A group of US Democratic senators said Thursday that recently released materials show the FBI did not fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against US Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated for the court in 2018.
Senators, including Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Chris Coons of Delaware, said a letter they received from FBI Director Chris Wray last month shows that the FBI gathered more than 4,500 leads related to Kavanaugh without any apparent further action by part of the researchers.
“The admissions in your letter corroborate and explain numerous credible accounts from individuals and companies that they had contacted the FBI with information ‘highly relevant to … allegations’ of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh, only to be ignored.
“If the FBI was unauthorized or did not follow up on any of the advice it received from the tip line, it is difficult to understand the point of having a tip line,” Democratic lawmakers said in a letter to Wray sent Wednesday by the night, which they unveiled to the public on Thursday.
Christine Blasey Ford alleged that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in the early 1980s, as teenagers at a party at a house in Maryland, outside of Washington, DC, and faced other allegations of misconduct after Ford’s heartbreaking description of an alleged assault when she and Kavanaugh were in high school.
Kavanaugh denied the claims.
Her nomination turned into a major political fight in Washington, and Ford’s devastating and quiet testimony in September 2018 mesmerized millions of television viewers and was hailed by women’s rights groups as a watershed moment to speak out about sexual assault.
In his own angry testimony on Capitol Hill, Kavanaugh fiercely defended himself and criticized what he called a left-wing political coup.
The FBI was called in to investigate the allegations during the Senate confirmation process, but was later charged with conducting an incomplete background check, failing to follow up on leads, and ignoring potential witnesses.
Whitehouse issued a statement saying that he and Coons wrote a letter to Wray along with co-signers and fellow Democratic senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Richard Blumenthal. from Connecticut.
He said he and Coons initially raised what he called “the lackluster supplemental background check” at a Senate judicial committee hearing with Wray in July 2019.
He noted that there was no clear process for the investigation.
On August 1, 2019, Coons and Whitehouse wrote to Wray asking for a full picture of how the FBI handled Kavanaugh’s supplemental background investigation, Whitehouse’s statement continued Thursday.
Whitehouse said they asked “why the FBI did not contact the witnesses whose names were provided to the FBI because they possessed ‘highly relevant’ information; how involved the Trump White House was in narrowing the scope of the investigation; whether the FBI had used a tip line in previous background investigations to handle incoming indictments and information on a nominee; and more. “
Whitehouse had asked Attorney General Merrick Garland in March this year to help facilitate “adequate oversight” by the Senate on questions about how thoroughly the FBI investigated Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing and said he was looking for Answers on “how, why, and at whose request” the FBI conducted a “bogus” investigation.
Then-President Donald Trump chose Kavanaugh as his supreme court nominee and refused to take an alternative option when Kavanaugh became embroiled in the Blasey Ford indictment scandal.
One of the new books on Trump this summer, Landslide by Michael Wolff, claims that Trump later said Kavanaugh was “totally disgraced” by the sexual assault allegations leveled against him during heated confirmation hearings in 2018 and would have been rejected by the Senate if Trump had not defended him.
Wolff writes that Trump said of the judge: “I saved his life. I wouldn’t even be in a law firm. Who would have had it? No one. Totally disgraced. Only I saved him. “