Dianne Feinstein: Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Erodes Supreme Court’s ‘Legitimacy’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) hold a press conference to discuss the FBI report on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill, October 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh's confirmation process was halted for less than a week so …
Drew Angerer/Getty

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) lashed out at Senate Republicans Saturday evening, claiming Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation erodes the Supreme Court’s “legitimacy.”

“Confirming Brett Kavanaugh in the face of credible allegations of sexual assault that were not thoroughly investigated, and his belligerent, partisan performance in last Thursday’s hearing undermines the legitimacy of the Supreme Court,” Feinstein tweeted.

Republicans have condemned the Democrat senator’s handling of sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, alleging she kept them secret until just before the vote for political gain. Feinstein has defended her handling of the letter, saying she was respecting Christine Blasey Ford’s requests for confidentiality. She denied Republican charges her office leaked Ford’s letter accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault to the press. Kavanaugh denies her allegation.

“At no point did I or anyone on my staff divulge Dr. Blasey Ford’s name to press. She knows that and believes it, for which I’m grateful,” Feinstein said Monday. “I find it interesting that the same critics who last week condemned me for not releasing Dr. Blasey Ford’s letter against her wishes are now suggesting I did leak the letter.”

Feinstein’s inarticulate denial only further raised suspicions that the California Democrat did indeed leak to the letter — even drawing the ire of  President Donald Trump, who imitated her unconvincing rebuke during a Wheeling, West Virginia, rally last week.  “Dianne Feinstein, did you leak? Remember her answer. Did you leak the document?” President said before launching into an imitation of Feinstein’s denial. “Uh, uh, what? No. Uh, no. I didn’t le—uh. Uh, wait one minute. Did we le—oh, oh. No, no, we didn’t leak it.”

“I’ll tell you what. That was really bad body language. Who knows,maybe she didn’t, but that was the worst body language I’ve ever seen,” he added.

In a press conference Thursday, Feinstein criticized the FBI’s handling of its seventh background check into Kavanaugh’s past, alleging the probe appeared to be a “product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the White House.”

“[W]hat I can say is that the most notable part of this report is what’s not in it. As we noted by the White House, the FBI did not interview Brett Kavanaugh, nor did the FBI interview Dr. Blasey Ford,” Feinstein told reporters. What we’ve heard, from numerous people, over the last few days, seeking to provide information to the FBI, we have seen even more press reports of witnesses who wanted to speak with the FBI, but were not interviewed. Deborah Ramirez’s lawyer said he was unaware of any corroborating witnesses who were interviewed.”

Despite Feinstein and her Democrat colleagues’ best efforts to thwart Kavanaugh’s nomination, the Senate voted to confirm the Trump court pick 50-48, and was sworn in shortly after by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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