Dianne Feinstein’s handling of Brett Kavanaugh accusation angers Sen. John Kennedy

September 16, 2018

Sen. John N. Kennedy of Louisiana on Sunday fumed over Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s approach to 11th-hour allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh that date to his time in high school, saying the California Democrat had several weeks to raise the issue but said nothing.

“Nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch,” he told Fox News Sunday. “She didn’t say anything in the confirmation hearing, she didn’t say anything in our confidential session with Judge Kavanaugh when the senators and the nominee met privately. And now, after it’s all over, she produces the letter.”

Ms. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, reportedly received a letter, which alleges a sex assault attempt at a student party, in July but did not proceed with it until fellow Democrats learned of it and demanded she brief them on it this week. She has since said she turned the information over federal investigators, who have concluded they can’t investigate and gave the information to the White House.

Ms. Feinstein said the person who says she was assaulted does not want her identity public

Judge Kavanaugh has strenuously denied the accusation, which is roiling the confirmation process ahead of scheduled votes to seat President Trump’s pick before the Supreme Court convenes in October.

Mr. Kennedy said the process has been outlandish from the start and would offend the Founding Fathers.

“So far it’s pretty much been an intergalactic freakshow,” he said.

Some Democrats say Republicans should pump the brakes on the confirmation in light of the new information.

“He should certainly not be confirmed before this is explored,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat set to nab a House seat from New York after upsetting Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary, told CNN’s State of the Union.

But Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat from deep-red Alabama, suggested that will be hard to do unless the accuser decides to come forward.

“It’s a very serious allegation, but at this point it’s an anonymous letter,” Mr. Jones told CNN. “You’re not going to be able to really test it unless somebody comes forward with more information.”

He said he will “obviously” have to bring up the matter if he meets with Judge Kavanaugh this week.

Mr. Jones said he wished the issue came up sooner, but acknowledged that Democrats handling the information were in a “tough spot.”

Mr. Kennedy, though, said he was “a little bit offended” by how the matter was handled.

“If they were serious about it,” he said, “they should have told us about it.”

Update hourly