Seven Democratic senators on Thursday said that newly released materials show the FBI failed to fully investigate sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to the court in 2018.
Seven Democratic senators on Thursday said that newly released materials show the FBI failed to fully investigate sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to the court in 2018.
The senators, including Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons, said a letter they received from the FBI last month shows the agency gathered over 4,500 tips relating to Kavanaugh without any apparent further action by investigators.
Written by FBI Assistant Director Jill Tyson, the letter said the most "relevant" of the 4,500 tips were referred to lawyers in President Donald Trump's White House whose handling of them remains unclear.
She added that the FBI had conducted a background check, not a criminal investigation, so (quote) "the authorities, policies, and procedures used to investigate criminal matters did not apply." That didn’t sit well with Democrats, who sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray this week, in which Coons wrote (quote), "If the FBI was not authorized to or did not follow up on any of the tips that it received from the tip line, it is difficult to understand the point of having a tip line at all." Kavanaugh’s nomination blew up into a personal and political drama when university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1982.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations in angry and tearful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Neither Kavanaugh nor Ford were interviewed for the FBI probe, and Democrats have long thought it was a sham.
An FBI spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
A lawyer for Kavanaugh during his confirmation battle also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ford's lawyers said in a statement that the new revelations show the FBI investigation was of limited value.