Though it has been more than two years since Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's explosive confirmation hearings, one powerful GOP senator intends to make sure any witnesses who may have lied to Congress are held to account.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee that ran the hearings and now the ranking member, has sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking the status of criminal referrals made by the committee in regards to individuals who "made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements to committee investigators."
"The Justice Department and FBI have failed to respond to our letter and have failed to apprise the committee whether, and to what extent, any steps have been taken to investigate and hold accountable those individuals who criminally interfered with the committee's investigation," Grassley's letter, dated Tuesday, read. "These failures are entirely unacceptable."
Four criminal referrals were made to then-Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department, but Grassley has yet to see any results.
"The committee's four criminal referrals, dated Sept. 29, 2018, Oct. 25, 2018, Oct. 26, 2018, and Nov. 2, 2018, were not made lightly," Grassley's letter continued. "Those referrals highlighted serious cases in which individuals made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements to committee investigators."
Among those referred to the DOJ was "an individual from Rhode Island who falsely alleged to Congress that Judge Kavanaugh had assaulted a friend on a boat, only to later admit on social media that he lied about the event," according to Grassley.
Notorious anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti was also referred.
"Two referrals related to allegations made by Mr. Michael Avenatti and his client, Ms. Julie Swetnick, who accused Judge Kavanaugh of being involved in gang rape activities," Grassley wrote. "The committee identified no verifiable evidence to support the allegations. The Committee found that Mr. Avenatti, who has since been convicted on felony extortion charges, and his client, Ms. Swetnick, had a long history of credibility issues and may have criminally conspired to mislead the committee regarding those allegations and obstruct its investigation."
A final referral was for "a woman who claimed to be the author of an anonymous letter stating that Judge Kavanaugh and a friend raped her 'several times each' in the back seat of a car," according to Grassley.
"Ms. Munro-Leighton later admitted that she falsely claimed that she was the author of the letter and its allegations and only claimed authorship of the letter 'as a way to grab attention,'" Grassley wrote.
"These false allegations materially impeded the committee's work and diverted important committee resources during its time-sensitive investigation."
Grassley's office released a 414-page report on the Kavanaugh investigations and it "did not include so much as a shred of evidence to support any of the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh," the letter read.
"The FBI background checks – two of them – didn't uncover any such evidence, either," Grassley added. "It is, however, the responsibility of the Justice Department and FBI to hold those who mislead and obstruct Congress accountable for their criminal behavior."
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