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OPINION: Odds FBI missed Kavanaugh’s behavior “slim”, says former agent

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during the third day of his confirmation hearing, on Sept. 6, 2018 at Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As many as four women have now accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. And yet, despite all of the stories, six separate FBI background checks failed to find any hint of misbehavior.

With so many accusations coming out of the woodwork, it seems almost impossible that an FBI background check could overlook something this big. But does that mean that Kavanaugh’s innocent, or that there is something wrong with the way we do background checks?

KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic sat down with former FBI attorney and special agent Greg Rogers to talk about just that. Rogers shared his expertise, gave his insights, and explained what these FBI background checks really entail.

A wave of accusations

Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the first two women to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. (Benjamin Rasmussen/The New Yorker)

The accusations against Brett Kavanaugh began on September 16th, when Christine Blasey Ford publicly alleged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in 1982. Just yesterday, Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez has added another accusation to the record, and early reports today suggest that two more accusers may soon formally speak out against the Supreme Court nominee.

The accusations are shocking by any standard, but even moreso because of Justice Kavanuagh’s distinguished position. As part of the process of reaching the position he holds today, Kavanaugh has been subjected to six separate FBI background investigations, but there are still no reports suggesting that the FBI uncovered any hint of sexual misbehavior.

“The chances of those things not coming out in a background investigation,” Greg Rogers told Dave & Dujanovic, “are very slim.”

Inside an FBI background investigation

Greg Rogers, retired FBI attorney and agent. (KSL File Photo)

An FBI background investigation, Rogers explained, is extremely thorough. Usually, the process takes 30 to 60 days, often delving into their finances, criminal history, and even relationships.

“It’s an investigation where we talk to your peers, professors, teachers, friends, neighbors,” Rogers said. The FBI, he explained, follow up not only on the applicant’s references, but will even track down and interview names the applicant never mentioned if they believe they are relevant.

One of those things they look for is their abuse of intoxicants. “If this were a pattern of behavior on his part,” Rogers said, referring to the accusations of Kavanaugh’s bad behavior after drinking, “the chances of that not coming out on a normal background investigation are quite frankly very slim.”

Kavanaugh’s investigation would take weeks

Supreme court appointee Brett Kavanaugh. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Still, Greg Rogers strongly believes that the FBI should investigate Kavanaugh again. That investigation, he says, would not significantly slow down the process.

An FBI investigation isn’t a criminal investigation. The investigation would not look into Kavanaugh with the intent to press charges, and if any evidence of criminal charges did come up, the FBI would have to pass them off to the local police. Instead, they would simply look at his moral character and his suitability for office.

“He’s been through several FBI background cases,” Rogers says, and that means that a lot of the work involved in a background check has already been finished. Instead, the FBI would only have to investigate the allegations against him.

“It wouldn’t take long,” Rogers believes. In fact, with a case of this magnitude, “it would be a matter of weeks.”

More to the story

Listen to KSL’s full interview with Greg Rogers:

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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