Feinstein backs Kavanaugh accuser's decision to go public

Feinstein backs Kavanaugh accuser's decision to go public

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP Senate candidate: Allegations against Kavanaugh 'absurd' Grassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said she supports Christine Blasey Ford's decision to break her silence over sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and called for a delay on Kavanaugh's confirmation vote while the FBI investigates the claims.

"From the outset, I have believed these allegations were extremely serious and bear heavily on Judge Kavanaugh's character," Feinstein said. "However, as we have seen over the past few days, they also come at a price for the victim. I hope the attacks and shaming of her will stop and this will be treated with the seriousness it deserves."

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"I support Mrs. Ford's decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation," she continued. "This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee."

Feinstein had been criticized for not publicizing Ford's allegations, which Feinstein had previously learned of through a "third party," a spokesman said last week.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. 

Ford, now a 51-year-old professor at Palo Alto University in California, went public Sunday with her allegations in an interview with The Washington Post. 

Ford described to the Post an incident between her and Kavanaugh in high school, alleging that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed one summer in the 1980s and forced himself on her. Ford told the Post that Kavanaugh "groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it."