- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse criticized the FBI for their 2018 investigation into Justice Kavanaugh.
- Whitehouse asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to determine whether or not it was legitimate.
- Democrats criticized the probe, saying Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh were not interviewed.
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Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into the FBI’s 2018 background check of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling it “fake” and politically constrained.
In a Tuesday press release, Whitehouse, a member of the judiciary committee, said that there were still unanswered questions about the FBI’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh.
Whitehouse called for “congressional oversight to understand how, why, and at whose behest and with whose knowledge or connivance, this was done.”
Ahead of his hearing, Christine Blasey Ford, a former high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s, accused him of sexual assault. After her testimony, new allegations were made against Kavanaugh, all of which the justice denied, and the FBI was asked to look into the allegations during the confirmation process.
Democrats criticized the FBI’s probe at the time, pointing out that Ford and Kavanaugh, crucial witnesses, were not interviewed.
Whitehouse criticized the FBI’s evidence-gathering process, suggesting that the Bureau did not accept outside testimonies.
“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 wrote.
Whitehouse also told Garland that senators were not debriefed by the Bureau on how its tipline functioned, and what follow-up steps were taken with information submitted to the tip line.
“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,” Whitehouse added.
Whitehouse suggested that the investigation was “politically constrained” and “fake” if the FBI did not adequately gather and present relevant evidence it received.
At a 2019 hearing, the senator also criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray for not addressing alleged shortcomings in the investigation.