A Democrat from Rhode Island revealed the FBI might have investigated the previous presidential pick for U.S. Supreme Court justice under false pretenses.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) openly suggested the 2018 federal inquiry into Brett Kavanaugh was nothing more than a politically motivated hoax.

Correspondence between Whitehouse and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland shows former President Donald Trump’s pick for Supreme Court associate justice was not really the subject of a so-called background investigation after all.

“[This was not] what Director [Christopher] Wray promised: a background investigation ‘consistent with [the FBI’s] long-standing policies, practices, and procedures,'” Whitehouse said in the March 11 letter. “[It] appears to have been a politically-constrained and perhaps fake FBI investigation into alleged misconduct by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

Whitehouse admitted further alleged witnesses had offered to testify, but federal law enforcement agents only seemed interested in hearing from Kavanaugh’s former classmate, Christine Blasey Ford. Ford had accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her back when they attended high school in 1983.

“One [law] firm provided names of potential witnesses that had information ‘highly relevant to … allegations’ of misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh,'” he said. “The other firm’s letter recounted how counsel for a witness with whom agents had met provided the FBI with ‘more than 20 additional witnesses likely to have relevant information,’ and included an affidavit from a credible witness [Partnership for Public Service President Max Stier] … but the FBI refused to interview Mr. Stier.'”

The same witnesses had allegedly tried to contact FBI agents many times, but none of their accounts seemed to be taken seriously enough and were not actioned.

“[They] ‘tried in vain to reach the FBI on their own’ but could find no one at the bureau willing to accept their testimony,” Whitehouse said. “When members made inquiries, we faced the same experience: the FBI had assigned no person to accept or gather evidence.”

The senator described the law enforcement organization’s behavior as strange because it has a duty to investigate credible evidence.

“This was unique behavior in my experience as the bureau is usually amenable to information and evidence but, in this matter, the shutters were closed, the drawbridge drawn up, and there was no point of entry by which members of the public or Congress could provide information to the FBI,” Whitehouse said.

If the FBI participated in a false inquiry, he believes Congress should call a formal committee meeting to fully investigate what happened.

“If standard procedures were violated, and the bureau conducted a fake investigation rather than a sincere, thorough and professional one that—in my view—merits congressional oversight to understand how, why, and at whose behest and with whose knowledge or connivance, this was done,” he said.

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