- The FBI said it received 4,500 tips in 2018 regarding Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh.
- The agency said it had interviewed only ten people and that “relevant” advice had been passed on to Trump’s White House.
- A group of Democratic senators accused the FBI of ignoring the whistleblower line and demanding more responses.
A group of Democratic senators are asking for more answers after the Federal Bureau of Investigation shared details about its handling of a further substantive investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a candidate.
Jill Tyson, deputy director of the FBI, said in a letter on June 30 that the agency had received 4,500 tips regarding Kavanaugh and passed on “relevant advice” to the White House attorney, who would have been Don McGahn at the time in 2018. Tyson also said that only ten people had been interviewed, despite thousands of tips.
Tyson’s letter was made public Thursday by Meaning. Sheldon whitehouse and Chris Coons, who said it was a response to a letter they sent in August 2019 requesting responses to the investigation.
“This long-delayed response confirms how badly we were turned by Director Wray and the FBI in the investigation and hearing into Kavanaugh’s background,” Whitehouse said on Twitter Thursday, targeting FBI Director Chris Wray. He said this “confirms my suspicion that the ‘whistleblower’ was not real and that the FBI’s whistleblower procedures were not followed.”
“Wray said they were following the procedures, he meant the ‘procedure’ of doing whatever Trump’s White House lawyer told them to do. It is very misleading,” he said. added.
An FBI spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Insider. An email sent to the Supreme Court requesting comment on behalf of Kavanaugh has not been answered.
According to the FBI letter, the FBI passed the information on to the White House because it was the entity that requested the additional background check on September 13, 2018. The request was motivated by sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh who surfaced around this time. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Tyson said the FBI had already performed an initial background check that ended in July 2018 and included interviews with 49 people.
Whitehouse and Coons were joined by Senses Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono and Cory Booker in calling for more answers from the FBI.
“If the FBI was unauthorized or did not act on any of the advice it received from the whistleblower line, it’s hard to understand the point of having a whistleblower line at all,” they said. they declared. wrote, claiming that the agency’s letter confirmed that “the FBI was politically coerced by Trump’s White House.”