GOP senator: Democrats have turned ‘advice and consent’ into ‘search and destroy’

GOP senator: Democrats have turned ‘advice and consent’ into ‘search and destroy’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonLawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip GOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits MORE (R-Ark.) said Sunday that Democrats have twisted the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh into a partisan attempt to destroy the Supreme Court nominee.

"For three months, the Democrats have turned the advice and consent process into a search and destroy mission," Cotton told CBS's "Face The Nation."

Cotton pointed to the timing of Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a high school party in the summer of 1982.

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"Ms. Ford made these allegations in a confidential letter to [Sen.] Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.] in July shortly after Brett Kavanaugh was nominated," Cotton said.

"The very night he was nominated, [Sen.] Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals' Democrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback MORE [D-N.Y.], the Democratic leader, said that he would do everything in his power to stop the nomination and that's what happened."

Feinstein brought Ford's allegations onto the national stage when she announced one week before Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing that she was bringing them to the FBI. 

Shortly after, Ford came forward when someone leaked her accusations to the press. 

Cotton said Sunday that Democrats could have brought the allegation to the FBI and, in not doing so, betrayed Ford.

"Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSchiff should consider using RICO framework to organize impeachment We need answers to questions mainstream media won't ask about Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Syria fallout MORE could have showed that letter to [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman] Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate Farmers: New Trump ethanol proposal reneged on previous deal MORE [R-Iowa] and the two of them as the leaders of that committee could have shared it with the FBI who could've discretely conducted this inquiry in July and in August without betraying Ms. Ford's confidences," Cotton said, noting that such practice was "a well-established process."

Cotton also pointed to the lack of supporting evidence for Ford's claim.

"What evidence there is to a 36-year-old claim, all support Judge Kavanaugh's denial," Cotton said. "The Democrats have disgraced this process and the United States Senate in the orchestrated smear campaign they have run against Judge Kavanaugh." 

Cotton added Sunday that there will be investigations into Feinstein and her staff as well as Ford's lawyers.

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

During last Thursday's hearings, Feinstein denied hiding or leaking the letter Ford sent her.

"I did not hide Dr. Ford’s allegations. I did not leak her story," Feinstein said. "She asked me to hold it confidential and I kept it confidential, as she asked."

A Senate vote on his confirmation has been delayed for one week while the FBI investigates allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women against Kavanaugh, which he denies.