Ms. Kelly, speaking on behalf of both reporters, said that while she would “take issue” with Mr. Grassley’s “characterization,” she “can’t get into who our sources were” to protect their confidentiality.
Democrats, though, argued that Mr. Stier’s account echoed the episode that Ms. Ramirez described.
“There should certainly be a full, fair investigation, as was never done at the time,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut. “It was a sham, as we said then, and there should be a full inquiry now.”
In their book, Ms. Pogrebin and Ms. Kelly recount an episode in which Mr. Coons, deeply frustrated about the scope of the inquiry, called the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, on his cellphone to complain. Mr. McGahn told the senator that the investigation would be conducted “by the book.”
“So I said: ‘Don, thank you, this is great. Send me the book,’” the authors quoted Mr. Coons as saying. In an interview Monday, Mr. Coons said that he felt then, and still feels, that the inquiry was inadequate, adding that it “turned out to be a brief, cramped and narrow additional investigation.”
Despite the calls for Justice Kavanaugh’s impeachment from the left, Democrats in Congress who could investigate and initiate proceedings to try to remove him from the court signaled they were cool to the idea on Monday.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told WNYC in New York that he viewed the F.B.I.’s background investigation as a “sham” and said he planned to ask Mr. Wray about it when he appeared for a regular oversight hearing next month. But Mr. Nadler did not promise any additional action before then.
Mr. Nadler had promised last year, around the time of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation, that he would use his panel to conduct a full-scale investigation of the accusations against the nominee if Democrats won control of the House.