On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, and the conduit through whom Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations came to light, expressed doubts about Ford’s allegation for the first time.
Fox News’s Chad Pergram tweeted on Tuesday that according to his colleague, Connor Marley, Feinstein told him that she wasn’t so sure about Ford’s allegations.
“From colleague Connor Marley. Feinstein on Ford. Says Ford ‘is a woman that has been, I think, profoundly impacted, on this..I can’t say that everything is truthful. I don’t know.'”
From colleague Connor Marley. Feinstein on Ford. Says Ford "is a woman that has been, I think, profoundly impacted, on this..I can't say that everything is truthful. I don't know."
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 18, 2018
As far as what’s been publicly reported, Feinstein is the only senator who has any knowledge of the allegations – that a 17-year-old Kavanaugh and another teenager pulled Ford into a room during a high school party, forced her onto a bed, and groped her over her clothing before she was able to escape from the room – before the story exploded over the weekend. Feinstein also addressed the delay with Marley as well. Pergram tweets:
“Feinstein to Fox on Ford when asked if the accusation will impact how mbrs would vote on Kavanaugh: “I know she did not want to go public. That’s why I made the letter. That was taken out of my control”
Feinstein to Fox on Ford when asked if the accusation will impact how mbrs would vote on Kavanaugh: "I know she did not want to go public. That's why I made the letter. That was taken out of my control"
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 18, 2018
Feinstein, who has vouched for Ford’s credibility is now admitting she’s not able to verify all of the allegations are true.
“I have no say, I’m the lead Democrat. … I think it’s really too bad that no one called her, or called her lawyer,” Feinstein, D-Calif., told Fox News on Tuesday. “My understanding is she got emails. This is a woman who has been profoundly impacted by this. Now, I can’t say everything’s truthful. I don’t know. But I do know that you’ve got to contact her lawyers.”
Ford broke her silence late Tuesday saying that the FBI should fully investigate her accusations before she testifies before the Senate, stressing that she felt that some senators had already pre-judged her case.
As the Fox interview spread across media and the Internet, Feinstein began walking back her doubts on her official Twitter account:
“During every step of this process, I’ve found every single piece of information from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford eminently credible, sincere and believable. She knew this would have a huge effect on her life and she was incredibly brave to come forward.”
During every step of this process, I’ve found every single piece of information from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford eminently credible, sincere and believable. She knew this would have a huge effect on her life and she was incredibly brave to come forward.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 18, 2018
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), seen as a key vote among Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, issued a letter to Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) proposing not only Ford appear alongside Kavanaugh, but that both parties should be subject to cross-examination under oath by each other’s attorney.
Sen. Collins tweets,”Read my full letter to the Chairman & Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee here: https://bit.ly/2xkwLzz ”
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 18, 2018
“The Minority withheld even the anonymous allegations for six weeks, only to later decide that they were serious enough to investigate on the eve of the committee vote, after the vetting process had been completed,” Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement Monday, which also noted that “Dr. Ford deserves to be heard.”
Grassley also called Feinstein out for refusing to help set up follow-up calls involving Ford and Kavanaugh, which he referred to as “standard procedure” when updates arise to a nominee’s background file.
“I asked Senator Feinstein’s office yesterday to join me in scheduling these follow-ups,” Grassley wrote. “Thus far, they have refused. But as a necessary step in evaluating these claims, I’ll continue working to set them up.”
Senate Democrats have called for Monday’s hearing to be delayed pending a full FBI investigation.
Prominent Republicans have come to Kavanaugh’s defense, including former President George W. Bush, who in an interview with Politico said, “Laura and I have known and respected Brett Kavanaugh for decades, and we stand by our comments the night Judge Kavanaugh was nominated.”
Kavanaugh worked in the Bush White House Counsel’s office and later married the president’s personal secretary.
President Donald Trump also continued his defense of the nominee on Tuesday. “This is is not a man who deserves this,” Trump said, noting that Ford’s claims “should’ve been brought up long ago.”
President Trump added that he felt “terribly” for Kavanaugh’s “beautiful young daughters,” adding that “hopefully the woman will come forward, state her case,…before members of the U.S. Senate.”
The allegations against Kavanaugh have stalled the confirmation process, delaying a planned Judiciary Committee vote on Thursday on whether to advance his nomination to the full Senate.
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