WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thursday she has notified federal investigators about information she received — and won’t disclose publicly — concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The California Democrat said in a statement that she “received information from an individual concerning the nomination.” She said the person “strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision.”
The Judiciary Committee, which has finished confirmation hearings for Kavanagh, is scheduled to vote next Thursday on whether to recommend that Kavanaugh’s nomination be confirmed by the full Senate.
Feinstein’s statement that she has “referred the matter to federal investigative authorities” jolted Capitol Hill and threatens to disrupt what has been a steady path toward confirmation for Kavanaugh by Republicans eager to see the conservative judge on the court.
An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.
Feinstein declined to answer questions outside the hearing room, and other senators’ offices largely deferred to the ranking member. Democratic senators on the panel met privately Wednesday evening and discussed the information, according to two Senate aides who were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly but spoke on condition of anonymity.
The White House questioned the timing of Feinstein’s move, calling it an “11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”
“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,” said Kerri Kupec, a White House spokesperson.
Kupec added that the FBI has vetted Kavanaugh “thoroughly and repeatedly” during his career in government and the judiciary.
Democrats don’t have the votes to block Kavanaugh’s nomination, if Republicans hold unified, but are fighting it and decrying the process that Republicans used to compile his government records for review.
At the committee Thursday, Republicans brushed aside a flurry of Democratic attempts to delay the consideration of Kavanaugh or subpoena more documents about his past work, sticking with a schedule that could see him confirmed by Oct. 1.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut protested that the nomination will be “tainted” and “stained” by the unusual process for vetting the nominee.
“We lack the time. We lack the documents.” He called it a “badly …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News