Feinstein: ‘I Have No Way of Knowing’ if Ford Will Show Up to Hearing

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, Calif.) speaks to journalists as she departs the Senate floor following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 24, 2018. (Al Drago/Reuters)

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that she “has no way of knowing” if Christine Blasey Ford will appear Thursday to testify before the panel if outside legal counsel is present to question her.

Feinstein’s comment came after Politico reported that Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley had contracted a female attorney to question Ford during the public hearing Thursday. In negotiating her appearance before the Committee, Ford’s attorney has requested that she not be questioned by outside counsel.

Feinstein was the first member of the upper chamber to be made aware of Ford’s allegation against Kavanaugh. She received a letter in July detailing Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh pinned her down and tried to remove her clothes when they were in high school, but did not make the allegations public until roughly two months later, after Ford’s name had been leaked to the media by someone in her office.

In a Monday night letter, Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, told Grassley that his staff “still has not responded to a number of outstanding questions,” including ones about the specifics of the outside counsel’s role in the proceedings.

The confusion over the hearing comes after a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly exposing himself to her during a dorm party their freshman year at Yale. The allegations, made in a Sunday New Yorker article, have not been substantiated by any eyewitnesses and Ramirez herself has expressed doubts about Kavanaugh’s guilt.

Amid the political chaos touched off by the allegations, it remains unclear whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the requisite votes to confirm Kavanaugh, as a number of Republican Senators have have refused to commit to voting for the nominee before Thursday’s hearing.


Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular


Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More

The State of the Race for the House

Way back in January, I went through the then-34 seats where a Republican incumbent was retiring and concluded that most were in deeply red districts and not likely to flip to Democrats. Pollsters and media organizations are less inclined to conduct surveys of House races, both because there’s less public ... Read More