FBI Director Christopher Wray informed the Senate this Wednesday that the White House had placed restrictions on the recently re-opened probe into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Our supplemental update to the previous background investigation was limited in scope and that … is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back a long ways,” Wray said after being pressed by Democratic Senator Kamala Harris at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on global security threats.
“I’ve spoken with our background investigation specialists, and they have assured me this was handled in a way consistent with their experience and the standard process,” the FBI director said, later continuing to explain that the inquiry had been “very specific in scope—limited in scope.”
When questioned further by Harris if White House counsel Don McGahn had set in place the restrictions on the investigation, Wray said he was unaware if McGahn had made contact with FBI officials on the topic.
“The communication between the FBI and the White House for nominees, including judicial nominees, is through the FBI security division, background investigation specialists and the White House Office of Security,” Wray said. “I can’t speak to what anyone throughout the organization might have received instructions on.”
While Wray did not level any criticisms against the president or the White House, he did lament on the lack of solid factual information in American political discourse.
“We think decisions need to be based on facts,” the FBI chief replied to an abstract question from Democratic Senator Tom Carper on the role of truth in the national debate. “I think more and more this country could stand to, everybody take a deep breath and calm down for a second and focus on the facts. And that’s what we’re going to do at the FBI.”
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