Details on FBI investigation into Kavanaugh draws fire from Democrats
Nearly three years after Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s emphatic confirmation to the Supreme Court, the FBI has revealed more details about its efforts to review Justice’s background, prompting a group of Senate Democrats to question the entirety of the revision. raised and concluded that it was shaped primarily by the Trump White House.
On June 30 two Democratic senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Chris Koons of Delaware, FBI Assistant Director, Jill C. A letter to Tyson said it was the most “relevant” of the 4,500 tips the agency received during the investigation. Mr Kavanaugh’s past was referred to White House lawyers in the Trump administration, whose handling is unclear.
The letter left it uncertain whether the FBI itself had followed up with the most compelling clues. The letter said the agency was conducting background checks rather than criminal investigations, meaning that “the authorities, policies and procedures used to investigate criminal cases do not apply.”
Ms Tyson’s letter by Mr Whitehouse and Mr Koons to the FBI Director, Christopher A. Ray was responding to a 2019 letter questioning how the FBI’s review of Mr. Kavanaugh was handled.
In an interview, Mr. Whitehouse said the FBI’s response showed that the FBI’s handling of allegations of misconduct by Mr. Kavanaugh was a sham. Ms Tyson’s letter, Mr Whitehouse said, suggested the FBI ran a “fake tip line that was never properly reviewed, which was probably not even in good faith.”
Mr Whitehouse and six of his Democratic aides on the Senate Judiciary Committee responded to the FBI’s letter on Wednesday seeking additional details on the agreement with the White House governing the investigation. He also pressed for more details on how incoming tips are handled.
“Your letter confirms that the FBI’s tip line was a departure from previous practice and that the FBI was politically bound by the Trump White House,” the senators wrote. Among those who signed the letter were Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the committee, Mr Coons, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
At the time, White House General Counsel Donald F. McGann and the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Former President Donald J. Trump has long taken credit for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which was nearly derailed by a California professor’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted him during a high school gathering in the early 1980s. .
Despite widespread concern over the claims – which were followed by other allegations of sexual misconduct, all of which Mr Kavanaugh has consistently denied – Mr Trump strongly backed the judge. He deployed Mr. McGahn to shepherd Mr. Kavanaugh through an unusually horrifying confirmation, culminating in a heated, day-long hearing in September of 2018.
Both, Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who said she was assaulted, and Mr Kavanaugh were inducted into the Judiciary Committee by senators.
In a recent interview with author Michael Wolfe, Mr. Trump put his dealings with Justice Kavanaugh in harsh words, asking “Where would he be without me? I saved his life.”
But apart from showing support, the Trump White House carefully handled the investigation into Mr. Kavanaugh’s past. After Dr. Ford came forward, Mr. Trump’s staff attempted to limit the number of people interviewed by the FBI as part of that investigation. It was only after Democrats furious over the president’s approach did the administration say the agency could conduct a more open investigation.
Ultimately, 10 witnesses were interviewed by the FBI, according to a recent letter from the FBI. Dr. Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh were never interviewed by the FBI themselves
Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who signed Wednesday’s letter to the FBI, called the process “truly an injustice by the White House under Donald Trump, an injustice that was clearly a disservice to the FBI”.
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