Former FBI Agent Stuart Kaplan has been a part of numerous FBI Investigations for White House appointees. He joins PM Tampa Bay to explain how these background checks work and give his thoughts on the investigation of Kavanaugh.
The biggest difference between this particular FBI investigation and other criminal investigations is that it is completely controlled by the White House. FBI agents doing the background investigations also have no way to compel people to cooperate through subpoenas. Every interview is voluntary.
Kaplan says this investigation is contracted from the White House to the FBI. The White House dictates the details of the investigation to them, including who to interview and, in some instances, what questions to ask.
When "derogatory information" or otherwise unknown facts are uncovered through interviews, the FBI is instructed to document information and send facts to FBI headquarters, which will then be presented to the White House. The White House then decides whether or not it is important and needs further investigating and follow-up interviews.
Anyone interviewed that provides false or misleading information can be prosecuted, but those interviewed are able to elect to stay anonymous.
Kaplan concludes saying that he hopes the public will remember that the FBI is truly doing their best to complete a fair and unbiased investigation, despite their limitations.