Senator Chuck Grassley isn’t holding back, firing off a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the DOJ, and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding answers “concerning their handling of criminal referrals made by the Committee following its investigation into allegations of decades-old misconduct by then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is demanding that the Biden Department of Justice and FBI follow through on a request made on October 8, 2019.
Letter to the DOJ and FBI
In his letter, Grassley stated that “the Justice Department and FBI have failed to respond to our letter and have failed to apprise the Committee whether, and to what extent, any steps have been taken to investigate and hold accountable those individuals who criminally interfered with the Committee’s investigation.”
“These failures are entirely unacceptable,” Grassley wrote. “As my colleagues and I stressed in our previous letter, the Committee’s four criminal referrals, dated September 29, 2018, October 25, 2018, October 26, 2018, and November 2, 2018, were not made lightly. Those referrals highlighted serious cases in which individuals made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements to Committee investigators.”
The senator went on to discuss false allegations made against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. These allegations were made by left-wing activists in an attempt to prevent Kavanaugh from being confirmed by the Senate. Ultimately, the efforts failed, but they did succeed in riling up the far left, and, to some extent, tarnishing the reputation of a distinguished judge.
“For example, one of the referrals related to an individual from Rhode Island who falsely alleged to Congress that Judge Kavanaugh had assaulted a friend on a boat, only to later admit on social media that he lied about the event,” his letter continued. “Two referrals related to allegations made by Mr. Michael Avenatti and his client, Ms. Julie Swetnick, who accused Judge Kavanaugh of being involved in gang rape activities. The Committee identified no verifiable evidence to support the allegations.”
“The Committee found that Mr. Avenatti, who has since been convicted on felony extortion charges, and his client, Ms. Swetnick, had a long history of credibility issues and may have criminally conspired to mislead the Committee regarding those allegations and obstruct its investigation,” Grassley added. “A final referral related to Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton, a woman who claimed to be the author of an anonymous letter stating that Judge Kavanaugh and a friend raped her ‘several times each’ in the back seat of a car. Ms. Munro-Leighton later admitted that she falsely claimed that she was the author of the letter and its allegations and only claimed authorship of the letter ‘as a way to grab attention.’ These false allegations materially impeded the Committee’s work and diverted important Committee resources during its time-sensitive investigation.”
Grassley also mentioned in the letter that his office had issued a 414-page report of findings from the investigation “which did not include so much as a shred of evidence to support any of the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh.” He also added that “the FBI background checks – two of them – didn’t uncover any such evidence, either.”
“It is, however, the responsibility of the Justice Department and FBI to hold those who mislead and obstruct Congress accountable for their criminal behavior. Accordingly, I ask that you provide a response to the questions posed in the October 8, 2019, letter no later than April 6, 2021. Your response should include a full explanation of the steps the Justice Department and FBI have taken to investigate the Committee’s four criminal referrals for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 (materially false statements), 1505 (obstruction), and 371 (conspiracy). If no actions have been taken in response to those referrals, please explain why not,” Grassley concluded.
The Bottom Line
What is most concerning is that the request to investigate these false allegations was made on October 8, 2019, and was not answered. At that time, President Trump was still in office, and Attorney General Bill Barr should have carried out these investigations immediately. Now, it is highly unlikely that a Democrat administration will allow the investigations to move forward. The people who made these false allegations deserve consequences, they should not be allowed to get away with committing a crime, especially for political gain.