Why Brett Kavanaugh Is Causing Such A Stir

Since Donald Trump left office, talk of "fake news" has drastically dissipated. But now, one U.S. senator is claiming the FBI conducted a "fake" probe when it came to background checking Trump's second supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Shortly after Kavanaugh's nomination, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when the two were teenagers, which became the focal point of his confirmation hearing and ultimately led to an FBI probe regarding the matter. Now, The Guardian is reporting that Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has written a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland — who former President Barack Obama unsuccessfully nominated to the supreme court in 2016 — insisting that Garland greenlight a Senate investigation into just how thoroughly the FBI conducted the probe. In his letter, Whitehouse expresses a laundry list of issues that he, a former prosecutor, has with the way the investigation was handled. One of his most damning problems with the probe is that the two key witnesses — Ford and Kavanaugh — were never even interviewed.

Witnesses were barred from testifying

According to The Guardian, the key witnesses weren't the only ones not interviewed. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse claims that the FBI blocked other potential witnesses from coming forth with their own testimonies, effectively silencing them. "This was unique behavior in my experience, as the Bureau is usually amenable to information and evidence," Whitehouse wrote in a letter to Merrick Garland. "But in this matter the shutters were closed, the drawbridge drawn up, and there was no point of entry ..."

The FBI also established a tip line for people to come forward with other allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, but Whitehouse claims this tip line was less about conducting a thorough investigation than it was about giving the illusion of one, as nothing was ever done with the collected information. "This 'tip line' appears to have operated more like a garbage chute," he wrote, "with everything that came down the chute consigned without review to the figurative dumpster."

The Guardian reports that although it remains to be seen whether the FBI would reopen the investigation, Whitehouse's letter could put pressure on Attorney General Garland to force answers out of the justice department regarding the integrity of the investigation.