Republicans may be sitting on their hands hoping the explosive controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh‘s Supreme Court nomination blows over, but Democrats are fighting back.
Responding to new reporting that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is receiving death threats following her decision to step into the public arena to share her story, Democrats sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray urging him to open an investigation into the crimes which “appear intended to intimidate Dr. Blasey Ford.”
“We are increasingly concerned by reports of alleged death threats against her, the hacking of her email, and the harassment and intimidation she has faced since being forced into the spotlight late last week,” Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote.
More from the letter:
The federal crimes potentially being committed against Dr. Blasey Ford may include, inter alia, violations of 18 U.S.C. § 875 (threats transmitted via interstate communications), 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act), 18 U.S.C. § 1505 (obstruction of proceedings before committees), and 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (witness intimidation).1 Investigating such serious federal crimes is, of course, squarely within the duty of the Bureau and does not require a referral from the White House or any administration officials.
Moreover, because these alleged federal crimes appear intended to intimidate Dr. Blasey Ford and potentially prevent her from testifying about her credible allegations of sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the FBI may obtain information concerning criminal activity not within the FBI‘s investigative jurisdiction, including for example violations of Maryland‘s criminal code dealing with rape and sexual assault. As you are aware, when an FBI employee receives such information, the employee “must promptly transmit the information or refer the complaint to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.” The FBI may also provide such information to “Congress or to congressional committees.”
The Bureau should promptly investigate these potential crimes against Dr. Blasey Ford and provide updates to Congress as appropriate.
Democrats are doing their job while Republicans sit on their hands
As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, Republicans have called for FBI investigations during previous SCOTUS confirmation processes. In the case of Brett Kavanaugh, however, they seem to be breaking their own precedent.
Not only are the allegations against Kavanaugh serious and credible enough to warrant a full and fair investigation, but the potential crimes now being committed against Dr. Blasey Ford – all because she chose to speak out – are more than enough to warrant an inquiry.
Republicans in Congress should join their Democratic colleagues in calling for an immediate investigation into Blasey Ford’s allegations and the crimes now being committed against her. If they don’t, they should prepare to be replaced in November by lawmakers who will.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.