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Grassley Pens Letter to DOJ, FBI Asking for Criminal Investigation Into False Allegations Against Kavanaugh

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Saturday sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking for them to begin a criminal investigation into those who made "false statements" about Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Committee. 


The man, whose name has been redacted from the letter, allegedly made a false statement to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's (D-RI) staff on Monday. The man called Whitehouse's office to report an allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. 

According to The Hill, the man claimed Kavanaugh sexually assaulted him on a boat in Rhode Island in 1985. The Committee investigated the manner and questioned Kavanaugh, under penalty of felony, about the allegation, which he denied. A redacted transcript of that interview was released on Wednesday.

"I was not in Newport, haven't been on a boat in Newport. Not with Mark Judge on a boat, nor all those three things combined. This is just completely made up, or at least not me," Kavanaugh told the committee, according to transcripts.

The man later recanted his story in a tweet on Twitter, saying he "made a mistake," The Newport Daily News reported.

Here's Grassley's letter [emphasis mine]:


September 29, 2018

The Honorable Jeff Sessions
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

The Honorable Christopher A. Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20535

Dear Attorney General Sessions and Director Wray:

As you know, the Senate Judiciary Committee recently processed the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. As part of that process, the investigation has involved communicating with numerous individuals claiming to have relevant information. While many of those individuals have acted in good faith in providing the Committee information during the investigation, unfortunately it appears some have not. As explained below, I write today respectfully referring Mr. [redacted] for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 and 1505, for materially false statements Mr. [redacted] made to the Committee as part of its investigation of allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.

According to Senator Whitehouse and his Committee staff, on the morning of September 24, 2018, Mr. [redacted] contacted the Senator’s office to report an allegation of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh. Mr.[redacted] claimed that in August of 1985, Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a close acquaintance of Mr [redacted] on a boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island. Committee staff took Mr. [redacted]'s allegation seriously, and asked Judge Kavanaugh numerous questions about it under penalty of felony during an interview on September 25, 2018. He categorically denied the allegation. On September 26, 2018, the Committee publicly released a redacted transcript of that interview, with Mr. [redacted]'s name redacted. Afterwards, at 7:51 pm that same evening, Mr. [redacted] "recanted” and apologized for his allegation via social media. I have enclosed the relevant materials documenting these facts. 

Committee investigations in support of the judicial nomination process are an essential part of the Committee’s constitutional role. The Committee is grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not one hundred percent sure about what they know. But when individuals provide fabricated allegations to the Committee, diverting Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations, it materially impedes our work. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal. It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators. It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations. 

Accordingly, in light of the seriousness of these facts, and the threat these types of actions pose to the Committee’s ability to perform its constitutional duties, I hope you will give this referral the utmost consideration. 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact a professional staff investigator in the Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Unit at (202) 224-5225.


Charles E. Grassley
Committee on the Judiciary 

Letter from Senator Whitehouse to Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein
Email from Senator Whitehouse’ Staff Transcript of Kavanaugh Interview
Tweet by Mr. [redacted]

cc: The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary 

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
Committee on the Judiciary


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