In New Letter to President Trump, Schumer & Feinstein Request President Direct FBI To Immediately and Thoroughly Investigate Dr. Ford’s Allegations And Provide A Report to The Senate For This Week’s Hearing

September 23, 2018

Contrary To President Trump’s Assertions, Conducting Background Investigations On Nominees Has Long Been The FBI’s Standard Practice, And It Is Common For Such Background Investigations To Be Reopened Where New Information About A Nominee Becomes Known – Has Happened More Than Ten Times in Previous Three Months

It Only Took the FBI Three Days to Complete Their Investigation of Professors Anita Hill’s Allegations of Sexual Harassment so The FBI Has Ample Time to Investigate Dr. Ford’s Allegations 

New Theories Raised By Establishment Republican Involved in Judge Kavanaugh’s Nomination Process Add Additional Importance to FBI Investigation 

Washington, D.C. – In a new letter to President Trump, Schumer & Feinstein requested that the president direct the FBI to immediately and thoroughly investigate Dr. Ford’s allegations and provide a report to the Senate for this week’s hearing.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein today released a new letter sent to President Trump urging him to direct the FBI to immediately and thoroughly investigate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations and provide a report to the Senate as soon as possible. In the letter, the top Democrats explain that, contrary to President Trump’s assertions that this isn’t something the FBI does or that it would take a “tremendous amount of time,” the fact is conducting background investigations on nominees has long been the FBI’s standard practice, and it is common for such background investigations to be reopened when new information about a nominee becomes known.  In fact, re-opening background investigations on judicial nominees has happened more than ten times in the last three months alone.

The Democrats also explain in their letter that during the Senate’s consideration of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, the Senate Judiciary Committee requested an FBI investigation of Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment. On the same day that President George W. Bush received this request, the White House Counsel directed the FBI to investigate, which then produced a report only three days later to the Senate, prior to the Judiciary Committee’s second round of hearings on the nomination. Leader Schumer and Ranking Member Feinstein note that, since the Judiciary Committee will hold its hearing on Thursday, September 27th, the FBI has several full days to do its work.

Schumer and Feinstein also noted that a background was now even more important given that a senior republican involved in Judge Kavanaugh’s selection and hearing preparation process began sharing new theories online, suggesting that a sexual assault did happen, but Judge Kavanaugh was mistakenly identified.   It has been reported that these theories may have been developed in coordination with those shepherding Judge Kavanaugh through his confirmation process. 

The full text of Leader Schumer and Ranking Member Feinstein’s letter is as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

We are deeply troubled regarding the misleading statements you have made this week about the Kavanaugh nomination.  On Tuesday, you said “I don’t think the FBI really needs to be involved because they don’t want to be involved.  If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know, they say this is not really their thing.”  In response to a reporter’s question on Wednesday, you said “It would seem the FBI really doesn’t do that. . .  They’ve investigated about six times before, and it seems that they don’t do that.”

Contrary to your assertions, conducting background investigations on nominees has long been the FBI’s standard practice, and it is common for such background investigations to be reopened where new information about a nominee becomes known.  In fact, in very similar circumstances during the Senate’s consideration of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, the Senate Judiciary Committee requested an FBI investigation of Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment.  On the same day that President George W. Bush received this request, White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray directed the FBI to investigate.  The Bureau immediately investigated the matter and produced a report prior to the Judiciary Committee’s second round of hearings on the nomination.

Since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story became public, she has asked for the FBI to investigate – a request that demonstrates her sincerity and her confidence that an impartial inquiry will further corroborate and confirm the account she has given.  The FBI’s involvement is required in order to identify and interview all witnesses, review documentary evidence, and provide its report to the Senate.  It is not the FBI’s job to determine credibility, but it is the FBI’s job to gather facts.  Regrettably, however, the FBI has thus far failed to act. 

We were encouraged earlier this week when you said “a delay is acceptable,” and “we want to give it a tremendous amount of time.”  But then yesterday, after Dr. Ford reiterated her desire to testify, you reversed yourself and said “I don’t think you can delay it any longer” and the Senate must “get on with it.”  In any event, your claim that “we want to get to the bottom of it” is merely lip service unless you are willing to direct the FBI to investigate.  Now that it appears likely that the Judiciary Committee will hold its hearing on Thursday, September 27th, the FBI has almost a full week to do its work.  It will not take a “tremendous amount of time,” but it is necessary if you truly want the facts to be known. 

In short, there is no legitimate basis for you to continue blocking the FBI from investigating this important matter.  We therefore request that you adhere to precedent and direct the FBI to immediately and thoroughly investigate Dr. Ford’s allegations and provide a report to the Senate as soon as possible.  Judge Kavanaugh is being nominated to the highest court in our land.  These serious allegations should be fairly and impartially considered before the Senate moves forward.                                                        

Sincerely,

Senator Chuck Schumer

Senate Democratic Leader

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senate Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member   

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