Grassley asks FBI to probe apparent false allegations against Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee referred apparent false statements made to committee investigators alleging misconduct by Judge Brett Kavanaugh for criminal investigation on Saturday.

Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTreasury expands penalty relief to more taxpayers Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Drug prices are a matter of life and death MORE (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray seeking to have “materially false statements” made to the committee as part of its investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh referred for criminal investigation.

In the letter, Grassley discussed the committee’s investigation into various allegations made against Kavanaugh, which he noted “has involved communicating with numerous individuals claiming to have relevant information.”

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“While many of those individuals have acted in good faith in providing the Committee information during the investigation, unfortunately it appears some have not,” Grassley said in the letter, before providing Sessions and Wray with the name of the individual who made the apparent false statements. 

The unidentified man in question who made the apparent false statement reportedly contacted Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Sanders announces first staff hires in Iowa, New Hampshire McConnell works to freeze support for Dem campaign finance effort MORE’s (D-R.I.) staff on Monday to report an allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, according to Grassley’s letter.

The man claimed that in August of 1985, Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a close acquaintance of his on a boat in the harbor at Newport, R.I. 

As Grassley noted, the committee took the allegation seriously and asked Kavanaugh “numerous questions about it under penalty of felony” during an interview on Tuesday. Kavanaugh denied the allegation.

On Wednesday, the committee publicly released a redacted transcript of that interview, with the unidentified man’s name redacted.

“Afterwards, at 7:51 pm that same evening, [the man] 'recanted' and apologized for his allegation via social media,” Grassley wrote. “I have enclosed the relevant materials documenting these facts.” 

“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,” Grassley said in the letter. “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," he continued. “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,” Grassley wrote.