Senate Democrats Refer Confidential Informant's Info on Brett Kavanaugh to FBI for Investigation

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement.

Photo Credit: U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

The Intercept and Buzzfeed News are reporting that Democrats in the U.S. Senate have referred a letter concerning Judge Brett Kavanaugh—President Trump’s second nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court—to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice for investigation. Last week, the Senate held confirmation hearings on Trump’s nominee, with some of the most aggressive questioning coming from California’s Kamala Harris and New Jersey’s Cory Booker.

According to The Intercept, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked to see a Kavanaugh-related letter that California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has in her possession. But so far, Feinstein—who is the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee—has declined to share the letter with her colleagues.  

Exactly what’s in the letter remains unclear. But according to The Intercept, the letter was written by someone associated with Stanford University and may describe an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that occurred when they were in high school. The Stanford associate gave the letter to Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents the Northern California district where Stanford is located and passed the letter along to Feinstein.

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On September 13, BuzzFeed reported that it had contacted the woman believed to be the subject of the letter, but she declined to comment. However, Democratic Sen. Dick Durban of Illinois did speak to BuzzFeed on September 13, saying, “This matter has been referred to the FBI for investigation.”

BuzzFeed also contacted Eshoo’s office, which declined to comment on the contents of the letter, noting, “Our office does not discuss casework.” 

Feinstein’s office, as of 1 p.m. EST on September 13, had declined to give BuzzFeed or any other news outlet a comment. But Feinstein said that an official statement about the letter would be forthcoming later in the day.

Opponents of Kavanaugh’s nomination are hoping that if all Democrats in the Senate vote against his confirmation and two Republican senators—Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski—join them in their opposition, Kavanaugh will be defeated. But absent a bombshell revelation, Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the High Court appears to be likely. 

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.