Because of my position on the Senate Judiciary Committee, people reached out to my office to find out where to go in the FBI with information relevant to the allegations against Kavanaugh. My team and I saw this deflection firsthand. We were given the runaround by the FBI. No one was designated to receive information related to Kavanaugh; people trying to help were referred to an FBI “tip line.”

That was also unusual. Usually, FBI agents want to talk with people who claim to have information and to take statements (often referred to as “302s”). A witness interview allows agents to pursue lines of questioning and to evaluate credibility. A tip line may supplement that process, but it ordinarily does not replace it.

Another flag went up when FBI Director Christopher Wray began to disavow responsibility for the investigation. He pointed out very publicly that the Kavanaugh investigation was not being run under FBI investigative protocols but following directions from the White House — a passing of the buck seemingly to distance his organization from what it had to know was a bogus investigative effort. Indeed, Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in October that the FBI’s investigation of the sexual assault claims was “limited in scope,” and that the bureau’s authority to carry out the investigation was “as requested by the adjudicating agency. … In this case, it’s the White House.”