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Senator Gives Feds ‘Information’ on Supreme Court Nominee

  • Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, accompanied by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member, right, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington. The committee will vote next week on whether to recommend President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation. Republicans hope to confirm him to the court by Oct. 1.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., holds up her hand to speak as she shares a note with a colleague during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington. The committee will vote next week on whether to recommend President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation. Republicans hope to confirm him to the court by Oct. 1.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 file photo, Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., left, attempts to shake hands with President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, right, as he leaves for a lunch break while appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington to begin his confirmation hearing. Kavanaugh did not shake his hand. Kavanaugh wrote in a response to questions from senators late Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, that he assumed the man had been a protester. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., holds up her hand to speak as she shares a note with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., right, during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington. The committee will vote next week on whether to recommend President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation. Republicans hope to confirm him to the court by Oct. 1.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)



AP Congressional Correspondent
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Washington — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Thursday she has notified federal investigators about information she received — and won’t disclose publicly — concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The California Democrat said in a statement that she “received information from an individual concerning the nomination.”

She said the person “strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision.”

A Senate Democratic aide and another person familiar with the matter said it referred to an incident that occurred while Kavanaugh was high-school age.

The two spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.

The details of the incident and the identity of the person who provided the information that was turned over to federal authorities were unclear.

The Judiciary Committee, which has finished confirmation hearings for Kavanagh, is scheduled to vote next Thursday on whether to recommend that Kavanaugh’s nomination be confirmed by the full Senate.

Feinstein’s statement that she has “referred the matter to federal investigative authorities” jolted Capitol Hill and threatened to disrupt what has been a steady path toward confirmation for Kavanaugh by Republicans eager to see the conservative judge on the court.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.

Feinstein declined to answer questions outside the hearing room, and other senators’ offices largely deferred to the ranking member.

Democratic senators on the panel met privately Wednesday evening and discussed the information, according to two Senate aides who were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House questioned the timing of Feinstein’s move, calling it an “11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”

Kerri Kupec, a White House spokesperson, said added that the FBI has vetted Kavanaugh “thoroughly and repeatedly” during his career in government and the judiciary.