Feinstein’s opponent accuses her of protecting Kavanaugh

September 14, 2018 GMT

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s opponent in November’s election blamed her Friday for her handling of a decades-old unsubstantiated sexual assault allegation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying she should have confronted the judge personally.

Kevin de Leon, a Democrat who is in a run-off with Ms. Feinstein, said she should have gone public earlier with information she received about a woman who claims Judge Kavanaugh, as a high school student, tried to force himself on her at a student party.

The judge has vehemently denied the allegation, but Democrats say it should be used against him in his battle for confirmation to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

“What we have here is a failure of leadership,” Mr. de Leon said.

Ms. Feinstein reportedly received the information in July but did not proceed with it until fellow Democrats learned of it and demanded she brief them on it this week. She has since said she turned the information over federal investigators, who have concluded they can’t investigate and gave the information to the White House.


Ms. Feinstein said the person who says she was assaulted does not want her identity public.

Mr. de Leon said it was right to protect the woman, but Ms. Feinstein should have gone public with the allegation itself earlier.

The American people deserve to know why the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee waited nearly three months to hand this disqualifying document over to the federal authorities, and why Sen. Feinstein politely pantomimed her way through last week’s hearing without a single question about the content of Kavanaugh’s character,” he said in a statement.