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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 CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Court fines baker 0 for refusing to make gender transition cake Nikki Haley warns Republicans on China: 'If they take Taiwan, it's all over' 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 SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar 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 FeinsteinYouth climate activists march outside California homes of Pelosi and Feinstein Cosmetic chemicals need a makeover Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE could have showed that letter to [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman] Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections 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.