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 CottonOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Ark.) asserted on Sunday that Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Feinstein grappling with vote on AG nominee Barr 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony 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 GrassleySenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid 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 SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid 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 directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE stoked speculation that Feinstein or her staff may have leaked the letter, basing his claims on her body language.