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Democrats are outraged after the FBI said it got more than 4,500 tips about Brett Kavanaugh - and referred the 'relevant' ones to the Trump White House

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Brett Kavanaugh pursing his lips and looking up.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Susan Walsh/AP Photo
  • The FBI said it received 4,500 tips in 2018 about Brett Kavanaugh, then a Supreme Court nominee.

  • The agency said it interviewed 10 people and passed "relevant" tips to Trump's White House.

  • A group of Democratic senators accused the FBI of ignoring the tips and demanded more answers.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A group of Democratic senators is asking for more answers after the FBI shared details about its handling of a supplemental background investigation into Brett Kavanaugh when he was a Supreme Court nominee.

Jill Tyson, an assistant director of the FBI, said in a letter on June 30 that the agency had received 4,500 tips regarding Kavanaugh and that it turned over "relevant tips" to the White House counsel, who was Don McGahn in 2018. Tyson also said the FBI interviewed 10 people.

Tyson's letter was made public on Thursday by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons, who said it was a response to a letter they'd sent in August 2019 asking for answers about the investigation.

"This long-delayed answer confirms how badly we were spun by Director Wray and the FBI in the Kavanaugh background investigation and hearing," Whitehouse said on Twitter, referring to FBI Director Chris Wray. "It confirms my suspicions that the 'tip line' was not real and that FBI tip line procedures were not followed," he added.

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"Wray said they followed procedures, he meant the 'procedure' of doing whatever Trump White House Counsel told them to do," Whitehouse said. "That's misleading as hell."

A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment when reached by Insider. An email sent to the Supreme Court seeking comment on behalf of Kavanaugh did not receive a response.

The letter said the FBI passed the tips to the White House because it had requested the supplemental background check on September 13, 2018, prompted by sexual-assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Tyson said the FBI had already conducted an initial background check that was completed in July 2018 and included interviews with 49 people.

Whitehouse and Coons were joined by Sens. Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, and Cory Booker in requesting more answers from the FBI.

"If the FBI was not authorized to or did not follow up on any of the tips that it received from the tip line, it is difficult to understand the point of having a tip line at all," they said, adding that the agency's letter confirmed that "the FBI was politically constrained by the Trump White House."

Read the original article on Business Insider