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 CottonSunday shows preview: Protests against George Floyd's death, police brutality rock the nation for a second week Tom Cotton defends Ivanka Trump over canceled commencement speech: 'Woke' critics 'ruined it for everyone' NYT says Tom Cotton editorial 'did not meet our standards' MORE (R-Ark.) asserted on Sunday that Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP chairmen stake out turf in Obama-era probes Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Democrats aim to amend Graham subpoena to include Trump allies 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 GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - DC preps for massive Saturday protest; Murkowski breaks with Trump Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump CBO releases analysis on extending increased unemployment benefits 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 SchumerSheldon Whitehouse leads Democrats into battle against Trump judiciary GOP lawmaker calls on Senate to confirm Michael Pack as head of US media agency McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters 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 SchumerSheldon Whitehouse leads Democrats into battle against Trump judiciary GOP lawmaker calls on Senate to confirm Michael Pack as head of US media agency McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters 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 TrumpMitt Romney invokes late father during the Civil Rights Movement amid protests White House wanted to deploy 10,000 troops to control protests: reports Zuckerberg, Chan-funded scientists pen 'letter of concern' over Trump, misinformation MORE stoked speculation that Feinstein or her staff may have leaked the letter, basing his claims on her body language.