Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to instruct the FBI to investigate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which Trump has so far refused to do. Read Schumer and Feinstein’s full letter to Trump below (emphasis added):
Dear Mr. President:
We are deeply troubled regarding the misleading statements you have made this week about the Kavanaugh nomination. On Tuesday, you said “I don’t think the FBI really needs to be involved because they don’t want to be involved. If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know, they say this is not really their thing.” In response to a reporter’s question on Wednesday, you said “It would seem the FBI really doesn’t do that. . . They’ve investigated about six times before, and it seems that they don’t do that.”
Contrary to your assertions, conducting background investigations on nominees has long been the FBI’s standard practice, and it is common for such background investigations to be reopened where new information about a nominee becomes known. In fact, in very similar circumstances during the Senate’s consideration of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, the Senate Judiciary Committee requested an FBI investigation of Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment. On the same day that President George W. Bush received this request, White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray directed the FBI to investigate. The Bureau immediately investigated the matter and produced a report prior to the Judiciary Committee’s second round of hearings on the nomination.
Since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story became public, she has asked for the FBI to investigate – a request that demonstrates her sincerity and her confidence that an impartial inquiry will further corroborate and confirm the account she has given. The FBI’s involvement is required in order to identify and interview all witnesses, review documentary evidence, and provide its report to the Senate. It is not the FBI’s job to determine credibility, but it is the FBI’s job to gather facts. Regrettably, however, the FBI has thus far failed to act.
We were encouraged earlier this week when you said “a delay is acceptable,” and “we want to give it a tremendous amount of time.” But then yesterday, after Dr. Ford reiterated her desire to testify, you reversed yourself and said “I don’t think you can delay it any longer” and the Senate must “get on with it.” In any event, your claim that “we want to get to the bottom of it” is merely lip service unless you are willing to direct the FBI to investigate. Now that it appears likely that the Judiciary Committee will hold its hearing on Thursday, September 27th, the FBI has almost a full week to do its work. It will not take a “tremendous amount of time,” but it is necessary if you truly want the facts to be known.
In short, there is no legitimate basis for you to continue blocking the FBI from investigating this important matter. We therefore request that you adhere to precedent and direct the FBI to immediately and thoroughly investigate Dr. Ford’s allegations and provide a report to the Senate as soon as possible. Judge Kavanaugh is being nominated to the highest court in our land. These serious allegations should be fairly and impartially considered before the Senate moves forward.
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senate Democratic Leader
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senate Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member