The Corner

Law & the Courts

Senator Feinstein Is Behaving Rather Strangely

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

I have seen no evidence thus far that suggests that Senator Feinstein — or anyone else, for that matter — is taking the anonymous accusation against Kavanaugh especially seriously. In fact, pretty much every question that has been raised by the charge has the same obvious answer. Why did Feinstein sit on the letter for months? Because she isn’t confident in its allegations, and can’t corroborate them. Why did she refuse to share it with anyone else in the Senate? Because she isn’t confident in its allegations, and can’t corroborate them. Why did she redact its author’s name when making a show of sending it to the FBI? Because she isn’t confident in the allegations, and can’t corroborate them. Why did BuzzFeed, which knew about this last week, and which hardly has high standards in this area, decline to take the story further? Because its editors were not confident in it, and couldn’t corroborate it. Etc., etc. Unless there is something inordinately peculiar going on here, this is simply not how people in possession of bombshell information tend to behave.

It is, however, how people behave when they want others to think they might have bombshell information, but (a) aren’t at all sure that they actually have the goods, and (b) don’t want to do anything that might come back to haunt them when others realize that they were implying things that went well beyond the information they had.

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