Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is probably pounding back the beer this morning after new details about the FBI’s investigation into sexual assault allegations made against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in 2018 have been released.
The FBI just disclosed that it received over 4,500 tips–yes, 4,500!–on a phone line back in 2018 as part of its background check into the then-Supreme Court nominee, but it only sent the ones it deemed “relevant” to ex-President Donald Trump‘s White House counsel. Now, Democrats are asking for more information.
The exact number of tips was disclosed in a June 30 letter released by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Thursday. The letter was in response to a two-year-old request from Senate Democrats seeking more information about the handling of the investigation.
The revelation reignited fierce accusations from liberals who say that the FBI and the Trump White House did not sufficiently examine allegations against Kavanaugh in the wake of accusations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that he had sexually assaulted her at a party in the Maryland suburbs when they were both in high school.
Kavanaugh’s nomination marked the first time in history that an FBI tip line had to be set up for receiving information during a Senate confirmation inquiry.
After Ford went public with her accusations, investigators spoke to just 10 people before concluding that the allegations had no merit. Neither she nor Kavanaugh were ever interviewed as part of the investigation, leading many people to call the whole thing a farce.
In the wake of this new information, Ford’s lawyers are once against calling it “a sham and major institutional failure.”
“Not only did the FBI refuse to interview Dr. Ford or the corroborators listed in our letter to FBI Director Wray, it failed to act on the over 4,500 tips it received about then-nominee Kavanaugh,” her attorneys said. “Instead, it handed the information over to the White House, allowing those who supported Kavanaugh to falsely claim that the FBI found no wrongdoing.”
Meanwhile, Democrats say the new information “raises significant additional questions” and are calling on the FBI to explain, among other things, exactly how many tips the FBI decided were “relevant” and what criteria they used to make that determination, as well as how they vetted the tips, who was in charge of monitoring the tip line, and whether the tips were recorded or preserved.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The new information has also reignited questions about who paid off the hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt Kavanaugh owed right before he was nominated by Donald Trump to the Supreme Court.
In 2018, Mother Jones reported:
Before President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, he had a lot of debt. In May 2017, he reported owing between $60,004 and $200,000 on three credit cards and a loan against his retirement account. By the time Trump nominated him to the high court in July 2018, those debts had vanished. Overall, his reported income and assets didn’t seem sufficient to pay off all that debt while maintaining his upper-class lifestyle: an expensive house in an exclusive suburban neighborhood, two kids in a $10,500-a-year private school, and a membership in a posh country club reported to charge $92,000 in initiation fees. His financial disclosure forms have raised more questions than they’ve answered, leading to speculation about whether he’s had a private benefactor and what sorts of conflicts that relationship might entail.
All of this comes less than two weeks after reports that Trump himself slammed the SCOTUS Justice, who believes employers should be able to fire people for being LGBTQ, while speaking to journalist Michael Wolff.
According to Wolff’s book “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” Trump told him he was “disappointed” in Kavanaugh, adding, “There were so many others I could have appointed, and everyone wanted me to.”
“Where would he be without me?” Trump said, according to the book. “I saved his life. He wouldn’t even be in a law firm. Who would have had him? Nobody. Totally disgraced. Only I saved him.”
Here’s what folx on Twitter are saying about the latest Kavanaugh drama…
Today would be a good day to re-open the Kavanaugh investigation.
It would also be a good day to ask Wray if he’d like to clarify his comments about the investigation being “consistent with the standard process.”
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) July 23, 2021
Today’s news that the FBI turned some of the 4500(!) tips about Kavanaugh over to the WH puts Trump’s comments that he ‘Saved his life’ in a new light doesn’t it?
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) July 22, 2021
FBI said some of the 4,500 tips it received about Justice Brett Kavanaugh during investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him were given to Trump White House…
4500 sexual misconduct tips..4500 tips..4500..four thousand five hundred tips…
— Buddy Winston (@BuddyWinston) July 22, 2021
Who paid off Kavanaugh's considerable debt?
— Amy Siskind ???? (@Amy_Siskind) July 23, 2021
There are credible allegations of sexual assault against a Supreme Court Justice. Now there is proof the WH actively blocked an investigation of those allegations. The new DOJ must investigate for anyone to have any trust in our system of Justice. Otherwise it’s a bad joke
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) July 23, 2021
Anyone with Brett Kavanaugh’s profile would fail a standard background check for a Federal security clearance.
Large debts mysteriously paid? 4500 tips to FBI? Zero chance that would fly. And yet the Trump White House waved him through.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) July 22, 2021
— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) July 22, 2021
So, another quick question: Who paid off Brett Kavanaugh’s debts? Isn’t this rather an important question?
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 23, 2021
The FBI received more than 4,500 tips during its background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh
4500 tips on sexual assault allegations
Supreme Court Injustice
— TheSadTruth? (@ReportsDaNews) July 23, 2021
Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t belong in the Supreme Court.
Pass it on.
— Perikalt ? (@perikalt) July 23, 2021
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.