According to Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, top Democrat Dianne Feinstein is closely guarding a letter regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that the California senator refuses to share with her colleagues.
Feinstein has since stated that she turned the letter over to federal investigators.
The Intercept reported Wednesday that the document’s contents remain unclear and sources familiar with the matter have given a variety of descriptions:
> The specific content of the document, which is a letter from a California constituent, is unclear, but Feinstein’s refusal to share the letter has created tension on the committee, particularly after Feinstein largely took a back seat to her more junior colleagues last week, as they took over Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings with protests around access to documents.
> The letter took a circuitous route to Feinstein, the top-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. It purportedly describes an incident that was relayed to someone affiliated with Stanford University, who authored the letter and sent it to Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat who represents the area.
Though accounts of the letter differ, one consistent theme is that it describes an incident during Kavanaugh’s high school days and involves a woman.
> The woman who is the subject of the letter is now being represented by Debra Katz, a whistleblower attorney who works with #MeToo survivors. Joseph Abboud, an attorney at Katz’s firm, said that the firm was declining to comment. Emma Crisci, a spokesperson for Eshoo, declined to comment on the letter her office sent to Feinstein, saying that the office has a confidentiality policy when it comes to constituent casework. A spokesperson for Feinstein did not respond to requests for comment.
Feinstein responded to the controversy Thursday, saying in a statement:
> “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,” she said.