Feinstein's shameful Kavanaugh Hail Mary pass

In an act of desperation designed to block Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court by smearing his reputation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., hinted Thursday that someone she would not name has made unspecified accusations about Kavanaugh that possibly might involve criminal conduct.

Feinstein’s Hail Mary pass came exactly one week before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of the highly qualified judge, who now sits on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Feinstein is leaving it to the media to fill in the facts about her vague and unsubstantiated claims about Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Trump. She clearly is counting on Trump’s many opponents in the media to help her keep the president’s nominee off the Supreme Court – as they would seek to do for anyone nominated by Trump.

Feinstein said in a statement: “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

What the heck does that mean? (Translation: I got nothing).

OK – Feinstein is claiming she knows something – but she’s not saying what that mystery something is. How on Earth is anyone supposed to evaluate that? How would any of you reading this like someone to make a cryptic charge like the one Feinstein has thrown out about you, without presenting a shred of evidence?

Fox News reported that two sources said Feinstein got a letter from Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., in July making the allegations against Kavanaugh – although the senator never spoke about it publicly before Thursday. That’s the way Hail Mary passes work – you don’t throw one until you’re desperate and headed for a loss on the football field.

The mystery letter wasn’t even concerning enough for Feinstein to show to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

The Intercept reported the letter was sent by someone associated with Stanford University and involved a woman and Kavanaugh when she and the 53-year-old judge were both in high school.

The New York Times reported that, according to two sources it did not identify, the letter referenced possible sexual misconduct between Kavanaugh the unidentified woman. Possible, but that is awfully vague for this late stage of a U.S. Supreme Court confirmation.

With so little information, how is anyone supposed to figure out what is going on?

If Feinstein knows something, she should say something. If Kavanaugh is being accused of sexual misconduct then we all have a right to know.

So much about this just smells like a political skunk, not the least of which is the timing of Feinstein’s public non-release of this new information.

If this is an 11th hour power play by Feinstein – and there’s no “there” there – then the senator is playing politics with an otherwise respectable man’s reputation. Kavanaugh has a wife and two young daughters and as far as we know has been an upstanding member of his community.

The White House also hit back at Feinstein, questioning the timing of her new claim.

“Throughout his confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators – including with Senator Feinstein – sat through over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and additional questions in a confidential session,” White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement. “Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him."

If this is all a political game, then shame on you Sen. Feinstein. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it looks like.

Washington Post White House reporter Seung Min Kim tweeted Thursday: "New – FBI does not now plan to launch a criminal investigation of the Kavanaugh matter; instead the bureau passed the material to the White House as an update to Kavanaugh's background check, via @mattzap"

It looks as though Feinstein was saving this “new” allegations for the last minute and then counting on her smear to keep Kavanaugh from being confirmed. But now that the FBI is saying it has no plans to investigate, it seems like her Hail Mary pass may get intercepted.