FBI facing allegations of impropriety related to handling of Brett Kavanaugh’s background check
The FBI is now facing serious allegations that a background check it performed on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was conducted after multiple women came forward with sexual assault allegations, “politically-constrained and perhaps fake.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is leading the charge. The senator says there is adequate reason to believe that the FBI mishandled the investigation into Kavanaugh and perhaps even overlooked multiple potential witnesses. Whitehouse addressed his concerns in recent letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“If standard procedures were violated, and the Bureau conducted a fake investigation rather than a sincere, thorough and professional one, that in my view merits congressional oversight to understand how, why, and at whose behest and with whose knowledge or connivance, this was done. The FBI ‘stonewall’ of all questions related to this episode provides little reassurance of its propriety.”
After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford delivered a powerful testimony in which she outlined the sexual assault she suffered at the hands of Kavanaugh when they were in high school, multiple witnesses came forward and contacted the FBI saying they could corroborate her claims. But according to Whitehouse, those witnesses couldn’t get their calls through to the bureau and instead they called senators asking for help.
The senators then looked into the matter and discovered that the FBI had “assigned no person to accept or gather evidence,” says Whitehouse. He added, “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 explains in the letter that although the FBI provided a tip line for any potential witnesses to call in about matters related to Kavanaugh, it did NOT offer any transparency about how it managed or vetted those calls.
Whitehouse, a former U.S. attorney, has addressed this issue once before. In fact, in 2019, he wrote that the FBI’s probe into Kavanaugh had produced “one warning flag after another.”
Many progressive groups have offered their support and encouragement for Whitehouse and his calls for accountability.
The Center for Popular Democracy Action said, “Senator Whitehouse is right to question the FBI’s rushed probe of Brett Kavanaugh when he was a Supreme Court nominee. The purpose of the probe was never to uncover the truth — it was to present evidence that would advance the Trump administration’s agenda.
Whitehouse’s letter didn’t just stop with the Kavanaugh investigation though. He outlined FOUR other instances of alleged FBI wrongdoing in other cases. If Merrick decides to take action, FBI Director Christopher Wray will find himself in the hot seat.
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