During Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing concerning dubious and uncorroborated sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Senator Diane Feinstein squirmed when hit with questioning regarding the initial leak of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation to the press, which reports indicate came from Feinstein’s staff.
After going back and forth as to whether she ever even asked her staff about the leak, Feinstein ultimately placed the blame for the leak on Dr. Ford, the alleged victim.
“I was given some information by a woman who was very much afraid, who asked that it be held confidential, and I held it confidential until she decided that she would come forward,” stated the senator.
Asked by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) if her staff leaked Ford’s letter to the press, the exchange between Feinstein and Cornyn began as follows:
Feinstein: I don’t believe my staff would leak it. I have not asked that question directly, but I do not believe they would.
Cornyn: Do you know that? I mean, how in the world would that get in the hands of the press –?
Feinstein: The answer is no. The staff said that they did not.
Cornyn: Have you asked your staff, or other staffers of the Judiciary Committee?
Feinstein: I just did. … Jennifer reminds me I’ve asked her before about it. And that’s true.
Cornyn: Well, somebody leaked it if it wasn’t you.
Feinstein: Well, I’m telling you it was not — I did not. I was asked to keep it confidential. And I was criticized for that, too.
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) September 27, 2018
Continuing to be pressed, Feinstein said it was probably Ford who was responsible for the leak since she had told some of her friends.
Feinstein says most likely leak of Ford's letter was from "her friends."
Cornyn points out her friends didn't have the letter.
Feinstein says friends may have spread story (not letter) by word of mouth.
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) September 27, 2018
Senator Feinstein received Dr. Ford’s accusation in July but sat on it for weeks before teasing it publicly. In that time, it seems the uncorroborated allegation could have been looked into, Kavanaugh could have been questioned privately, and Ford’s anonymity could have been protected.
But then again, how would that help Democrats score political points and delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation?