FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency Wednesday after a Democratic senator wanted to know if the FBI investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sufficiently thorough.
Wray appeared before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee at a hearing to discuss terrorism threats and was asked about the Kavanaugh probe by California Democrat Kamala Harris, who was a leader of the anti-Kavanaugh bloc of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She asked Wray if the FBI had latitude “to investigate whatever your agency thought was appropriate to figure out what happened,” The Hill reported.
“Our investigation here, our supplemental update to the previous background investigation, was limited in scope and that is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back quite a long ways,” Wray said.
“As was standard, the investigation was very specific in scope and limited in scope and that is the usual process and that my folks have assured me that the usual process was followed.”
The investigation was labeled a “supplemental background investigation.” Wray said such investigations are very different from criminal investigations, ABC reported.
“Our only authority is as requested by the adjudicating (entity), in this case the White House,” Wray said.
“I’ve spoken with our background investigation specialists and they have assured me this was handled in a way consistent with their experience and the standard process,” the FBI director said.
Democrats have claimed that the FBI should have been given unlimited time to investigate all sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh dating from his high school and college years, including the claims of Christine Blasey Ford, who testified that Kavanaugh acted inappropriately during a high school party in the 1980s, according to Politico.
Harris last week attacked the FBI probe, saying it was “not a search for the truth, this was not an investigation, this was an abdication of responsibility and duty.”
The FBI did not interview Ford or Kavanaugh — both of whom testified before the Judiciary Committee — or various potential witnesses Democrats claim should have been interviewed.
Wray on Wednesday would not say who decided which persons would be interviewed by the FBI.
Harris wanted to know if the FBI looked at whether Kavanaugh misled Congress during his testimony.
“That’s not something I could discuss here,” Wray said, The Washington Post reported.
Harris tried to connect the White House to the investigation by asking whether if White House counsel Don McGahn limited the probe
“The communication between the FBI and the White House for nominees, including judicial nominees, is through the FBI security division, background investigation specialists and the White House Office of Security,” Wray said, adding that he did not know if there was contact. “I can’t speak to what anyone throughout the organization might have received instructions on.”
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