Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended her handling of Christine Blasey Ford‘s letter on Thursday, telling her Republican colleagues that she did not leak the letter accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Feinstein’s defense was in response to Sen. Ted Cruz saying this: “Some of the most significant testimony we heard this morning is Dr. Ford told this committee that the only people to whom she gave her letter were her attorneys, the ranking member, and her Member of Congress. And she stated that she and her attorneys did not release the letter, which means the only people that could have released that letter were either the Ranking Member and her staff or the Democratic Member of Congress because Dr. Ford told this committee those are the only people who had it.”
Feinstein, the ranking member, then asked for an opportunity to defend herself against the allegations. The request was granted.
“Mr. Chairman, let me be clear,” she began. “I did not hide Dr. Ford’s allegations. I did not leak her story. She asked me to hold it confidential and I kept it confidential as she asked. She apparently was stalked by the press, felt that what happened, she was forced to come forward and her greatest fear was realized. She’s been harassed, she’s had death threats, and she’s had to flee her home.”
She continued on: “I was given some information by a woman who was very much afraid, who asked that it be held confidential, and I held it confidential until she decided that she would come forward.”
She was then asked if her staff would leak it.
Feinstein said her staff did not leak it.
Then a while later on, amid more finger-pointing from Cruz, she reiterated it was not her office that leaked.
“It’s my understanding that her story was leaked before the letter became public,” Feinstein stressed. “She testified that she had spoken to her friends about it and it’s most likely that that’s how the story leaked and that she had been asked by press. But it did not leak from us, I assure you of that.”
According to Ryan Grim of The Intercept, the leak did not in fact, come from Feinstein’s staff.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com