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Senator questions FBI investigation of Kavanaugh during Nassar hearing

A senator on Wednesday drew parallels between the FBI’s mismanagement of the Larry Nassar abuse case and its treatment of Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, suggesting that the agency’s investigation into the Supreme Court nominee was “equally flawed.”

Gymnasts including Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman delivered a powerful testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the FBI botching its investigation into Nassar, the former U.S. gymnastics team doctor who sexually abused hundreds of young athletes. FBI agents in Indianapolis did not investigate the multiple allegations against Nassar for over a year and made other “fundamental mistakes” during their investigation, including withholding and fabricating information in their reports. at the FBI headquarters.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.) said it reminded him of how the FBI investigated in 2018 after Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school rally in 1982.

“It strikes me very strongly, as we sit here today and heard powerful testimony earlier this morning, that the last time a woman came to this committee to testify about her allegations of ‘Childhood sexual assault witness was Christine Blasey Ford, “Whitehouse told FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“It dawned on me then and it now seems to me that his testimony was swept under the rug in a confirmation stampede. It is very possible that the FBI’s investigation into his allegations was just as flawed, just as limited, just as inappropriate as the investigation into this case, “the senator said, adding that lawmakers were still awaiting responses to the letters. requesting information from the FBI.

Wray only said his office plans to make the requested documents available in the coming weeks.

GRAEME JENNINGS via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a hearing Wednesday on how the FBI conducted its investigation into Larry Nassar.

In 2018, with Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court pending, attorneys for Ford criticized the FBI for not including interviews with her or Kavanaugh in their investigation. They called the agency’s investigation a “stain on process, on the FBI and on our American ideal of justice.”

Whitehouse, a former U.S. attorney, has repeatedly expressed concern about how the FBI handled Ford’s allegations, including writing in a 2019 letter that there was “a warning signal after the other “during the FBI investigation.

The senator also wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this year, saying there was reason to believe the FBI had not properly handled the Kavanaugh investigation, including neglecting several potential witnesses and allegedly leading a “politically and perhaps false constraint” candidate background check.

“The FBI’s ‘stone wall’ of all matters relating to this episode is hardly reassuring about his property,” Whitehouse wrote at the time.

Need help? Visit RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website.


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