Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein is still refusing to turn over the unredacted version of a letter sent to her office in July. The letter is from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during a party in high school nearly 40 years ago. Kavanaugh completely rejects the accusation and says he was never at a party like the one Ford describes.
Late Wednesday evening, Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Feinstein again asking for the unredacted version of the letter to be turned over to his staff.
"I am writing to request that you provide me a copy of the letter dated July 30, 2018, that you received from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford containing allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. My staff has made repeated requests for this document—which has become a significant piece of evidence in Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process—but your staff has so far refused to provide a copy of the letter. You are able to share this unredacted copy with all the members of your caucus and their staff, as well as anyone else you choose. The only version we have of this letter is a redacted version contained in the supplemental FBI background investigation file that only senators and a handful of very select staff are authorized to read," Grassley wrote in a letter. "Sexual assault allegations deserve serious attention, and those who make such allegations must be heard. They should not be deployed strategically for political gain. You received this letter approximately seven weeks ago. But the contents of the letter were leaked only last week when it appeared the Senate was about to confirm Judge Kavanaugh."
Grassley also addressed Feinstein's claim she hasn't turned over the letter in order to protect Ford's anonymity.
You have said that you didn’t raise Dr. Ford’s allegations previously because you wanted to protect Dr. Ford’s anonymity. But these allegations could have been raised to me, or to Judge Kavanaugh, while protecting Dr. Ford’s anonymity. Indeed, the only version of her letter that I have is the redacted version from the FBI, which protected Dr. Ford’s anonymity," Grassley wrote.
"Had Dr. Ford not made her allegations public via the Washington Post over the weekend, I still would not know her identity. The fact is that these allegations could have been raised both within the last seven weeks and in a way that protected Dr. Ford’s anonymity," he continued. "Instead, you chose to sit on the allegations until a politically opportune moment. I cannot overstate how disappointed I am in this decision. It has caused me to have to reopen the hearings for the fifth day of testimony, when we easily could have—and should have—raised these issues before or during the first four days of the hearing."
On Capitol Hill yesterday, Feinstein said Ford's story and the contents of the letter "may not be truthful."
Meanwhile, Ford has been given until 10 a.m. et Friday morning to make a decision about whether she'll show up for testimony on Monday. Judge Kavanaugh accepted the Committee's invitation to testify at the beginning of the week.