- Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee accused their Republican counterparts of disclosing confidential information about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s previous FBI background checks.
- In a letter to committee chair Chuck Grassley published Wednesday, Democrats took issue with two messages that committee Republicans posted on Twitter in defence of Kavanaugh.
- One of those tweets indicated the FBI found no evidence Kavanaugh engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour, or alcohol abuse.
- The Democrats’ claim comes as the Supreme Court nominee faces new scrutiny over his drinking habits during his time in high school and college – and multiple reports of sexual misconduct from several women.
- Republican lawmakers shot back at the allegation and denied that it had mischaracterized the FBI’s background check.
Democrats from the Senate Judiciary Committee accused their Republican counterparts of disclosing confidential information regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s previous FBI background checks, and in doing so, may have suggested that the investigation involved information related to “inappropriate sexual behaviour or alcohol abuse.”
The Judiciary Committee’s Twitter account, which is run by the Republican majority’s staffers, published two tweets on Tuesday in support of Kavanaugh, who is facing an additional FBI investigation that has been underway since Friday:
Nowhere in any of these six FBI reports, which the committee has reviewed on a bipartisan basis, was there ever a whiff of ANY issue – at all – related in any way to inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse. 2/2
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) October 2, 2018
Democrats rebuked the committee’s tweets on the confidential background investigation and urged for a prompt correction.
But by disclosing which tweets the Republicans allegedly erred on, Democrats appeared to suggest – without saying so explicitly – that the FBI’s previous investigations on Kavanaugh did indeed contain information about inappropriate sexual behaviour or alcohol abuse.
“It is troubling that the Committee Majority has characterised information from Judge Kavanaugh’s confidential background investigation on Twitter, as that information is confidential and not subject to public release,” Democratic lawmakers said in a statement to the chairman of the committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
“While we are limited in what we can say about this background investigation in a public setting, we are compelled to state for the record that there is information in the second post that is not accurate,” the statement added.
Democrats added that the information, which is “not subject to public release,” was selectively published for “partisan purposes.”
“If the Committee Majority is going to violate that confidentiality and characterise this background investigation publicly, you must at least be honest about it,” Democrats said.
Republican lawmakers shot back at the statement and denied that it had mischaracterized the FBI’s background check.
“Nothing in the tweet is inaccurate or misleading,” the Majority said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon. “The committee stands by its statement, which is completely truthful. More baseless innuendo and more false smears from Senate Democrats.”
The FBI conducted a supplemental background check, limited in terms of time and scope, on Kavanaugh after being prompted by the White House last week. Both Kavanaugh and his sexual assault accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testified before the committee.
Kavanaugh has categorically denied the accusations.
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