Menendez Responds to FBI’s Kavanaugh Report: A ‘Bulls**t Investigation’

Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) called the FBI's report of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a "bullshit investigation" on Thursday.

After reviewing the FBI's report, Menendez said the agency's investigation was not "thorough" enough, the Washington Examiner reports.

"If that's an investigation, it's a bullshit investigation," Menendez said. "The reality is that that is not a full and thorough investigation. Evidently, the Republicans who gave the directions to the FBI of what could be investigated was extremely limited."

"You know, I  hear a lot about lack of corroboration," Menendez continued. "Well you don't get corroboration if you don't talk to corroborating witnesses at the end of the day, and that obviously didn't happen here. And so I'm amazed that for the highest court in the land, this is the type of report the FBI produces."

The FBI conducted a supplementary background check into Kavanaugh after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged near the end of his confirmation process. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s. Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked for a week-long investigation prior to a confirmation vote on the Senate floor. President Donald Trump subsequently ordered the FBI to conduct the investigation.

The FBI interviewed all the people who Ford said attended the party where the alleged assault took place: Ford’s lifelong female friend Leland Ingham Keyser, Kavanaugh's friend P.J. Smyth, and alleged accomplice Mark Judge. Judge, Smyth, and Keyser have all denied any recollection of a party like the one described by Ford. In addition, the FBI spoke to Chris Garrett, who went out with Ford around the time of the alleged assault, and who is her only known social connection to Kavanaugh and Judge.

Senate Republicans, including Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Lindsay Graham (S.C.), have criticized Democrats for continually trying to "move the goalposts" in an effort to delay, and ultimately prevent, Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Menendez is facing a tough reelection campaign this year, in large part due to allegations of corruption. The New Jersey Democrat was accused of carrying out "official favors" for his friend and mega-donor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, in exchange for private jet flights, vacations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Prosecutors claimed the senator started taking bribes from Melgen shortly after he entered the Senate in 2006, but a judge declared a mistrial in November 2017 after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on the charges.

The Department of Justice announced it would retry the case after the mistrial, which resulted in the federal judge who oversaw the trial acquitting the senator of several charges, hampering the retrial effort. The Department of Justice dropped the case completely within days. In April, however, the Senate Ethics Committee "severely admonished" Menendez after it determined he violated federal law and Senate rules in accepting unreported gifts from Melgen.

Menendez won the seat by almost 20 points in 2012, but polls show him averaging only a single-digit lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin.