Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who gave the FBI a letter from a woman claiming Brett Kavanaugh attacked her when they were in high school, has now criticized the media, saying they “outed” the accuser.
Feinstein also implied in her tweet on Wednesday that President Donald Trump does not respect women.
“President Trump, Dr. Blasey Ford did not want her story of sexual assault to be public. She requested confidentiality, and I honored that. It wasn’t until the media outed her that she decided to come forward. You may not respect women and the wishes of victims, but I do,” Feinstein tweeted:
President Trump, Dr. Blasey Ford did not want her story of sexual assault to be public. She requested confidentiality and I honored that. It wasn’t until the media outed her that she decided to come forward. You may not respect women and the wishes of victims, but I do.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 19, 2018
In fact, just days after the senator announced the existence of the letter on September 13 — a letter she had been in possession of for weeks before Kavanaugh’s exhaustive confirmation hearings for his Supreme Court nomination — Christine Blasey Ford approached the Washington Post.
Concerning her first public interview, the Washington Post reported:
Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called out Feinstein on Twitter for blaming the media for revealing Ford’s identity.
“@SenFeinstein says ‘the media outed’ Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser. But only Democrats & their aides had access to the letter. So what she really means is Democrats leaked the letter. Either @SenFeinstein approved the leak, or she can’t control her own committee. Neither good:
.@SenFeinstein says “the media outed” Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser. But only Democrats & their aides had access to the letter. So what she really means is Democrats leaked the letter. Either @SenFeinstein approved the leak or she can’t control her own committee. Neither good. https://t.co/YE3evvknMV
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 19, 2018
Kavanaugh’s confirmation has been put on hold as Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, tries to arrange an interview with Ford, allowing her to choose from a number of venues.
So far, Ford’s attorney, left-wing activist Debra Katz, has said Ford wants a full FBI investigation of the allegation, even though the agency has said it would not do so.
“The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation,” the FBI said in a statement. “The purpose of a background investigation is to determine whether the nominee could pose a risk to the national security of the United States. The allegation does not involve any potential federal crime. The FBI’s role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers.”
Kavanaugh has categorically denied the accusation but has agreed to cooperate in more hearings or interviews.
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said in a statement released by the White House.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.