Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday she referred a confidential letter from a California constituent concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the FBI for investigation.
The New York Times, citing “two officials familiar with the matter,” disclosed that the letter involved “possible sexual misconduct between Judge Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school.”
“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a statement.
“That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision.
“I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,” she said.
Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh, an appellate court judge in Washington, last week.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the nomination next week.
“This matter has been referred to the FBI for investigation,” another top committee Democrat, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, told BuzzFeed News Thursday.
But Feinstein has not shared the letter with the Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
“Sen. Grassley is aware of Senator Feinstein’s referral,” George Hartmann, a spokesman for the senator, told the Times. “At this time, he has not seen the letter in question, and is respecting the request for confidentiality.
“There’s no plan to change the committee’s consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”
A Feinstein spokesman did not respond to a request for comment from Newsmax on Thursday.
Kerri Kupec, a White House press representative, told the Times: “Throughout his confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators — including with Senator Feinstein — sat through over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and additional questions in a confidential session.
“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him.”
She noted that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York “promised to ‘oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have,’ and it appears he is delivering with this 11th-hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”
News of the letter was first disclosed Wednesday by The Intercept, which said it was purportedly written by someone at Stanford University and given to Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents the area.
Eshoo gave the letter to Feinstein over the summer, the Times disclosed, adding that the senator informed other committee Democrats of its contents on Wednesday.
“Several Democrats advised her to take its claims to the FBI,” according to the Times.
The subject of the letter is represented by Debra Katz, an attorney affiliated with the #MeToo movement.
Joseph Abboud, an attorney at Katz’s Washington law firm, said the firm would not comment, according to news reports.
Eshoo’s office told BuzzFeed in a statement: “Our office does not discuss casework.”
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