Senators, Do Your Duty: Investigate Sen. Diane Feinstein
Senator Dianne Feinstein has said that if Democrats take the Senate, she will call for a further investigation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. This is remarkable.
If anyone needs investigating, it is the senior senator from California.
The Ford Hearing
First, Feinstein “withheld serious allegations from committee colleagues, precluding any chance that they would be handled with sensitivity and discretion,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. That’s a wordy way of saying that she kept Catherine Blasey Ford’s letter for two months before telling her colleagues she had it.
Second, McConnell notes that while she was keeping the letter close-hold, her office recommended Ford get “politically connected counsel.” Debra Katz — the “feared attorney of the ‘MeToo’ movement” — cut her legal teeth defending Bill Clinton in the 1990s. She said his sexual misconduct toward Paula Jones didn’t “create a hostile work environment.” Oh, sure. When a man who happens to be governor of your state and your boss gropes you, it’s just another day at the office, right?
Ms. Katz is an ardent Democrat and big fan of Hillary Clinton. And her loyalty to the Clintons brought her a good bit of attention. It’s why Feinstein’s office recommended her to Ford.
Who Leaked the Letter?
Third, who leaked the Ford letter? Sen. John Cornyn, the only senator on the Judiciary Committee with the basic common sense to ask Feinstein if her office leaked the Ford letter, believes Katz sent it to selected reporters. Given Katz’s connections in the national media, this makes a good bit of sense.
If it’s true, wouldn’t that invite another question, namely, did Dr. Ford authorize the leak? As McConnell has noted, Dr. Ford’s “confidential account reached the media faster than it reached either (Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley) or the FBI.”
She now says she “honored Dr. Blasey Ford’s request for confidentiality.” She declared: “At no point did I or anyone on my staff divulge Dr. Blasey Ford’s name to press.”
Quite a statement for someone who had to turn to an aide behind the dais on the day of the Ford-Kavanaugh testimony and ask if anyone on her huge staff leaked the Ford letter. This lack of curiosity, not to mention concern with the breach of Ford’s professed desperation for privacy, is stunning. Feinstein’s disinterest in finding the source of the leak reveals either incredibly poor judgment or a lack of integrity.
The Chinese Spy — and Chinese Business
But there’s more in Feinstein’s background that merits careful scrutiny. While chairing the Senate Intelligence Committee, she had on her staff a spy. Not just any spy. A man in the employ of the government of China.
“The staffer had served the senator for some two decades as a general office lackey, a liaison to the local Chinese community, and, most important, the senator’s chauffeur whenever she was in San Francisco,” according to journalist Ethan Epstein. Epstein notes the FBI’s assertion that he didn’t get anything of significance out of Feinstein’s office.
This is not reassuring to anyone who’s ever worked in a senior level of government. I used to ride with top government leaders from event to event. A trusted aide overhears confidential conversations. And when the senator or cabinet secretary or member of Congress leaves folders and briefing papers on a car seat or on a table or wherever else, prying eyes will pry.
Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen pointed out how dangerous a spy serving as a driver was. A CIA agent told him that if they had recruited an important person’s driver, “we would have had a field day.”
But the mainstream media have given Feinstein a pass on all of this. The issue is not that she intentionally kept a foreign agent on her staff. I don’t think she did. It’s this: Why has she not filed any charges against this guy? Why has she been so passive in letting his betrayal of our country go by without so much as a public peep?
Has the FBI given the guy an immunity deal? If so, shouldn’t we know? Is the senator just embarrassed? Is she sweeping the possible losses under the rug to save her reputation? Or does she have other reasons for keeping quiet?
Very possibly. As early as 1997, the Los Angeles Times reported that Feinstein and her international businessman husband, Richard Blum, “hold strong China connections.” Blum’s firm has invested tens of millions of dollars in Chinese companies. And concerns over Blum’s Chinese investments remain strong.
And here’s what takes the concerns to a deeper level. Feinstein remains on the Intelligence Committee, on the Appropriations Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. Each of these has oversight and/or funding responsibility of issues directly relating to America’s relationship with Communist China.
Senate Ethics Committee: Investigate!
If the GOP retains control of the Senate, we will need to find out if Dianne Feinstein has violated the rules of the body in which she serves. And if her financial interests are so entwined with China that they don’t pass the “smell test.” The Senate Select Committee on Ethics will have its work cut out for it.