The FBI faces new scrutiny over its 2018 background check on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a lawmaker suggested the investigation may have been “bogus.”
Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic senator and former prosecutor on the judicial committee, is asking newly confirmed attorney general Merrick Garland to help facilitate “adequate oversight” by the Senate of questions about how thoroughly the FBI investigated. to Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.
The Supreme Court Judge was charged with sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford and faced several other misconduct allegations following Ford’s heartbreaking testimony about an alleged assault when she and Kavanaugh were in high school.
Kavanaugh denied the claims.
The FBI was called in to investigate the allegations during the Senate confirmation process, but was later accused by some Democratic senators of conducting an incomplete background check. For example, two key witnesses, Ford and Kavanaugh, were never interviewed as part of the investigation.
Among the concerns listed in Whitehouse’s letter to Garland are allegations that some witnesses who wanted to share their accounts with the FBI could not find anyone in the office to accept their testimony and that they had not assigned anyone to accept or gather evidence.
“This was a unique behavior in my experience, since the Office is usually willing to receive information and evidence; but on this matter the shutters were closed, the drawbridge was drawn and there was no point of entry through which members of the public or Congress could provide information to the FBI, “Whitehouse said.
He added that once the FBI decided to create a “tip line,” the senators did not receive any information on how or if the new complaints were processed and evaluated. While the senators’ brief review of the allegations compiled by the hotline showed that a “pile” of information had arrived, there was no further explanation of the steps that had been taken to review the information, Whitehouse said.
“This ‘information line’ appears to have functioned more like a garbage chute, with everything going down the chute consigned without review to the figurative dumpster,” he said.
He also criticized FBI Director Chris Wray, whom President Joe Biden chose to remain at, for not answering questions about the investigation.
The FBI did not respond to a request for comment. The DOJ did not respond to a request for comment.
While it’s unclear whether the FBI would reopen an investigation into Kavanaugh, who is now one of nine Supreme Court justices, the letter could prompt Garland to force the Justice Department to answer questions about Kavanaugh’s investigation.
Whitehouse said it is seeking answers on “how, why and at whose urging” the FBI conducted a “bogus” investigation if standard procedures were violated, including rules for following allegations collected through “hotlines.” of the FBI.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism