Home News White House Guided Probe into Brett Kavanaugh’s Background

White House Guided Probe into Brett Kavanaugh’s Background

by Atlanta Business Journal

Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was enlivened by Sen. Ted Tailgunner Cruz’s putting his boots on the committee table in a dead-on Nikita Khrushchev impression, railing at FBI Director Christopher Wray about some purported training materials that Cruz felt disrespected some of his more beloved cosplay accessories. (You can watch him at about the 02:36 mark in the linked video.)

CRUZ: Also included on this is a text that I was particularly struck…is the Gonzales battle flag—”Come and take it”—as indicative of being a violent extremist militia. Well, I will self-report right now that every day in the Senate I wear my boots [places boots on table] with the Gonzales flag on the back of them. Director Wray, what are y’all doing? This makes no sense. Do you agree with this FBI guidance that the Betsy Ross flag and the Gadsden flag and the Gonzales battle flag are signs of militia violent extremism?

The militias certainly do, as can be witnessed in approximately 98,799 photographs and videos. But this tantrum already is being thrown by conservatives generally—Marjorie Taylor-Greene is in on it, too—so we should all get used to it.

If the shoe fits…

Tom Williams//Getty Images

However, it was a little earlier in the hearing, when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s turn to question Wray came around, that some actual news broke out (at about 02:09 at the same link above). Whitehouse questioned Wray about calls to the FBI tip line that it opened up after Christine Blasey Ford testified about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ford’s testimony and the ensuing public outrage prompted a quickie FBI investigation of which the tip line was a part.

Whitehouse asked Wray about the fate of all the calls to the tip line, and Wray gave up the whole game.

WHITEHOUSE: As you know, we are entering the fourth year of a frustrating saga […] regarding the Kavanaugh supplemental background investigation, and I’d like to get that matter wrapped up. First, is it true that after Kavanaugh-related tips were separated from other tips, that they were forwarded to White House counsel without investigation?
WRAY: … When it comes to the tip line, we wanted to make sure the White House had all the information we had, so when the hundreds of calls started coming it, we gathered those up, reviewed them and provided them to the White House—
WHITEHOUSE: Without investigation?
WRAY: We reviewed them and then provided them to the White House.
WHITEHOUSE: You reviewed them for the purposes of separating from tip line traffic but did not further investigate the ones that related to Kavanaugh, correct?
WRAY: Correct.
WHITEHOUSE: Is it also true that in that supplemental BI [background investigation], the FBI took direction from the White House as to whom the FBI would question and even what questions the FBI could ask?
WRAY: So it is true … as to the who. I am not sure as I sit here whether it is true as to the what questions.

You know a bureaucrat feels the earth moving under his feet when he starts sounding like Dr. Seuss. But kudos to Whitehouse for treeing Wray into an admission that the second background investigation into Kavanaugh was a White House-directed bag job of no value whatsoever. So much of the last administration* was nothing more than that, but this one we all have to live with for decades.

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