Two GOP senators called Sunday for an investigation into the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., over allegations made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, on separate Sunday talk shows suggested Feinstein’s office might have leaked a confidential letter by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school.
“That’s illegal, inappropriate,” Graham said on ABC’s “This Week,” reported The Huffington Post. “The FBI will do a supplemental background investigation (of the Kavanaugh allegations) then I’m going to call for an investigation of what happened in this committee — who betrayed Dr. Ford’s trust.”
Graham said he suspects “somebody” in Feinstein’s office of leaking the information, reported The Huffington Post. He did not cite any evidence for the accusation.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“All I can tell you is it came from somebody with a political motive. … No friend would do this to Dr. Ford,” Graham said on “This Week,” according to The Huffington Post.
“She has been victimized by Democrats ... on a search-and-destroy mission for Brett Kavanaugh,” Cotton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” reported Politico.
Cotton also called for a bar association investigation of Ford’s attorneys, who Cotton accused of misleading her, Politico reported.
Ford had written a confidential letter to Feinstein in July laying out her accusations against Kavanaugh, whom she accuses of groping her at a high school party.
She later came forward in an interview with The Washington Post, sparking a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday with Ford and Kavanaugh. Graham, Cotton and Feinstein all serve on the committee.
On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., also on the panel, voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate with a one-week delay to allow a FBI investigation of the accusations against him.
During Thursday’s hearing, Feinstein denied her office had mishandled Ford’s letter, reported Fox News.
“I don’t believe my staff would leak it,” Feinstein said, according to Fox News, then added, “The answer is no” after consulting with her staff. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, replied that “somebody leaked it.”
“Well, I’m telling you I did not,” said Feinstein, according to the network. “It’s my understanding that (Ford’s) story was leaked before the letter became public and she testified that she had spoken to her friends about it, and it’s most likely that that’s how this story leaked ... But it did not leak from us, I assure you that.”
Ryan Grim, editor of The Intercept, which first revealed Ford’s allegations, wrote Thursday on Twitter that the information did not come from Feinstein’s office. In a subsequent post, Grim also denied her office had leaked the existence of the letter.
Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations and those brought by at least two other women, reported CNN.
Cotton said on “Face the Nation” that Feinstein and other Democrats are to blame if the political furor over Ford’s accusations causes women to be more fearful about reporting sexual assault, reported Politico.
“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 Schumer not respecting her requests for confidentiality,“ Cotton said, according to Politico.