What we all know in regards to the doubtlessly explosive letter Sen. Feinstein despatched to the FBI about Brett Kavanaugh


It appears to be about sexual misconduct, again when the Supreme Court docket nominee was in highschool.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the highest Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, has advised the FBI one thing about Brett Kavanaugh.

However she isn’t saying what. Feinstein put out a cryptic assertion Thursday. “I’ve obtained data from a person in regards to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court docket,” she stated. “That particular person strongly requested confidentiality, declined to return ahead or press the matter additional, and I’ve honored that call. I’ve, nevertheless, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

The problem appears to be associated to sexual misconduct. The Intercept’s Ryan Grim and HuffPost’s Igor Bobic, Amanda Terkel, Jennifer Bendery, Paul Blumenthal, and Ashley Feinberg reported Feinstein had obtained a letter from a California constituent about an incident that happened between Kavanaugh and a girl whereas the 53-year-old nominee was in highschool. The New York Times’s Catie Edmondson and Nicholas Fandos, citing two officers accustomed to the matter, stated it was associated to “doable sexual misconduct.”

The White Home argued that this was merely a last-ditch Democratic try and stymie Kavanaugh’s nomination. “All through his affirmation course of, Choose Kavanaugh has had 65 conferences with senators — together with with Senator Feinstein — sat by way of over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and extra questions in a confidential session. Not till the eve of his affirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anybody raised the specter of recent ‘data’ about him,” stated White Home spokesperson Kerri Kupec in a press release.

The FBI says it has added the letter to Kavanaugh’s file. “Upon receipt of the knowledge on the evening of September 12, we included it as a part of Choose Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the usual course of,” an FBI spokesperson stated.

A consultant for Committee Chair Chuck Grassley told CNBC that the panel at present intends to maneuver ahead with Kavanaugh’s affirmation course of, which features a committee vote set to happen subsequent Thursday, September 20. “There’s no plan to alter the committee’s consideration of Choose Kavanaugh’s nomination,” the spokesperson famous.

Feinstein’s assertion is the most recent twist in an more and more bitter struggle over many points of Kavanaugh’s document and the dealing with of his affirmation course of. Democrats have argued that Republicans’ efforts to obscure paperwork from Kavanaugh’s information have prevented them from totally vetting his expertise on points like Bush-era detainee coverage and affirmative motion. And so they’ve questioned Kavanaugh aggressively about whether or not he knew about sexual misconduct allegations towards retired federal choose Alex Kozinski, whom he clerked for.

However many particulars are nonetheless unclear, together with the essential query of what Kavanaugh is accused of within the constituent’s letter — if he’s accused of something in any respect.

What we all know

To date, there are extra questions than solutions about what the letter is about. The letter itself is a secondhand account of an incident that hasn’t been described to reporters. Feinstein isn’t saying a lot: The Intercept studies that the letter had been inflicting a stir on Capitol Hill as a result of she had refused to reveal it even to fellow Senate Democrats.

The letter was from somebody affiliated with Stanford College who had the incident involving Kavanaugh described to them, in accordance with the Intercept. The letter was first despatched to Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents a significant swath of the Bay Space together with the world the place Stanford is situated. Eshoo shared it with Feinstein.

Feinstein’s workplace declined to supply any extra touch upon the letter, and Eshoo’s workplace stated it has a confidentiality coverage with regards to casework involving constituents.

The girl concerned may need retained a lawyer, however that hasn’t been confirmed: The Intercept is reporting that Debra Katz, a DC-based civil rights lawyer who had beforehand represented one of many ladies who introduced abuse allegations towards former New York Lawyer Common Eric Schneiderman, is representing her.

Katz was noticed leaving Capitol Hill on Wednesday night, in accordance with BuzzFeed, although she didn’t affirm her involvement when requested.

Kavanaugh has stated there needs to be no tolerance for sexual harassment

Sexual harassment was introduced up a number of occasions throughout Kavanaugh’s affirmation listening to. He emphasised that sexual harassment shouldn’t be tolerated and made his promotion of feminine clerks a significant cornerstone of his testimony.

“[Sexual harassment is a] broad nationwide drawback that must be addressed, together with within the judiciary,” Kavanaugh stated in the course of the affirmation listening to.

As a part of the panel, he was questioned repeatedly about his information of quite a few sexual misconduct allegations towards Choose Kozinski, whom he had beforehand clerked below.

Kozinski retired from his judgeship in December 2017 after a number of former workers stated he confirmed them pornography, touched them inappropriately, or made inappropriate sexual feedback to them. A minimum of 15 ladies have made sexual misconduct allegations towards Kozinski, which span many years.

Kavanaugh emphasised that he didn’t witness any sexual misconduct throughout his time working with Kozinski and stated he has no cause to not consider the ladies who’ve come ahead.

“It was a intestine punch for me. It was a intestine punch for the judiciary. I used to be shocked,” Kavanaugh stated concerning his response to studying of the Kozinski allegations. “Disenchanted, indignant, swirl of feelings. No girl needs to be topic to sexual harassment within the office.”

Kavanaugh, for now, is on target for a affirmation vote within the coming weeks. Grassley told BuzzFeed on Thursday that he had not personally seen the constituent letter and solely knew of its existence through media studies that had been printed.

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