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Feinstein hits back at GOP: I didn’t leak Ford letter

The Hill logo The Hill 10/1/2018 Jordain Carney

Dianne Feinstein in a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is hitting back at GOP senators, insisting she and her staff did not leak a letter detailing the first assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"President Trump and Senate Republicans are trying to deflect attention from Brett Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegations by saying my staff or I leaked the letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford - they're wrong," Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Monday.

Her statement comes after GOP Sen. Tim Cotton (Ark.) grabbed headlines when he told CBS's "Face the Nation" that "Feinstein and her staff is going to face an investigation for why they leaked that."

Cotton did not say who would investigate Feinstein or on what he based his accusation.

Feinstein has repeatedly denied that she or her staff leaked the letter from Ford. Republicans have also knocked Feinstein for not immediately sharing the letter with other senators once she got it, something Feinstein says she did to protect Ford's privacy.

"I honored Dr. Blasey Ford's request for confidentiality. It was only when reporters were knocking on her door that I referred the letter to the FBI. At no point did I or anyone on my staff divulge Dr. Blasey Ford's name to press. She knows that and believes it, for which I'm grateful," Feinstein added.

The Intercept first reported on the existence of the letter on Sept. 12 and has denied that Feinstein it to them.

The next day, Sept. 13, Democrats announced they had referred the letter to the FBI.

Feinstein added on Monday that the timeline around the letter is "clear."

"The New Yorker published details on September 14, and Dr. Blasey Ford went public in The Washington Post on September 16. It wasn't until September 17 that someone with access to the redacted version of the letter read it to CNN, where it was published online," Feinstein added.

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