Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who is himself a former federal prosecutor, has requested answers from the Justice Department about an investigation that the FBI conducted into sexual assault and misconduct claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation process. That FBI investigation didn’t even include an interview with Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, the woman whose story figured most prominently in the accusations against Kavanaugh, and allegedly, “some witnesses who wanted to share their accounts with the FBI could not find anyone at the bureau who would accept their testimony,” as The Guardian summarizes.
Whitehouse wants the Justice Department’s assistance on “oversight” of the Kavanaugh investigation. Discussing the investigation, Whitehouse commented:
‘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.’
The FBI eventually set up a tip line connected with the Kavanaugh investigation, but Senators never received any information about how any new details submitted through the tip line were actually handled, according to Whitehouse. As the Senator put it, the 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.” Those circumstances obviously aren’t great for judicial integrity or the effectiveness of the investigation, on a basic level. Thus, Whitehouse wants answers about “how, why, and at whose behest” the FBI led a potentially “fake” investigation of the allegations.
Not a single Republican Senator ended up voting against Kavanaugh, but every Senate Democrat except Joe Manchin (W.Va.) did so. In the time since, Kavanaugh helped form the conservative majority on a case in which the Supreme Court ordered an end to a California COVID-19 ban on indoor worship services, and on the flip side, he like every other justice declined to advocate on behalf of overturning the presidential election result when pressured by Republicans seeking the court’s intervention. Kavanaugh also voted in favor of allowing the transfer of Trump’s tax returns to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who now has the material.