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Cotton says Feinstein will be investigated over Ford letter

Cotton says Feinstein will be investigated over Ford letter
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonBarrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ark.) asserted on Sunday that Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big MORE (D-Calif.) will face an investigation over her handling of a letter from Christine Blasey Ford in which she alleged Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago.

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Cotton disputed the legitimacy of Feinstein's claim that she did not disclose Ford's letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Republicans: Supreme Court won't toss ObamaCare Barrett sidesteps Democratic questions amid high-stakes grilling MORE (R-Iowa) because Ford had asked it remain private.

"They have betrayed her. They pointed her to lawyers who lied to her and did not tell her that the committee staff was willing to go to California to interview her. Now all of that is water under the bridge," Cotton said.

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"Those lawyers are going to face a D.C. bar investigation into their misconduct," he continued. "Dianne Feinstein and her staff is going to face an investigation for why they leaked that."

Cotton did not elaborate on who would conduct such an investigation, but Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has adamantly denied that her office leaked Ford's letter.

Feinstein's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Feinstein first received a letter from Ford detailing the allegations in July, but Ford had asked that it remain private.

Ford went public with her allegation earlier this month that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her during a high school party in the 1980s after reports began to surface that Feinstein turned over a letter to the FBI that included a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Cotton took his attacks on Feinstein a step further on Sunday, arguing that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, any negative effects it has on the willingness among women to share their stories of sexual assault should be blamed on Feinstein and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump to lift Sudan terror sponsor designation Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges MORE (D-N.Y.).

"Any impact that this entire episode has had on women's willingness to come forward and report sexual assault, which I encourage them all to do immediately after it happens, is caused by the Democrats, is caused by Dianne Feinstein and Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerTrump to lift Sudan terror sponsor designation Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges MORE not respecting her requests for confidentiality," Cotton said.

Following Ford's allegation, Republicans have focused much of their criticism on Feinstein for not sharing the claim with them or with Kavanaugh earlier in the confirmation process.

At a rally Saturday night, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE stoked speculation that Feinstein or her staff may have leaked the letter, basing his claims on her body language.