The Slatest

Feinstein Says Kavanaugh Nomination Must Pause for FBI Investigation

Aides lean in to talk to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein during a hearing.
Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein listen to their aides during a markup hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 13 on Capitol Hill Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling on Sen. Chuck Grassley to halt proceedings related to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Feinstein sent a letter to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee on Sunday night, shortly after the New Yorker published a piece on allegations from a second woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

In the letter, Feinstein calls for “an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.” The Democratic senator also calls for the new allegations to be referred to the FBI for an investigation. She said it was important for this investigation to be carried out by “career professionals at the FBI” rather than the “partisan staff of the Committee.” But if the White House continues “to refuse to direct the FBI to do its job, the Committee must subpoena all relevant witnesses.” Feinstein concludes her letter by noting that “it is time to set politics aside. We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.”

Earlier Sunday, Grassley’s office released the unredacted letter that Chrstine Blasey Ford sent to Feinstein detailing her accusations against Kavanaugh. “As you know, the letter was given to me in confidence and I am giving it to you with the expectation that you will maintain its confidentiality and that it will not be released publicly or disseminated further, as requested by Dr. Blasey Ford’s counsel Debra Katz,” Feinstein wrote in a letter to Grassley that accompanied Ford’s letter.