Feinstein denies that Ford letter came from her office

Feinstein denies that Ford letter came from her office
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThis week: Democrats, White House set for infrastructure, budget talks Senate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ Senate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips MORE (D-Calif.) rebuked conservative claims she or her staff held onto a confidential letter from Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and leaked it to disrupt his confirmation process.

“Mr. Chairman, let me be clear. I did not hide Dr. Ford’s allegations. I did not leak her story," she said to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending On The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls Canada, Mexico lift tariffs on US goods after Trump scraps steel, aluminum levies MORE (R-Iowa). "She asked me to hold it confidential and I kept it confidential as she asked. She apparently was stalked by the press, felt that what happened, she was forced to come forward, and her greatest fear was realized,” Feinstein, who is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. 

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“I was given some information by a woman who was very much afraid that asked that it be held confidential, and I held it confidential until she decided that she would come forward,” she added, also saying her staff members did not leak the letter.

D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept Ryan Grim, whose publication was the first to receive the letter, tweeted, “Feinstein's staff did not leak the letter to The Intercept.”

Ford initially submitted a letter detailing her allegations of rape to Feinstein and her representative, Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooHillicon Valley: Court rejects Chelsea Manning appeal | Facebook hires lawyer who helped write Patriot Act | Senator seeks details on Russian interference in Florida | Amazon hiring alcohol lobbyist | Ex-Obama aide lobbying for Sprint, T-Mobile merger Former Obama aide lobbying for T-Mobile-Sprint merger T-Mobile merger poses more questions than answers MORE (D-Calif.) in late July outlining the allegations. The letter was leaked earlier this month.

Ford and Kavanaugh both testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to discuss the allegations Ford has brought forth. Kavanaugh adamantly denied the allegations. 

Republicans ripped Feinstein’s handling of the allegations, accusing her of waiting to leak the allegations to have a maximum impact on Kavanaugh’s confirmation chances. 

“If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us. What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020…This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics, and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Press: Justin Amash breaks ranks with party Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin MORE (R-S.C.), who sits on the committee, shouted at Feinstein.

Democrats have repeatedly called for an FBI investigation into allegations from three women detailing various degrees of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh while in high school and college.

Kavanaugh has denied all the accusations and he and the GOP resisted calls for an FBI investigation.