WASHINGTON – Earlier today, former officials from the FBI, the Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the White House Counsel’s Office held a telephone press briefing on the process of FBI background investigations on judicial nominees. All four speakers have extensive experience working on judicial nominations and discussed their personal experiences from their respective offices about investigations.
“During my over 14 years on the committee, I can’t remember any supplemental investigation in which the FBI did not interview the person who brought forth the allegations, and the nominee himself,” said Kristine Lucius, executive vice president of policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former top legal and policy advisor to Senator Leahy for the Senate Judiciary Committee. “That has been – and must remain – a minimum base line for credibility. No senator should even consider agreeing to proceed with this nomination unless and until the FBI investigation is determined to be thorough and unfettered.”
“The investigation of Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct is far too serious for a rigged process,” said Mike Zubrensky, chief counsel at The Leadership Conference and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. “Senator Flake and his Senate colleagues must insist that McConnell respect the confirmation process. And they should demand that the FBI take the time it needs to conduct a thorough and meaningful investigation.”
“President Trump and Senate Republicans are turning this much-needed FBI investigation into a sham,” said Chris Kang, chief counsel at Demand Justice and Former Deputy Counsel to President Obama. “The entire investigation must be made public, so the American people can know which witnesses were interviewed and whether the FBI was able to follow a full range of questioning, including regarding Kavanaugh’s candor and credibility.”
“Existing background investigation protocols between the White House and the FBI regarding presidential appointees are flawed and need to be reexamined,” said Frank Figliuzzi, Chief Operating Officer at ETS Risk Management and former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence. “When the White House can prevent the nation’s premier investigative agency from fully determining the suitability of a Supreme Court nominee we have a problem.”
The full audio of the call can be found here.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org