FBI releases heavily redacted tips from public on Kavanaugh nomination

FBI releases heavily redacted tips from public on Kavanaugh nomination
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The FBI on Monday released more than 500 pages of heavily redacted tips from the public surrounding the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughPence calls for Roe v. Wade to be sent to 'ash heap of history' ahead of abortion ruling Supreme Court to hear landmark abortion case this week Roe redux: Is 'viability' still viable as a constitutional doctrine? MORE last year.

The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold.

A vast majority of the documents were redacted under FOIA regulations. The tips that were included were largely comprised of messages either supporting or opposing Kavanaugh’s rocky nomination process.

Kavanaugh was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of having sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s, which he strongly denied.

“I don’t know what my govt is doing here but all of it looks really bad and unconstitutional,” read one message in support of Kavanaugh.

Other tips called for the agency to investigate the allegations of sexual assault leveled against the then-nominee.

“[I]t would be a crime against American humanity for the FBI not to investigate this accusation before his possible appointment. This is a homeland security threat and of grave importance,” one such message read.


Notes written by FBI agents about the unredacted tips showed that the agency considered many of them to be either personal opinions or not presenting a legitimate threat.

For example, the FBI received a pair of messages attempting to report late-night TV host Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelConnor Roy may never be president, but Alan Ruck did drive in the motorcade Jimmy Kimmel responds to Lauren Boebert calling him a 'sexist pig' Jimmy Kimmel questions value of laughing at 'terrible' people MORE for joking that if Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, “we get to cut that pesky penis of his off in front of everyone.”

“Information is clearly a joke and is not a legitimate threat,” one agent noted in response.

Kavanaugh underwent a contentious nomination process last year, with Blasey Ford testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A former college classmate, Deborah Ramirez, also accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her while drunk, an accusation he denied. 

The FBI opened a supplementary background investigation into Kavanaugh over the allegations. But Democrats and sexual assault survivor advocates criticized the FBI for not interviewing some key witnesses, including Ford.

The Senate eventually confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, largely along party lines.

Kavanaugh is still facing some scrutiny: A conduct committee of the Judicial Conference, the highest-ranking policy group within the judicial branch, is currently considering several appeals of ethics complaints filed against Kavanaugh over his conduct during the nomination process.