Kirsters Baish| Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and her Office have reportedly refused to release the unredacted letter accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of an alleged 36-year-old sexual assault after it was requested by GOP lawmakers.
“I cannot overstate how disappointed I am,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley stated in a letter written this past Wednesday. The letter was sent to California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. In it, he requested the unredacted letter written by Christine Blasey Ford, Fox News reported.
It was reported that this past July, Senator Feinstein was sent a letter by Blasey-Ford. In the letter, Blasey-Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of having sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago at a high school party. The letter was not released by Feinstein’s office until this month (September.)
Feinstein did not share the letter with other members of the Judiciary Committee. She only shared it with the FBI.
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 19, 2018
“My staff has made repeated requests for this document — which has become a significant piece of evidence in Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process — but your staff has so far refused to provide a copy of the letter,” Grassley wrote. He made note that the only copy that was available to the panel is one that has been heavily redacted. The one that is unredacted is one “that only senators and a handful of very select staff are authorized to read.”
“Sexual assault allegations deserve serious attention, and those who make such allegations must be heard. They should not be deployed strategically for political gain,” Grassley wrote. He seemed to be scolding Senator Feinstein for keeping the letter a secret for so long.
“There were numerous opportunities to raise the serious allegations made in the letter during the course of this nomination process. They could have been raised in your closed-door meeting with Judge Kavanaugh on August 20. Sixty-four other senators also met with Judge Kavanaugh prior to his confirmation hearing. These senators could have asked Judge Kavanaugh about these allegations if you had shared the letter,” he continued.
He wrote, “Had Dr. Ford not made her allegations public via The Washington Post over the weekend, I still would not know her identity. The fact is that these allegations could have been raised both within the last seven weeks and in a way that protected Dr. Ford’s anonymity. Instead, you chose to sit on the allegations until a politically opportune moment. I cannot overstate how disappointed I am in this decision.”
In the letter, it was stated that Grassley had offered the alleged victim numerous options of ways to testify.
“I have offered her the opportunity to testify in any of four possible venues: (1) a public hearing; (2) a private hearing; (3) a public staff interview; or (4) a private staff interview. I am even willing to have my staff travel to Dr. Ford in California — or anywhere else — to obtain her testimony,” he wrote.
Other Senate Democrats stood up for Feinstein’s behavior
“There is Dianne thinking: Here is a woman who may have been the victim of sexual assault who doesn’t want her name made public,” sated Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. “That is a tough call at that point. You want to be sensitive to [Ford] and the reality of if it went public against her will.”
“There’s a process here that seems to be a bit suspicious,” explained South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.