U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the Democrat members of the committee explaining why the committee can and should investigate the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford toward Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Committee Democrats sent Grassley a letter asking him not to reopen the hearing for Kavanaugh’s nomination.
His response was fantastic. He addressed how difficult it might be for Dr. Ford to testify:
I understand how difficult it might be for Dr. Ford to publicly testify on this subject. I have therefore offered her many options. We’ve offered her a public hearing, a private hearing, a public staff interview, or a private staff interview. The staff is even willing to fly to California, or anywhere else, to meet her.
An open session would be a matter of public record, while a closed session will remain confidential. I certainly can understand that Dr. Ford might be distrustful of the Committee’s ability to keep matters confidential based on the Democratic members’ recent conduct, but I sincerely hope that, if she chooses to testify in a closed session, that my colleagues can see their way to plugging the leaks which have plagued this nomination and gain her trust.
Brutal. He then educates them on their request that he demands the FBI to investigate:
This request demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the FBI background investigation process. Before nominating an individual to a judicial or executive office, the White House directs the FBI to conduct a background investigation. The FBI compiles information about a prospective nominee and sends it to the White House. The White House then provides FBI background investigation files to the Senate as a courtesy to help us determine whether to confirm a nominee. But the FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee. Nor is it tasked with investigating those matters that this Committee deems important. The Constitution assigns the Senate, and only the Senate, with the task of advising the President on his nominees and consenting if the circumstances merit. We have no power to commandeer an Executive Branch agency into conducting our due diligence. The job of assessing and investigating a nominee’s qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone.
Second, your request ignores the fact that Dr. Ford has already made her allegations public. The purpose of the background investigation process is to compile information in a confidential manner. Confidentiality permits people to speak freely and candidly about the character and qualifications of the nominee. The White House requires the Senate to keep background investigation files private so that people can speak anonymously to investigators if they so desire. Because Dr. Ford’s allegations are in the public arena, there is no longer a need for a confidential FBI investigation.
The FBI also does not have jurisdiction in this matter as well.
He then points out that the committee would not have been in this position at all had
Of course, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this position if we had been made aware of the allegations in a timelier manner. The Ranking Member was aware of these allegations since July. But her staff did not ask Judge Kavanaugh about them during routine background investigation phone calls in late-August. Senator Feinstein did not ask Judge Kavanaugh about these allegations during her closed-door meeting on August 20. The Ranking Member withheld this serious information about Judge Kavanaugh from her colleagues, 64 of whom had private meetings with Judge Kavanaugh and could have asked him about the allegations directly. She did not ask about them when Judge Kavanaugh appeared before the Committee for more than 32 hours of testimony over 3 days. Nor did she attend the closed session of the hearing when members can ask Judge Kavanaugh about sensitive matters. And she did not ask any questions about these allegations among the nearly 1,300 written questions sent to Judge Kavanaugh after the hearing.
Read the whole letter below: