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‘Did Not Further Investigate’: FBI Director Reveals Trump White House Was in Charge of FBI’s Tips About Brett Kavanaugh



Brett Kavanaugh, during confirmation hearing

FBI Director Chris Wray admitted in a Senate hearing on Thursday that the FBI forwarded to the White House the hundreds of tips it received about Brett Kavanaugh in the fall of 2018, during his Supreme Court confirmation process, but did not first investigate those tips. Kavanaugh had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by three women, and those accusations threatened to derail his confirmation.

The revelation came as the FBI Director was questioned by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse during a Judiciary Committee hearing, and was forced to admit that the Democratic Senator from Rhode Island was “correct” when he said the FBI “did not further investigate” the tips it received “that related to Kavanaugh” and were forwarded to the White House.

After multiple women accused then-Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process the Judiciary Committee agreed to temporarily halt its confirmation hearings until a supplemental FBI background investigation could be conducted.

READ MORE: Brett Kavanaugh Caught Lying in SCOTUS Opinion Against Voting Access During the Pandemic: Report

On Thursday Senator Whitehouse asked Wray, “is it true that after Kavanaugh related tips were separated from other tips, they were forwarded to White House counsel without investigation?”

Wray appeared to try to circumvent the direct question.

“I apologize in advance that it’s been frustrating for you,” Wray began. “We’ve tried to be clear about our process,” he claimed.

Sen. Whitehouse interjected, asking him to just “answer the question.”

“So when it comes to the tip line, we wanted to make sure the White House had all the information we had, so when the hundreds of calls started coming it, we gathered those up, reviewed them and provided them to the White House,” Wray explained before Whitehouse interrupted.

“Without investigation?” he asked, to clarify.

READ MORE: Watch: Ted Cruz Slams His Boot on the Desk in Senate Hearing With FBI Director Wray

“We reviewed them and then provided them to the White House,” Wray said.

There is no indication the White House was equipped or prepared to investigate the hundreds of tips, something the American public was told the FBI would be doing.

“You reviewed them for the purposes of separating from tip line traffic but did not further investigate the ones that related to Kavanaugh, correct?” Whitehouse asked.

“Correct,” Wray confirmed.

Wray also confirmed, as Whitehouse said, that “the FBI took direction from the White House as to whom the FBI would question.”

“So it is true,” Wray admitted.

There was no confirmation from Wray that any of the tips were investigated.

Reporting on the exchange between Wray and Whitehouse, Esquire’s Charles Pierce wrote, “the second background investigation into Kavanaugh was a White House-directed bag job of no value whatsoever.”

Snopes on Thursday also confirmed that the “administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump directed the one-week, follow-up background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, according to sworn testimony from U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray.”

The Trump White House, Wray suggested, was in charge of deciding which tips about its own Supreme Court justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, the Bureau would be allowed to investigate.

Senator Whitehouse on Twitter later Thursday announced: “Wray confirms: Kavanaugh tips from tip line were sent to Trump White House without investigation; and Trump White House directed what witnesses FBI would interview.”

“The White House has found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after examining interview reports from the FBI’s latest probe into the judge’s background,” The Wall Street Journal reported on October 4, 2018.

That report then went to the Senate Judiciary Committee members, who in an 11-10 vote, elected to support the nomination and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

Kavanaugh was confirmed on October 6, 2018, by a 50-48 vote.

There its no indication, based on Director Wray’s remarks Thursday, that the hundreds of tips it received were fully investigated, and there was no discussion of how many, if any, interviews based on those tips were conducted for the supplemental background investigation report on which Kavanaugh’s confirmation was, in part, based.

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Chief Justice: Harder Deciding to Erect a Fence Around the Court Than Deciding to Rescind Right to Abortion (Video)



Chief Justice John Roberts says it was harder for him to decide to have a fence erected around the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the ruling that would reverse the 49-year old Roe v. Wade decision than it was to decide that case, which stripped women of their constitutional right to abortion.

The embattled Chief Justice told the 100-year old American Law Institute, which honored him with a prestigious award at their annual meeting Tuesday night, that erecting the fence was actually the hardest decision he’s ever had to make in his nearly two decades as head of the nation’s highest court.

“I’m asked what was the hardest thing? What was the hardest decision I had to make in 18 years? Was it this First Amendment case? Was it that death penalty case? Was it some major separation of powers case? None of those. The hardest decision I had to make was whether to erect fences and barricades around the Supreme Court. I had no choice but to go ahead and do it,” Roberts declared.

READ MORE: DeSantis Tells Evangelicals He Wants to ‘Improve’ Supreme Court So Justices Reflect ‘Gold Standard’ of Clarence Thomas

As The Washington Post noted, those fences and barricades erected around the Supreme Court were “in preparation for protests of the court’s decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion the court had established nearly 50 years earlier in Roe v. Wade. The fences remained for months.”

Unlike the fences and barricades, the decision not only still stands, it has led to total or partial abortion bans in at least 20 states, with more being debated in other states, and some Republicans pushing for a nationwide abortion ban.

Chief Justice Roberts is leading a Supreme Court under fire on several fronts, which has led to historically low approval ratings. In September, just months after the decision to allow states to ban abortion, Gallup found that just “47% trust the judicial branch,” and noted the “previous low was 53%.”

It also found that the Court’s 40% job approval “is tied for record low,” and 42% say the Supreme Court is too conservative, a record-high.

READ MORE: Bombshell Paper Shows Democrats Likely Won’t Regain Majority Control of Supreme Court Until 2065 – Unless They Expand It

Wednesday morning, CNN reported “Americans’ approval of the Supreme Court has fallen since the start of the year, according to a new poll released Wednesday, with 41% of the country saying it approves of the nine justices amid a barrage of media reports and watchdog complaints concerning ethics and transparency at the nation’s highest court.”

Justice Roberts has refused to implement at his Supreme Court the same ethical standards every federal judge, except the nine justices, are required to observe. He has also refused to take significant action against several justices who appear to be in violation of certain ethics reporting requirements, not to mention the appearance, some say, of corruption.

And while he gave lip-service to ethical issues Tuesday evening in his 15-minute remarks, the concerns surrounding the court’s corruption remain, as these headlines show: “A Rare Inside Look at Our Corrupt Supreme Court.” “The US supreme court’s alleged ethics issues are worse than you probably realize.” “The Stench of Corruption Is Growing Stronger Around the Supreme Court.” “Why the Supreme Court Is Blind to Its Own Corruption.”

Watch a short clip of the Chief Justice’s remarks below or at this link.

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Kevin McCarthy’s Long History of Protecting George Santos: Now He Won’t Move to Expel Until ‘Outcome’ of Trial (Video)



U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) after six months of revelations of lies and possible fraudulent activity, surrendered to federal authorities Wednesday morning and is facing 13 criminal charges, from wire fraud to money laundering to lying to Congress and more.

How is it he was allowed to remain a member of Congress for so long, given that many of his lies and many of the allegations of possible fraud and other criminal activity were so well known to the nation, and certainly to the Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, who know possibly earlier than most, possibly as early as the summer of 2021.

Even now, after felony charges have been filed, there will be no effort from the Republican majority House of Representatives, and especially from Speaker McCarthy, to remove Santos from Congress.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy at practically every turn has been protecting Congressman George Santos.

Faced with a minuscule majority, Kevin McCarthy was quick to protect Santos even before the New York Republican representative, now facing federal criminal charges, was sworn into Congress and the California Republican was sworn in as Speaker.

Santos, elected in November of 2022 to represent the people of New York’s 3rd district – the wealthiest in the state and fourth-wealthiest in the nation – was quickly exposed as having lied about nearly his entire background, from his education and work history, to his religion, and apparently even his net worth.

(So expansive is the library of Santos’ lies, New York magazine’s Matt Stieb and Margaret Hartmann have maintained an expansive list, updated Wednesday morning: “Here’s Every Single Lie Told by George Santos.”)

McCarthy, whose goal for years has been to become Speaker of the House, refused to turn against Santos once it became clear that the freshman GOP lawmaker had tremendous power: Republicans have just a five-seat majority, meaning Santos is one of just a few protecting the balance of power, which could move to a Democratic House majority, and a Democratic Speaker of the House, should Santos and just a few other members leave Congress.

READ MORE: While Employed and Running for Congress George Santos Allegedly Received Thousands in Unemployment Benefits: Nassau D.A.

In fact, some, like Washington University in St. Louis Professor Timothy McBride note Santos cast the deciding vote that made McCarthy Speaker – on the fifteenth ballot.

Just days after being elected Speaker, McCarthy made clear he would take no action against Santos, as bombshell after bombshell about Santos’ serial lying exploded at McCarthy’s feet.

“It’s the voters who made that decision, and he has to answer to the voters,” McCarthy said in mid-January, refusing calls to expel him, and just “hours after Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Cairo Jr. said Santos ‘disgraced the House of Representatives,'” as Bloomberg reported.

That same day, January 11, McCarthy said Santos not only would not be expelled, he would be given committee assignments, because as Speaker he “tries to stick to the Constitution,” despite the Constitution not mentioning committee assignments.

McCarthy used the “Constitution” claim as if that were preventing him from expelling Santos, even though the majority of his constituents and the head of Santos’ local party were demanding his expulsion. (Unlike the Speaker of the House in Tennessee, who orchestrated the expulsion of two Black Democrats in violation of what some legal experts say actually were their First Amendment rights.)

NBC News senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake at the time also reported that McCarthy “note[d] that Santos hasn’t been charged with a crime,” implying had he been he might move to expel him.

McCarthy’s protection of Santos continued throughout January.

READ MORE: Bombshell Paper Shows Democrats Likely Won’t Regain Majority Control of Supreme Court Until 2065 – Unless They Expand It

Just one week after ensuring the scandal-laden New York Republican would get committee assignments, McCarthy appeared to casually brush off reports over the past week or more that a Santos campaign aide reportedly had impersonated McCarthy’s chief of staff in fundraising efforts over a period of several years.

“Wealthy donors received calls and emails from a man who said he was Dan Meyer, McCarthy’s chief of staff, during the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, according to people familiar with the matter. His name was actually Sam Miele, and he worked for Santos raising money for his campaign, according to one GOP donor who contributed to Santos’ campaign,” CNBC reported in January.

It’s unclear when and how McCarthy first learned of the possibly unlawful impersonation, and it’s also unknown if or when he reported it to law enforcement authorities.

“You know, I didn’t know about that, it happened. They corrected but I was not notified about that until a later date,” McCarthy claimed to reporters when asked. “I didn’t know about it until a later date though, unfortunately,” he said, repeating himself.

Also in January, before McCarthy claimed he had not known about the impersonation but after reports detailing the deception and that it had been known in McCarthy’s office as early as last August, conservative Bill Kristol observed: “McCarthy seems to have known in 2021 a Santos staffer was impersonating McCarthy’s chief of staff, and he did nothing to inform those who were duped or the public. Nor did he stop Santos from running in 2022. The Santos scandal is also a McCarthy scandal.”

By this point, just halfway into January, McCarthy had taken the posture of not only protecting Santos by refusing to take action against him, he had taken the posture of defending him as if he were Santos’ spokesperson.

On January 17, one day after repeatedly insisting he did not know about a Santos staffer impersonating his chief of staff, Speaker McCarthy became even more involved. Rather than directing reporters’ questions to Santos’ office, he offered remarks that appeared to provide protection to the embattled New York congressman.

CNN’s Manu Raju reported: “Asked if he had concerns before the election about Santos, McCarthy said: ‘My staff had concerns when he had a staff member impersonate my chief of staff and that individual was let go when Mr. Santos found out about it.’”

That not only appeared to possibly conflict with the timeline, but gave Santos direct cover.

Of course, McCarthy had little need to worry about Santos being fully investigated by the Ethics Committee, because after becoming Speaker, in the House Republican majority’s “first official vote, they approved a House rules package that effectively gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the independent body that helps ensure that members of the House don’t abuse their positions,” reported Just Security‘s Gabe Lezra. “It was a striking decision that sent a clear message: the new far-right majority will demand that the other branches of government live up to ethical standards and practices that they themselves have no intention of following.”

By early February it was known that Santos was facing numerous ongoing, pending, or possible investigations, including  from the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nassau District Attorney, the Queens District Attorney, the New York State Attorney General, and the House Ethics Committee.

READ MORE: George Santos: Drag Queen, Congressman, Yacht Broker – FBI Investigating Role in $19 Million Sale Between Donors

And McCarthy protecting Santos continued into February, when, to the anger and shock of many, the Speaker insisted Rep. Santos – already apparently under multiple state and federal investigations, and even a criminal fraud investigation in Brazil – would be allowed to attend a classified briefing by the Pentagon on threats from China.

Government accountability and national security experts blasted McCarthy’s decision to once again protect Santos – who by that point had already stepped down from the committees McCarthy had allowed him on. One expert, retired U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols, an academic specialist on international affairs including Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security, tweeted in response to McCarthy allowing Santos into a classified briefing: “This is insane.”

One day later, February 9, U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) said McCarthy‘s decision to allow Rep. Santos access to classified intelligence was the “final straw” that moved him and two other freshmen Democratic lawmakers to file a resolution to expel the New York Republican from Congress.

The resolution, HR 114, on Feb. 9 was referred to the House Ethics Committee – which McCarthy and his GOP caucus had gutted. It has sat there, no action taken for the past three months. Not action at all. No action despite, in addition to all the lies Santos has told, some of which he has even admitted, there is one allegation that should have brought an immediate investigation.

The week before the resolution to expel Santos was filed, the week before he was allowed to participate in a classified briefing by the Pentagon, a prospective staffer who says he worked without pay for several days in Santos’ Capitol Hill congressional office, accused him of sexual assault.

Derek Myers filed a formal complaint against Santos, alleging the Congressman invited him to a karaoke club on his second day of work, then “proceeded to take his hand and move it down my leg into my inner-thigh and proceeded to touch my groin.”

Santos denied the allegation, calling it “comical.” One article, last week, claims “George Santos appears to be cleared of charges of sexual harassment,” a claim Myers says is false. There have been no other reports.

On Tuesday, the popular liberal political action committee MeidasTouch posted a video comparing McCarthy’s comments in January about Santos to those earlier that day. They show how McCarthy has shifted positions, from suggesting once criminally charged a member of Congress should be expelled, to saying Santos should be allowed to have a trial before any action is taken.

And now, Wednesday morning, McCarthy dug his heels in even more.

Surrounded by aides, mobbed by reporters, McCarthy extends his protection of Santos even further. The Speaker’s position is now Santos is safe until he is found guilty in a federal trial. And possibly even after.

Santos, McCarthy declares, will “go through his time in trial and we’ll find out how the outcome is.”

McCarthy is now not even committing to expelling Santos if he is found guilty of the criminal charges he is facing.

Watch video from CBS News’ Cristina Corujo below or at this link.

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Clarence Thomas in 2001: Being a Supreme Court Justice Is ‘Not Worth Doing for What They Pay’



Ten years into his tenure as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas said the job wasn’t worth the money, while adding it was for the “principle.” Now, two decades later, his commentary offers insight into the jurist whose recently exposed actions have led many Americans including legal and ethics experts to label as “corruption.”

“The job is not worth doing for what they pay,” Justice Thomas told the the Bar Association in Savannah, Georgia in a 2001 speech, reported then by The New York Post, according to Insider. “The job is not worth doing for the grief. But it is worth doing for the principle.”

Insider credits The Nation’s Jeet Heer for resurfacing Justice Thomas’ remarks.

At the time, the nation’s taxpayers gave U.S. Supreme Court justices (technically, their title is associate justice) an annual salary of $178,300. Over the years they’ve received a substantial increase, to $285,400.

READ MORE: ‘Holy Moly, We’ve Got Another One!’: Economists Praise Biden’s ‘Huuuuuge’ Jobs Results as ‘A Force for Equality’

Justices also appear to have substantial time to travel, as allegations of corruption swirl around Justice Thomas for not disclosing at least hundreds of thousands of dollars of travel (which some experts say he was required to disclose) not to mention lavish luxury all-expenses-paid vacations including food, lodging, even clothing.

In 2010 ABC News spoke with several former Supreme Court clerks, including Supreme Court historian and University of Texas law professor Lucas “Scot” Powe, who said that in many ways “it’s the cushiest job in the world.”

“There’s also not that much required work, and they’ve made it less over time,” Powe said.

“The court’s nine-month term also means abundant free time during the summer,” ABC added, “when justices don’t hear oral arguments or meet to decide cases. Many choose to travel the world, giving legal seminars in hot spots like Venice, Italy, or Salzburg, Austria.”

ABC claimed that justices’ annual pay “hasn’t kept pace with inflation over the years and pales in comparison to what a lawyer of similar experience and stature might earn at a private firm. Partners at the top 42 U.S. firms earned more than million dollars each in 2008, according to the trade publication American Lawyer.”

In 2008, associate justices were paid $208,100.

READ MORE: Watch: Dem Senator’s Viral Video Reveals Scalia Accepted Over 70 Undisclosed Gifts of Vacations Like Clarence Thomas

ProPublica has recently reported Justice Thomas over the course of more than two decades was the beneficiary of annual vacations, which he did not disclose. One, the investigative news outlet said, was worth an estimated $500,000.

Billionaire Harlan Crow, a conservative activist who admitted his friendship with Thomas began by offering the justice a free flight on his airplane, hosted both Clarence and Ginni Thomas, the far-right wing activist who worked to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Crow also purchased Thomas’ mother’s house, ProPublica has reported. She continues to live in it, rent free.

This week ProPublica added to its portfolio of investigations into Thomas, revealing that Harlan Crow paid the private school tuition of Thomas’ legal ward, his grandnephew, who the Thomases have cared for since he was six years old. Those tuition payments, also never disclosed, could be worth up to $150,000, ProPublica reported.






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