Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, whose sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughRepublicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Senators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh Why isn't Harris leading the charge against the Texas abortion law? MORE became the center of his Senate confirmation hearings, on Friday accused the FBI of carrying out a “sham” investigation into the accusations. 

The strong criticism from attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks came after Democratic Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats draw red lines in spending fight What Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Climate hawks pressure Biden to replace Fed chair MORE (R.I.) released a letter the FBI sent to him and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) revealing that the agency had gathered more than 4,500 tips related to its probe into Kavanaugh over the claims. 

The FBI added in the letter that it referred all “relevant tips” to the office of the White House counsel, though it was unclear if the FBI followed up on any of the tips. 

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Katz and Banks on Friday said that the FBI letter, which was a response to a 2019 inquiry from the senators over concerns that the White House had limited the probe, revealed that the agency allowed “those who supported Kavanaugh to falsely claim that the FBI found no wrongdoing.”

“The letter from the Department of Justice, released by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office today, confirms what we knew: The FBI’s investigation into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s serious allegations about Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct was a sham and a major institutional failure,” the lawyers wrote. 

“Not only did the FBI refuse to interview Dr. Ford or the corroborators listed in our letter to FBI Director [Christopher] Wray, it failed to act on the over 4,500 tips it received about then-nominee Kavanaugh,” Ford’s attorneys added. 

They went on to say that the FBI probe “should have never been an ordinary background check.” 

“The FBI should have referred the evidence it was receiving to the Criminal Investigation Division,” the attorneys argued, adding that Wray “must answer the question as to why he failed to do so.” 

“Because the FBI and Trump’s White House Counsel hid the ball on this, we do not know how many of those 4,500 tips were consequential, how many of those tips supported Dr. Ford’s testimony, or how many showed that Kavanaugh perjured himself during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” the attorneys argued. 

“Our nation deserved better,” they added. 

Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court in a 50-48 Senate vote after Ford and two other women accused him of sexual misconduct. 

A group of Democrats led by Whitehouse and Coons sent a letter to Wray on Wednesday demanding answers on the thousands of tips the FBI had received, noting that the revelation “confirms that the FBI’s tip line was a departure from past practice and that the FBI was politically constrained by the Trump White House.”