Dem rep who met with Kavanaugh accuser: 'She wanted her truth to come out'

Dem rep who met with Kavanaugh accuser: 'She wanted her truth to come out'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooRepresenting patients’ voices Dem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi Heritage: Repealing GOP tax law would raise taxes in every district MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday detailed how Christine Blasey Ford came to her with an allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying that Ford was "scarred" by the incident "and will be for a lifetime."

"I think that my constituent all along had a tug-of-war going on inside of her understanding what privacy brought to her, but also the risks of moving over into the public square," Eshoo said on CNN's "Outfront" the same day that the Senate Judiciary Committee announced it would be holding a new hearing featuring testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh.

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"She did decide that she wanted her truth to come out and she would tell her story and not have others mischaracterize it," Eshoo continued, adding that she has not spoken with Ford since her identity became public on Sunday.

"I can tell you from the time that I spent with her and what she shared with me, it was self-evident that she had been scarred by this experience, and will be for a lifetime," Eshoo said.

Kavanaugh's nomination has been upended over the allegations, detailed on Sunday in The Washington Post, in which Ford said Kavanaugh assaulted her during a high school party in the 1980s.

Ford said Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed and attempted to remove her clothes, then put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations, and told Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchThe Hill's Morning Report — What a shutdown would mean for the government GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander won't seek reelection Hatch walks back remarks that he didn't 'care' if Trump broke the law MORE (R-Utah) on Monday that he was not at the party Ford described.

Both Kavanaugh and Ford are expected to testify during a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 24.

Rumors of the claim swirled for days after Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats will fail if they portray William Barr as controversial pick Senate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension Senate Intel leaders ask judge not to jail former aide amid leak investigation MORE (D-Calif.) acknowledged earlier this month she referred a letter to the FBI regarding Kavanaugh.

Democrats have faced scrutiny from Republicans and Kavanaugh allies over the timing of the allegation, which critics have described as a last-ditch effort to derail the judge's nomination because the letter was delivered in July.

Eshoo on Monday defended Feinstein's handling of the incident, and explained the sequence of events leading up to Ford's disclosure in the Post. 

Ford first reached out to Eshoo's Paolo Alto, Calif., office to request a meeting, the lawmaker said. The two spoke for more than an hour in July, Eshoo said, at which point Ford requested the congresswoman "take it to another level."

Eshoo said she contacted Feinstein, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary panel. Eshoo's office received a letter from Ford dated July 30, which was hand-delivered on the same day to Feinstein's office.

The letter did not emerge during any of the meetings between Kavanaugh and senators or during his weeklong confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

"I don't know the inner workings of the Senate, but I know that Sen. Feinstein did everything to protect the privacy of our mutual constituent," Eshoo said. "And I respect her for that."