In a letter dated June 30 to two Democratic senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Chris Coons of Delaware , a member of the FBI Deputy Director, Jill C. Tyson, said the most "relevant" of the 4,500 tips the agency received during a investigating Mr. Kavanaugh's past were referred to White House lawyers in the Trump administration, whose treatment of them remains unclear.
The letter leaves it uncertain whether the FBI him -even followed the most convincing leads.The agency was conducting a background check rather than a criminal investigation, meaning that "the authorities, policies and procedures used to investigate criminal cases did not apply," the letter said. .
Ms. Tyson's letter was a response to a 2019 letter from Mr. Whitehouse and Mr. Coons to the F.B.I. director, Christophe uh A. Wray, asking about how the FBI handled Mr. Kavanaugh 's review.
In an interview, Mr. Whitehouse said the FBI's response showed that the FBI's handling of Mr. Kavanaugh's misconduct charges was a sham. Ms Tyson's letter, Mr Whitehouse said, suggested that the F.B.I. ran a "bogus line of advice that has never been properly reviewed, probably not even conducted in good faith.
Mr. Whitehouse and six of his colleaguesDemocrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee responded to the FBI letter on Wednesday asking for further details on the White House deal that governed the investigation. They also insisted on getting more information on how incoming tips were handled.
"Your letter confirms that the FBI's tip line is "deviated from past practice and that the FBI was politically coerced by the Trump White House," the senators wrote. Among the signatories to the letter were Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the committee, Mr. Coons and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Donald F. McGahn, the then White House General Counsel and the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Former President Donald J. Trump has long taken the confirmation of Mr. Kavanaugh, which almost derailed on the allegations of a Californian professor that Mr. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school rally in early 1980s.
Despite widespread concern over the allegations - which were followed by further allegations of sexual misconduct, all of which that Mr. Kavanaugh has always denied - Mr. Trump strongly supported the judge. He deployed Mr. McGahn to guide Mr. Kavanaugh through the unusually difficult confirmation, which culminated in a stormy one-day hearing in September 2018.
Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who said she was assaulted, and Mr. Kavanaugh havebeen toasted by senators on the Judicial Committee.
In a recent interview with author Michael Wolff, Mr. Trump put his treatment of Judge Kavanaugh on in plain English , asking " Where would he be without me, I saved his life. "
But in addition to offering displays of support, the Trump White House has carefully vetted investigations into Mr. Kavanaugh's past. After Dr. Ford came forward, Mr. Trump's staff tried to limit the number of people the F.B.I. interviewed as part of this survey. It was only after an outcry from Democrats against the president's approach that the administration said the agency could lead a more open investigation .
Au final, 10 witnesses were interviewed by the FBI, according to the recent FBI letter. Dr Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh themselves were never interviewed by the FBI
Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who signed Wednesday's letter to the FBI, called the process " an injustice actually orchestrated by the White House under Donald Trump, an injustice that Franklin did not. did the FBI a disservice "