‘Did Not Further Investigate’: FBI Director Reveals Trump White House Was in Charge of FBI’s Tips About Brett Kavanaugh – Rights History
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‘Did Not Further Investigate’: FBI Director Reveals Trump White House Was in Charge of FBI’s Tips About Brett Kavanaugh

FBI Director Chris Wray admitted in a Senate hearing on Thursday that the FBI forwarded to the White House the hundreds of tips it received about Brett Kavanaugh in the fall of 2018, during his Supreme Court confirmation process, but did not investigate those tips. Kavanaugh had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by three women, and those accusations threatened to derail his confirmation.

The revelation that the FBI did not investigate the tips about Kavanaugh it sent to the White House came as the FBI Director was questioned by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse during a Judiciary Committee hearing, and was forced to admit that the Democratic Senator from Rhode Island was “correct” when he said the FBI “did not further investigate” the tips it received “that related to Kavanaugh” and were forwarded to the White House.

After multiple women accused then-Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process the Judiciary Committee agreed to temporarily halt its confirmation hearings until a supplemental FBI background investigation could be conducted

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It appears, based on Director Wray’s remarks, there was no actual investigation based on tips into then-Judge Kavanaugh.

On Thursday Senator Whitehouse asked Wray, “is it true that after Kavanaugh related tips were separated from other tips, they were forwarded to White House counsel without investigation?”

Wray appeared to try to circumvent the direct question.

“I apologize in advance that it’s been frustrating for you,” Wray began. “We’ve tried to be clear about our process,” he claimed.

Sen. Whitehouse interjected, asking him to just “answer the question.”

“So when it comes to the tip line, we wanted to make sure the White House had all the information we had, so when the hundreds of calls started coming it, we gathered those up, reviewed them and provided them to the White House,” Wray explained before Whitehouse interrupted.

“Without investigation?” he asked, to clarify.

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“We reviewed them and then provided them to the White House,” Wray said.

There is no indication the White House was equipped or prepared to investigate the hundreds of tips, something the American public was told the FBI would be doing.

“You reviewed them for the purposes of separating from tip line traffic but did not further investigate the ones that related to Kavanaugh, correct?” Whitehouse asked.

“Correct,” Wray confirmed.

Wray also confirmed, as Whitehouse said, that “the FBI took direction from the White House as to whom the FBI would question.”

“So it is true,” Wray admitted.

There was no confirmation from Wray that any of the tips were investigated.

Reporting on the exchange between Wray and Whitehouse, Esquire’s Charles Pierce wrote, “the second background investigation into Kavanaugh was a White House-directed bag job of no value whatsoever.”

Snopes on Thursday also confirmed that the “administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump directed the one-week, follow-up background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, according to sworn testimony from U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray.”

The Trump White House, Wray suggested, was in charge of deciding which tips about its own Supreme Court justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, the Bureau would be allowed to investigate.

Senator Whitehouse on Twitter later Thursday announced: “Wray confirms: Kavanaugh tips from tip line were sent to Trump White House without investigation; and Trump White House directed what witnesses FBI would interview.”

“The White House has found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after examining interview reports from the FBI’s latest probe into the judge’s background,” The Wall Street Journal reported on October 4, 2018.

That report then went to the Senate Judiciary Committee members, who in an 11-10 vote, elected to support the nomination and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

Kavanaugh was confirmed on October 6, 2018, by the Republican majority Senate by a 50-48 vote.

There its no indication, based on Director Wray’s remarks Thursday, that the hundreds of tips it received were fully investigated, and there was no discussion of how many, if any, interviews based on those tips were conducted for the supplemental background investigation report on which Kavanaugh’s confirmation was, in part, based.

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