Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last Thursday to look into the 2018 FBI background investigation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pressing newly-appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to take a closer look at the 2018 FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh raised during his confirmation hearing. In the March 11 letter to Garland, Whitehouse suggested the original investigation might have been “politically constrained,” perhaps even “fake.”
The Rhode Island Democrat accused the FBI of refusing to accept evidence corroborating the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, claiming witnesses like Partnership for Public Service CEO Max Stier “‘tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own,’ but could find no one at the Bureau willing to accept their testimony.”
Furthermore, Whitehouse challenged the FBI’s use of a “tip line” meant to collect further testimony. “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 wrote.
Whitehouse also brought up FBI Director Christopher Wray’s alleged refusal to answer congressional inquiries as to whether the investigation was conducted with established procedures, saying:
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 senator further excoriated the FBI, saying its “‘stonewall’ of all questions related to this episode provides little reassurance of its propriety,” and suggesting even if proper procedures were indeed followed, they were inadequate:
If, on the other hand, the “investigation” was conducted with drawbridges up and a fake “tip line” and that was somehow “by the book,” as Director Wray claimed, that would raise serious questions about the “book” itself.
“It cannot and should not be the policy of the FBI to not follow up on serious allegations of misconduct during background check investigations,” he concluded. The Department of Justice confirmed their receipt and review of the letter, while the FBI is referring reporters back to the DOJ.
Whitehouse has been vocal about corruption and so-called “dark money” in the GOP, despite being labeled “the biggest hypocrite in politics” for his alleged benefit from the same sort of political funding.
During the October 2020 Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Whitehouse used his time to present a conspiracy theory meant to “predicate” his questions, but he did not follow the presentation by asking any.