The allegations nearly derailed his confirmation, and Kavanaugh has always fiercely denied them. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed by a 50-48 vote.
In the letter, Deputy Director Jill Tyson said Kavanaugh’s appointment was the first time the FBI had set up a counseling line for a candidate under Senate confirmation and that the advice included phone calls and electronic submissions.
Tyson said relevant information was provided to the White House board office which served as the requesting entity. Don McGahn was the White House attorney at the time and he did not immediately return a request for comment.
Tyson reiterated comments FBI Director Christopher Wray made in earlier testimony to Congress: that the FBI serves as a “investigative service provider” for federal background investigations, and that its role in the Kavanaugh case was to respond to requests from the White House lawyer. The FBI has repeatedly stated that it is not conducting a criminal investigation into Kavanaugh’s conduct.
She said under a memorandum of understanding between the Justice Department and the White House in 2010, the FBI does not reopen background investigations unless it is “specifically instructed to do so. by the requesting entity “.
“The authorities, policies and procedures that the FBI relies on to conduct [background investigations] are not the same as the authorities, policies and procedures used to investigate criminal cases, ”Tyson wrote.
The letter drew a furious response from Whitehouse and six other Democratic senators on the Judicial Committee.
“The confessions in your letter corroborate and explain numerous credible testimony from individuals and businesses that they contacted the FBI with information” highly relevant to … allegations “of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh, to be ignored, “they wrote in a letter to the FBI.
“If the FBI was unauthorized or did not follow through 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.
A Democratic Senate staff member affiliated with the Judiciary Committee admitted that the full tip was provided to Senators at the time, but until the FBI letter last month, Senators were unaware that the FBI had embarked on a process to determine which tips were relevant. The staff member said that instead of providing the Senate with FBI analysis on the relevant advice, the White House sent all the advice to Senators who were only able to read it in a secure room without taking notes. .
Ford attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks released a statement on Thursday calling the FBI investigation a “sham and major institutional failure.”
Lawyers said the FBI refused to interview Ford and “failed to act on the 4,500 advice he received about then-candidate Kavanaugh.”
“Instead, he passed the information on to the White House, allowing those who supported Kavanaugh to falsely claim that the FBI found no wrongdoing,” they said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of FBI Deputy Director Jill Tyson.