Grassley Says Monday Hearing Not Likely Without Kavanaugh Accuser

Judiciary Committee chairman doesn’t think Feinstein leaked letter that identified Christine Blasey Ford

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks with ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., before the start of a hearing in June. He doubts she leaked a letter from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Wednesday a planned Monday hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would likely not go on without accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Asked about Ford saying she wouldn’t appear on Monday, the chairman indicated it would not go on without the accuser present because the nominee would not know the full scope of allegations against him.

Any decision to cancel that session, Grassley said, will be made at the “last” possible minute.

Grassley also said he doubts Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s ranking Democrat, is responsible for leaking a confidential letter she received from Ford.

“I wouldn’t impugn any bad motives to her,” the Iowa Republican told local media outlets Wednesday, basing his view on knowing the California Democrat at a “very personal” level for some time.

Grassley speculated that Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, or another Democratic might have held the letter for weeks without asking Kavanaugh to respond to the allegations it contained while “playing games” with the matter.

Still, Grassley called it “terrible” that Feinstein “did not turn this over to the FBI the day she got the letter, July 30.”

In a tweet earlier Wednesday, Feinstein denied leaking the confidential letter that led to Ford’s name becoming public.

“She requested confidentiality and I honored that,” Feinstein wrote. “It wasn’t until the media outed her that she decided to come forward.”


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