI clearance included an investigation of my parents before I was born. It starts with me filling out a form of all my particulars (name, SSN, etc.), plus where I have lived and a list of people I know. The FBI agent stars off by entering my data into the NICS to see if I have any arrests, charges or convictions against me. The agent then interviews everyone I listed. They are asked, "How do you know him, what is your opinion of him, what kind of trouble was he ever in, etc." It is assumed that these people are only going to say good things about you, as if they weren't, why would you put their names on your application? The investigator then asks, "Can you give me the names of anyone else you know that also knows him?" The investigator then goes and talks with those people, and this is where most of the real information comes out because these "unnamed sources" may not like you.
For the sake of this example, let's say one of the unnamed sources doesn't like you and tells the investigator, "Yeah, I know he goes into work drunk 2-3 times a month and a couple of his address changes were because he lost his rent money gambling and they evicted him." These examples are what would be called "moral failings" and could open the target up for blackmail, thus making him a security risk and unlikely to pass the background check.
"Showing up for work drunk" is not necessarily a violation of the law, sometimes it can be a job requirement. Let's say for a moment that the person being investigated is a forklift operator, professional OTR driver or an airline pilot where "showing up work drunk" would be a very bad thing. Or, this person said, "he tried to rape me." At this point, there is evidence that an actual criminal violation may have occurred. The FBI agent would then get the particulars from the person (when, where, any other witnesses, etc.). While this information would go into the background check report, the agent would then forward the information on this alleged criminal act to the appropriate law enforcement agency, in these cases the State/federal DOT, the FAA or the city police/county sheriff. It would then be the responsibility of the DOT/FAA/Police/Sheriff to investigate, then upon probable cause a prosecutor would evaluate the evidence and possibly prefer charges and prosecute.
Once the FBI has completed either a background check or investigation, all that information is forwarded to the person/agency who requested the action, giving only facts and no conclusions or recommendations. That person or agency then makes their decision based on the information given. As an aside, this is why Comey's July 5th 2016 press conference detailing everything against Hillary and then saying "...we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case" is so out of character.
Here's Joe Biden telling you as much about FBI background checks/investigations. Skip to 1:10 for the relevant part:
The FBI cannot and will not investigate Ms. Ford's claim because the alleged crime is a violation of Maryland State law, not federal. The FBI does not have the authority to investigate State or local crimes. Now if the alleged incident happened on federal property (military base, government office building, government housing, etc.) then and only then can the FBI investigate.
There are limitations on government power for very important reasons. One of those limitations is the feds can't get involved in State or local matters unless it's either a federal crime or the locals invite the feds in. If the FBI could interfere in local matters unrequested, that's when the FBI ("Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity") becomes the Secret Police. Do you really want that?
[9/30/18 UPDATE] I realized that I left a paragraph out summarizing my explanation, plus I found a YouTube video of Joe Biden making quite clear about what an FBI investigation is worth. I added the video above and the two preceding paragraphs.