Kavanaugh, 53, "categorically and unequivocally" denied the allegations.
The episode has sent tensions between and inside both parties back to the boiling point over a nomination that could reshape the court for decades.
This has all the indicators of an 11th hour character assassination and a desperate attempt to delay and defeat the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, who has a sterling reputation in his community, his profession, his church and among hundreds of friends, colleagues and co-workers. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Senate Republicans insist Kavanaugh's confirmation remains on track.
On Friday, Feinstein's office defended the senator's decision to send the letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the face of criticism that she did not come forward with the allegations sooner.
As to whether Republicans knew about the allegation in advance and had the letter from the 65 Kavanaugh high school contemporaries "in the can", Grassley's office said no.
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Ronan Farrow, who co-authored The New Yorker article, told CNN that some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee "feel that there was a missed opportunity to fully interrogate this allegation". Dianne Feinstein received a letter, which detailed the incident.
"I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court".
Under pressure from other Democratic senators, who had been fighting a pitched battle against Judge Kavanaugh for weeks - largely over access to documents from his years in the George W. Bush White House - Ms. Feinstein called a meeting late Wednesday to share with the lawmakers the letter's contents but not the letter itself. She recalled both her own and Justice Antonin Scalia's "truly bipartisan" hearings.
Shortly after Feinstein's statement was released, White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec criticized the timing.
Hill said Friday, "The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly hard to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power". "I have seen firsthand what happens when such a process is weaponized against an accuser, and no one should have to endure that again". The allegation was not raised at any time during the judge's confirmation hearings.
However, Hill wants senators to put a process into place that will allow the accusation to be treated seriously.
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