GOP senator on allegation against Kavanaugh: 'Why on Earth' wasn't it discussed earlier?

GOP senator on allegation against Kavanaugh: 'Why on Earth' wasn't it discussed earlier?
© Greg Nash

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) on Sunday questioned why a letter that reportedly details sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is just now surfacing, despite Senate Democrats allegedly obtaining the letter in July.

Tillis, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said he hasn’t seen the letter and that he’s “shocked that the matter didn't come up in the nearly 32 hours of testimony” that Kavanaugh gave during his Senate confirmation hearing last week.

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“So when we get back to Washington this week we'll take a look at [the letter] but it really raises a question in my mind about if this was material to the confirmation process,” he continued. “Why on Earth, over the past four to six weeks, hasn’t it been discussed among the committee members?”

The letter, first reported Wednesday, alleges an incident between Kavanaugh and a woman when the two were in high school. The letter was reportedly first given to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) before Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension Senate Intel leaders ask judge not to jail former aide amid leak investigation Dems demand Pompeo brief Congress on whether he discussed Assange with Ecuadorian official MORE (D-Calif.) obtained the letter in July.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) also questioned the timing of the letter on Sunday, taking aim at Feinstein because she “said nothing” of the letter and its reported allegations until recently.

Feinstein has declined to answer questions about the letter's contents, but a spokesperson for her office said Friday that the California senator said the woman who accused Kavanaugh "did not want this information to be public." Feinstein received the information "through a third party," the spokesperson said.

Kavanaugh on Friday said he "categorically and unequivocally" denies the allegation. Senate Democrats said that they had referred the incident to the FBI, which confirmed that it received the letter on Thursday.

Kavanaugh last week flew through a days-long confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is expected to be confirmed to the high court, and Tillis predicted that Kavanaugh will be confirmed before October.