Cruz, Cornyn spar with Feinstein at Kavanaugh hearing over leak of Ford letter
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., denied Thursday that her workplace leaked Christine Blasey Ford’s letter accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault to the media earlier this month.
"I don’t think my employees would leak it," Feinstein said in response to a question from Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas. "I have not asked that question directly."
Following a pause, apparently to consult with her staff, Feinstein told Cornyn: "The answer is no."
"Well, somebody leaked it if it wasn’t you," Cornyn answered.
"Well, I am telling you I did not," said Feinstein, who added: "It’s my understanding that [Ford’s] story was leaked before the letter became public and she testified that she had spoken to her pals about it, and it really is most most likely that that’s how this story leaked … But it did not leak from us, I assure you that."
The exchange amongst Feinstein and Cornyn followed a statement by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who accused Feinstein and the committee’s Democrats of putting Kavanaugh by way of a "profoundly unfair process."
"This committee could have investigated these claims in a confidential way that respected Dr. Ford&rsquos privacy," Cruz said. "The only folks that could have released that letter were either the ranking member and her employees or [Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who forwarded Ford’s letter to Feinstein.]"
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The existence of Ford’s letter to Feinstein alleging that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her was very first reported by the site The Intercept on Sept. 12. At the time, Feinstein stated that Ford had "strongly requested confidentiality … and I have honored that selection."
Intercept reporter Ryan Grim, who broke the story of Ford’s letter, tweeted: "Feinstein’s employees did not leak the letter to The Intercept.
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"Nor did she or her employees leak the existence of the letter to The Intercept," Grim added. "After our story, she turned it more than to the FBI, which placed it in his background file, which meant that it became broadly offered and soon after it was leaked to CNN."
Ford went public with her allegation in a Washington Post write-up published Sept. 16. The Post reported that the letter had been study to its reporter, although it was unclear by whom.
Following the hearing, Feinstein issued a statement defending her actions.
"Dr. Blasey Ford asked that her details be kept confidential, and it was," she stated. "I only referred her letter to the FBI right after it was leaked and reporters have been knocking on her door. I don&rsquot know who leaked the details, but it wasn&rsquot my workplace."
Published at Thu, 27 Sep 2018 23:45:00 +0000