Sen. Chuck Grassley turns down Democrats’ request, saying there’s ‘no longer a need’ for an FBI investigation
In a new letter, Sen. Chuck Grassley rejected Democratic calls to delay Monday’s hearing so an FBI probe to take place first. He said he is offering Ford “many options” to testify, either in public or in private, in California, or “anywhere else.”
He said a private session would mean the matter would be kept confidential, though he sharply criticized Democrats for releasing other confidential Kavanaugh documents, suggesting that may be way she’s “distrustful” of a closed-door interview.
Grassley accuses Senate Democrats of misconstruing how an FBI background check works. He said the FBI does the background check before a nomination is made, and the White House provides that information to the Senate as a matter of courtesy. “The FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee.”
Grassley also disputed any comparison to the FBI investigation into the Anita Hill allegations against Clarence Thomas. He said in that case, Hill’s allegations were still not public, and the FBI conducted a confidential investigation. In this case, the information is public, “there is no longer a need for a confidential FBI investigation.” He also said then-Chairman Joe Biden “expeditiously” notified the White House at the time of the Hill allegations, unlike Dianne Feinstein who held onto the allegations since July 30.
Grassley says that Kavanaugh sat for a “transcribed interview” on Monday as part of the committee’s background investigation and “understood he was under penalty of felony if he was not truthful.” He added: “We have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony.”
“I am following the same timeline Chairman Biden did after Professor Hill’s allegations were made public,” Grassley wrote. “It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this Committee, and the American people to delay this hearing any further.”