Sen. Grassley Wants Copy of Ford Allegation Letter

Democrats and Republicans continue to spar over the allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, specifically the process for testing its veracity given the implications for Kavanaugh, the court and the public.

The latest twist was a request from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for an unredacted copy of the letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to Congress containing the initial allegations.

He said he needs it ASAP so he can review it for a Sept. 24 hearing he has scheduled on the issue.

“My staff has made repeated requests for this document-which has become a significant piece of evidence in Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation process-but your staff has so far refused to provide a copy of the letter," Grassley said in a formal request to ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for the letter. "You are able to share this unredacted copy with all the members of your caucus and their staff, as well as anyone else you choose. The only version we have of this letter is a redacted version contained in the supplemental FBI background investigation file that only senators and a handful of very select staff are authorized to read.”

Grassley said in the letter, "In order to prepare for Monday’s hearing, and any discussions with Dr. Ford that occur before then, I must review the unredacted letter that Dr. Ford sent to you, dated July 30, 2018. I ask that you send me a copy of the original, unredacted letter immediately."

Feinstein and other Democrats don't want the hearing to be held, arguing it is needlessly rushing a process that first needs an FBI investigation, an investigation Grassley said is not happening, though he says the committee has been investigating the allegations, with the hearing, actually a continuation of Kavanaugh's nomination hearing, part of that. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.