Cotton says Feinstein will be investigated over Ford letter

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

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator: Supreme Court abortion cases were 'wrongly decided as a constitutional matter' Senate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips Cotton: US could win war with Iran in 'two strikes' MORE (R-Ark.) asserted on Sunday that 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.) 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 GrassleyTrump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report Nursing home care: A growing crisis for an aging America  Senate chairman says bipartisan health care package coming Thursday 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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 TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE stoked speculation that Feinstein or her staff may have leaked the letter, basing his claims on her body language.