It’s not the least bit surprising that the issue of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is still being adjudicated. At the time it occurred it had all the earmarks of a rush through job and those are always the first to blow up down the road.
CNN is reporting that 4,500 tips about Kavanaugh were received by the FBI and were summarily shined on. That is a lottt of negligent behavior. And it won’t surprise you to learn that the FBI forwarded the information to the White House and that’s where it died.
In the letter, Assistant Director Jill Tyson said that Kavanaugh’s nomination was the first time that the FBI set up a tip line for a nominee undergoing Senate confirmation and that the tips included phone calls and electronic submissions.–
Tyson said relevant information was provided to the Office of the White House Counsel that served as the requesting entity. Don McGahn served as White House counsel at the time and he did not immediately return a request for comment.–Tyson reiterated comments that FBI Director Christopher Wray made in past congressional testimony: that the FBI serves as an “investigative service provider” for federal background investigations, and that its role in the Kavanaugh matter was to respond to requests from the White House counsel. The FBI has said repeatedly it was not conducting a criminal investigation into Kavanaugh’s conduct. […]–The letter prompted a furious response from Whitehouse and six other Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee.–“The admissions in your letter corroborate and explain numerous credible accounts by individuals and firms that they had contacted the FBI with information ‘highly relevant to . . . allegations’ of sexual misconduct by Justice Kavanaugh, only to be ignored,” they wrote in a letter back to the FBI.–“If the FBI was not authorized to or did not follow up on any of the tips that it received from the tip line, it is difficult to understand the point of having a tip line at all,” they said.–A Democratic Senate staffer affiliated with Judiciary Committee acknowledged that the entire universe of tips was provided to senators at the time but that until the letter from the FBI last month, the senators were unaware that the FBI had engaged in a process to determine which tips were relevant. The staffer said that instead of providing the Senate with the FBI’s analysis of the relevant tips, the White House sent all the tips to the senators who were only able to read them in a secure room without the benefit of taking notes.–Thursday, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, attorneys for Ford, released a statement calling the FBI’s investigation a “sham and a major institutional failure.”
“The public and Congress rely on the White House and the FBI to conduct thorough and objective investigations into candidates nominated for our country’s highest court. This is never more true than in the wake of the type of allegations that were made about Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation,” said American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold. “News that the FBI’s investigation into those allegations was likely driven by the Trump administration’s political objectives, rather than by facts and a pursuit of the truth is a blow to the public’s trust not only in the confirmation process, but now in the Supreme Court itself.
The public has a right to know who was responsible for undermining the integrity of the FBI investigation. This news also raises questions over whether there should be a new thorough and fact-driven investigation into the original allegations against Justice Kavanaugh. Those responsible for the previous so-called investigation must be held accountable. Any lawyer who participated in that process has a bar license and ethical obligations that come with it.
Just as important, President Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court must be empowered and required to issue actionable recommendations for reform. The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is in crisis. This Commission will not be serving the public unless it delivers actionable recommendations for how we restore the legitimacy and the public’s trust in our highest court and the process by which the fewest of individuals are elevated to it.”
Brett Kavanaugh slid in under the wire during the most corrupt administration in American history and obviously with plenty of help from inside the White House. This doesn’t look to be over yet.