FBI Director Christopher Wray defended the bureau’s handling of a background check into Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, telling lawmakers Tuesday his agents followed proper procedures.
“I consulted at length with our security professionals who are specialists in background investigations to make sure that the investigation was done consistent with our long-standing policies, practices and procedures,” he said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Amid the dramatic battle last fall over Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, the FBI reopened a background check into the judge after sexual assault allegations were lodged against him.
Judge Kavanaugh strongly denied allegations raised by Christine Blasey Ford and two other women.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, criticized the bureau’s handling of the background check. He accused the bureau of ignoring tips and declining to interview witnesses.
Mr. Wray countered that the bureau was operating a background check which differs from a traditional criminal probe where more witnesses would be interviewed.
“I think its important of people to understand there is a fundamental difference between a background investigation and the kinds of criminal investigations or even counterintelligence investigations the FBI does every day,” he said.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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