Maggie Hassan is among the growing list of senators who have said that they will not support the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to U.S. Supreme Court. Dianne Feinstein's last-minute attempt to totally derail his confirmation hearings; categorically denying any accusations contained in the legislator's mysterious letter.
"I am calling on Senate Republicans to delay next week's Judiciary Committee vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh", the number two Senate Democrat wrote in a tweet.
Feinstein was preparing to lead Democratic questioning of Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. In addition, Sen. Feinstein has had the information for months and never mentioned it to other members of the Judiciary Committee or questioned Kavanaugh directly about it.
Under pressure from other Democratic senators, who had been fighting a pitched battle against Judge Kavanaugh for weeks - largely over access to documents from his years in the George W. Bush White House - Ms. Feinstein called a meeting late Wednesday to share with the lawmakers the letter's contents but not the letter itself.
The New Yorker story quotes a classmate of Kavanaugh's saying about the incident in the letter: "I have no recollection of that". Feinstein declined to comment beyond the statement.
"Sexual assault, in high school, from an anonymous source?"
"The American people deserve to know who Judge Kavanaugh is, but Republicans are trying to rush through this nomination while concealing critical parts of the nominee's record", he added in another tweet.
"The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly hard to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power", she said. The Senator took these allegations seriously and believed they should be public. Dianne Feinstein of California, who received the note in July and referred it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday.
Kavanaugh's nomination has divided the Senate, and the new information complicates the process, especially as key Republican senators, including Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are under enormous pressure from outside groups seeking to sway their votes on grounds that a Justice Kavanaugh might vote to undercut the Roe v. Wade ruling.
Shortly after Feinstein's statement was released, White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec criticized the timing.