BUT WHERE IS IT?
by Sharon Rondeau
Feinstein, who is ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, received a letter from Ford dated July 30, 2018 in which Ford alleged that while she and Kavanaugh were in high school, he sexually assaulted her in the upstairs of a home in the Washington, DC area. In her letter Ford requested anonymity, and without informing committee Republicans, Feinstein held the communication privately until she announced on September 12, after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were over, that she had provided it to “federal investigators.”
Just as the committee was poised to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, The Washington Post issued an article in which Ford identified herself as Kavanaugh’s accuser. In its article, The Post referred to, but did not display, notes from what Ford reportedly told them was a 2012 session with a therapist in which she allegedly discussed the assault for the first time. Kavanaugh’s name was not mentioned in the “portions of notes” the newspaper said it obtained from Ford.
Delaying a committee vote on the nominee twice, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley made arrangements for Ford to testify publicly on September 27, something Ford said she wanted through her team of attorneys. During her testimony, Ford presented no evidence or corroborating witnesses other than those she identified previously whose sworn affidavits contradicted that claim.
On Thursday evening, Grassley sent a third letter to Ford’s attorneys requesting “evidence” they allegedly hold supportive of Ford’s claim but have not released to the committee. In the letter, Grassley stated that the documentation is crucial to the committee’s “constitutional obligation to investigate and evaluate independently the President’s nominees.”
Grassley took issue with the fact that Ford’s legal team responded to his earlier requests by stating that the evidence would be provided to the FBI contingent upon Ford’s being interviewed by the agency. On that day, the committee took a scheduled vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, approving it narrowly along party lines but with the caveat that the FBI conduct an additional background check focusing on the claims made by Ford and Ramirez, a former Yale College contemporary of Kavanaugh’s. The parameters of the investigation, set by the committee, were that it would last no longer than a week and that the allegations made by Ford and Ramirez would be its focus.
Outrageous claims made by a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, were not included in the probe and have since been changed by Swetnick herself.
The FBI concluded its work on Tuesday, prepared its report Wednesday and on Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee members were the first to view it in a private room on Capitol Hill in which no telephones or other electronic devices are permitted.
Ford’s attorneys, as with Democrat senators, have expressed dissatisfaction that Ford and Kavanaugh were not interviewed by the FBI. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has since termed the probe a “whitewash” and “a cover-up.”
The Judiciary Committee was able to provide a summary for public consumption of the FBI’s findings, after which its Republican members unanimously stated that no corroboration of either Ford or Ramirez’s claims was presented among ten interviews of alleged witnesses, including two Ramirez identified.
According to Ford during her testimony, it was Feinstein’s office who referred her to the law office of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, one of whose partners, Debra Katz, is a “Resistance” protester and prominent Democrat donor. Since Ford’s revelation was made, Judiciary Committee member Lindsay Graham has called for an investigation concerning the ethics of the alleged action on Feinstein’s part.
Further to the evidence the law firm claims to have, Grassley concluded Thursday’s letter with a request for any communications which might have been exchanged between Ford (“or her representatives”) and the offices of any U.S. senators; with her three alleged witnesses; and between or among Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick.