Wray Confirms White House Limited FBI’s Kavanaugh Check

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FBI Director Christopher Wray told senators on Wednesday that the White House put limits on the re-opened investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but he insisted that the process used was a typical one, reports Politico. “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 a long ways,” Wray said under questioning by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing. “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, adding that the inquiry was “very specific in scope—limited in scope.”

Wray confirmed that background investigations are handled differently from other FBI probes and that the scope of inquiries into judicial nominees is dictated by the White House. Democratic senators have complained that the FBI probe was unduly limited, failed to interview relevant witnesses and failed to re-interview Kavanaugh and one of his primary accusers, Christine Blasey Ford. Republican senators who insisted on the renewed inquiry before voting on Kavanaugh have said they considered the effort sufficient. During the hearing, the FBI chief tried to avoid being drawn out on other politically-heated issues surrounding the bureau. He largely succeeded. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) cited President Trump’s frequent attacks on the FBI, including his description last year of “several rotten apples” among the bureau’s top leaders. “Senator, I can only tell you about the FBI I see, which is people of great courage, integrity and professionalism,” Wray responded. “They are extraordinary people that this committee and all Americans should be proud of.”

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