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FBI accused of 'fake' 2018 background check against now-Justice Kavanaugh

"If standard procedures were violated, and the Bureau conducted a fake investigation ... that in my view merits congressional oversight," Sen. Whitehouse said.

Updated: March 16, 2021 - 4:08pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The FBI is under scrutiny for its background check of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 when he was facing sexual harassment allegations during his Senate confirmation hearings to become a high court judge.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, suggested in a letter sent Monday to new Attorney General Merrick Garland that the FBI's investigation, under the previous Trump administration, into allegations against Kavanaugh was "fake."

In his letter, Whitehouse asked Garland to raise an oversight inquiry into, among other things, the investigation into Kavanaugh.

Whitehouse wrote one "matter of concern is what appears to have been a politically-constrained and perhaps fake FBI investigation into alleged misconduct by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, rather than what Director Wray promised: a background investigation 'consistent with [the FBI’s] long-standing policies, practices, and procedures.' "

Whitehouse's comments refer to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Whitehouse said in his letter that Ford's actions and story were consistent with those of a sexual assault survivor and needed to be investigated further.

He also criticized then-FBI Director Chris Wray for not answering questions about the process and the details regarding the investigation, according to Yahoo News.

"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," Whitehouse said.

Whitehouse also wrote that it should not be the policy of the FBI to not follow up serious allegations during a background check of this magnitude.