Feinstein sends mysterious tip about Kavanaugh to federal investigators

Editor’s Note: So now we have another anonymous piece of information which will lead us to assumptions and supposed doubt. There is no end where evil will not go.


By John Wildermuth   |   San Francisco Chronicle 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent information she received about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to federal investigators, she said Thursday, even as she refused to reveal details about the tip.

The California Democrat said in a statement that she had “received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.” The person supplying the information “strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision,” she said.

“I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,” Feinstein said.

According to the Intercept, an online news organization that broke the story Wednesday night, the information came in a letter that “describes an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman while they were in high school.”

Kavanaugh, 53, attended Georgetown Preparatory School, a male-only Catholic high school outside Washington, D.C.

The story also said the woman named in the letter is being represented by Debra Katz, a Washington attorney who works with victims of sexual misconduct.

Feinstein reportedly received the letter from Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, after it was relayed from someone affiliated with Stanford University.

Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The panel held a four-day confirmation hearing on Kavanaugh’s nomination last week, at which Democrats raised questions about the political and legal background of the federal appeals court judge.

The White House dismissed speculation regarding the letter as an attempt by Democrats to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court, which could come as soon as this month.

“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Senator Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’” about Kavanaugh, said White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec. She said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate Democratic leader, “promised to ‘oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have,’ and it appears he is delivering with this 11th-hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, said the information Feinstein received had been sent to the FBI.

The Washington Post cited someone it described as being familiar with the case as saying the FBI does not intend to start a criminal investigation. Instead, the agency has passed the material to the White House as an update to Kavanaugh’s background check, the person said.

On Thursday, the GOP majority on the Judiciary Committee rejected attempts by Feinstein and other Democrats to delay a vote to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor for approval.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., protested what he called a rush to judgment on Kavanaugh, arguing that the nomination will be “tainted.”

“We lack the time. We lack the documents,” he said.

Feinstein asked the committee to subpoena documents from Kavanaugh’s years as staff secretary to then-President George W. Bush, saying senators “should be able to see this record.”

But committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, brushed aside the Democratic complaints and set Thursday as the date for the committee’s vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

That would set the stage for a vote by the full Senate that could put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court in time for the Oct. 1 opening of its session.

“Sen. Grassley is aware of Sen. Feinstein’s referral,” said Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley. “He has not seen the letter in question and is respecting the request for confidentiality. There’s no plan to change the committee’s consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”

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