Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her staff will now face a Senate committee investigation to determine their involvement in the leaking of Christine Blasey Ford’s confidential letter to the media.
Feinstein received the letter from Ford, which detailed sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, earlier this summer. After the confirmation hearings had completed and Kavanaugh seemed poised for an easy path to the Supreme Court, did the letter leak. The release of the letter, which revealed Ford’s name, has temporarily derailed the nomination process.
In an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee holding the confirmation hearing, says they will investigate who leaked the letter and Ford’s identity to the media.
“They have betrayed her,” Cotton said. “She has been victimized by Democrats … on a search-and-destroy mission for Brett Kavanaugh.”
Democrats have been surprisingly uninterested in who leaked Ford’s name to the media. Ford herself said she reluctantly came forward only after media members began contacting her with the possibility that her identity would go public.
During the confirmation hearings, Feinstein was widely criticized by feminists opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination, who said she was not “tough enough” in her questioning of the judge. It was only after the hearings ended that Feinstein’s letter mysteriously leaked.
Feinstein, who represents California and who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, had received the letter from Ford sometime over the summer and was asked to keep it confidential. At some point, however, the letter was leaked to the press, although Feinstein denies that anyone in her office is responsible.
Cotton added that the Democrats will be to blame if women stop coming forward to report sexual assaults because Ford’s confidentiality was compromised. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that 63 percent of incidents of sexual abuse go unreported to the police.
Along with the investigation into Feinstein’s handling of the letter, Cotton noted that lawyers recommended to Ford by Democrats will face a bar investigation in Washington, D.C., for telling her that Senate Judiciary Committee staffers were unwilling to travel to California to interview her about her sexual-assault allegation.
The Arkansas Republican’s comments come as the FBI is investigating two of the three allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at Kavanaugh.
Besides Ford, Deborah Ramirez has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were Yale classmates. Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez’s claim that he exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s.
Another woman, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations. Kavanaugh has called her accusations a “joke.”
Here is Sen. Cotton’s appearance on “Face the Nation.”
Dianne Feinstein has not responded to Sen. Cotton’s statements regarding an investigation.
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