Senator Whitehouse Slams FBI for Lack of Transparency around ‘Tanked’ Kavanaugh Sex Assault Probe

POLITICS & POLICY
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) questions judicial nominees during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) slammed the FBI for not investigating sexual assault allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing itself was organized by Committee head Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) to interview former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe regarding the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. However, Whitehouse criticized the Republicans on the committee for not looking into other allegations of wrongdoing involving the FBI and Justice Department.

“We have what appears to have been a tanked FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh hearings, and I’ve asked questions about that, to which I’ve had no answer whatsoever,” Whitehouse said. “We’re highly selective in what we choose to look into, and we’ve been extremely solicitous of the stonewalling and non-responsiveness of this Department of Justice.”

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Whitehouse went on to argue that Senate Republicans had established a precedent during the Trump administration whereby the FBI could simply ignore requests for information issued by the minority, and suggested this precedent would come back to haunt them during the Biden administration.

The FBI investigated allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, but found “no corroboration” of those allegations, according to a summary of the report released by then-Judiciary head Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa).

During the 2018 confirmation hearings, Whitehouse also released a report detailing an allegation of rape against Kavanaugh. However, after the FBI investigated that allegation, the accuser admitted that the story was false.

Democrats on the committee have vociferously opposed President Trump’s nominations to the Supreme Court, including Kavanaugh himself as well as Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett. With the confirmation of all three, conservative justices hold a 6-3 majority on the Court bench.

During Barrett’s confirmation hearings in late October, Whitehouse portrayed the nominee as a “judicial torpedo” who would strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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