The circus was a name frequently used for the just-completed Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. While Senate Republicans generally tried to be adults and turned over the most sensitive part of the hearing to a professional, one senator made a case for bringing the Senate to its lowest low this century.
Sure, Sen. Mazie Hirono announced a standard that criminal accusations should be believed based on the views of the accused. Sen. Kamala Harris left liberals on the edge of her seat with a breathless insinuation of a connection between one of President Trump’s personal law firms and Kavanaugh that turned out to be a nothing-burger.
And, of course, Sen. Cory Booker will forever be known for labeling himself “Spartacus” for his attempt, and apparent failure, to break Senate confidentiality rules.
But one person was the ringmaster and deserves scorn from all sides of the political spectrum and anyone who thinks the Senate should be a distinguished body: Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Senator Feinstein was not a partisan Democrat, she was a destructive force out to ruin the reputations of all parties. Let’s start with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Ford was a reluctant and nervous accuser. Yet Feinstein seemingly did everything she could to use Dr. Ford as a pawn.
She was one of a few people who could have leaked Dr. Ford’s letter to the press but made no inquiries into how it was leaked. She at first said she never asked her staff if any of them leaked it, then asked them during the hearing, but ended up throwing Dr. Ford under the bus saying Dr. Ford’s friends likely leaked it (though the friends never had access to the letter).
In the period when she was ignoring Dr. Ford’s claims and not allowing them to be fully, confidentially investigated, she then told Dr. Ford to hire an anti-Trump “resistance” lawyer who apparently, along with Feinstein and her staff, failed to inform or explain to Dr. Ford the offer by Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley to come to California to meet with Dr. Ford there.
At the hearing, Dr. Ford said, “If you were gonna come out to see me I would have happily hosted you and would have been happy to speak to you out there. It wasn’t clear to me that that was the case.”
While Feinstein completely disrespected Dr. Ford’s wishes of confidentially and used her as a pawn in her chess game to blow up the Senate, she treated Judge Kavanaugh in a manner that makes senators long for the days of the Bork and Thomas confirmation. During his confirmation, Judge Robert Bork’s views were gravely mischaracterized but at least it was his views that were the focus.
During Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation process, the “high tech lynching” at least occurred within the Senate rules with the information turned over to the other side. In contrast, Feinstein kept Dr. Ford’s letter and information hidden until the Senate Judiciary Committee was prepared to vote.
Ironically, despite Democrats’ complaints, Feinstein was the first person to stop any FBI investigation by not turning over the letter timely.
But her antics did not end there. She hid the ball from Judge Kavanaugh when she met with him on August 20. She did not mention the letter. Of course, she did not mention the letter at the hearing at the beginning of September when Judge Kavanaugh could have responded. She mentioned it when the hearing was over when he could not respond, in an effort to both do maximum damage to Judge Kavanaugh and delay.
The morning after the accusation was made public, Judge Kavanaugh made clear he wanted to respond as soon as possible: “I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
This delay caused the circus to go into overdrive most infamously when a former and very litigious client of the Feinstein-recommended lawyer came forward with a charge that Judge Kavanaugh organized gang rape trains drugging girls with Quaaludes, an allegation so without merit the liberal paper of record The New York Times refused to cover it as without any corroboration.
Not Feinstein though. She mentioned the Quaalude gang rape train accusation in her opening remarks yesterday and today. While claiming to support Dr. Ford, Feinstein degraded her accusation by equating it with the gang rape train accusation.
It is not a stretch to conclude that Feinstein wanted all this to happen where now the Senate is deluged every day with more fantastical claims against Judge Kavanaugh and claims from other men that they attacked Dr. Ford.
What is worse Feinstein instructed her staff not to participate in efforts to get to the truth as staff only participated in a fraction of efforts to get to the bottom of the claims and mostly sat at the sidelines.
Feinstein, it is apparent, wanted the circus. Before this all started, Sen. Booker infamously accused those who support Kavanaugh of being “implicit in evil.” Turns out he was partially right but directed at the wrong person. What Feinstein did to the Senate, Dr. Ford, and Judge Kavanaugh was evil.
Michael Thielen is executive director of the Republican National Lawyers Association.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.