A Democratic senator suggested that the FBI background check on sexual assault claims against Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, then a nominee to the Supreme Court, may have been “fake” and wants newly minted Attorney General Merrick Garland to assist in an investigation, according to a report on Tuesday.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which held Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearing, is calling on Garland to assist the Senate as it questions how thoroughly the FBI conducted the investigation, The Guardian reported.
Christine Blasey Ford came forward to testify that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago when they were both high school students in Maryland.
Kavanugh vehemently denied the allegations and brought decades-old journals from his high school years to defend himself.
But Democrats on the judiciary panel who sought an investigation into the claims claimed the FBI failed to carry out a thorough probe because agents didn’t interview Kavanaugh or Ford.
In a letter to Garland, Whitehouse of Rhode Island said some witnesses wanted to talk to the FBI about their allegations against Kavanaugh but were rebuffed by the agency and said their cases were never assigned to an agent or evidence gathered.
“This was unique behavior in my experience, as the Bureau is usually amenable to information and evidence; but in this matter the shutters were closed, the drawbridge drawn up, and there was no point of entry by which members of the public or Congress could provide information to the FBI,” Whitehouse said, according to The Guardian.
He argued that although the FBI created a “tip line,” senators received no information about how or whether the new claims were processed or evaluated.
And even though a review of the allegations that came in via the “tip line” indicated the FBI had received a “stack” of new information, senators got no explanation on whether further steps were taken to review the new data, Whitehouse claims.
”This ‘tip line’ appears to have operated more like a garbage chute, with everything that came down the chute consigned without review to the figurative dumpster,” he said.
He said he wants answers about “how, why and at whose behest” the FBI conducted a “fake” investigation and whether the claims collected in the “tip line” followed the standard of other allegations gathered by tips.