Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have referred information about Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to federal investigators, and while they have declined to disclose what the matter involved, sources say it is in regards to possible sexual misconduct.
"I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.
"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."
Two officials familiar with the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The New York Times the incident involved possible sexual misconduct between Kavanaugh and a woman when both were in high school.
The anonymous woman he held her down and tried to rape her while at a party, The New Yorker reports.
The alleged victim sent a letter accusing the judge to the office of California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo in July. Feinstein received the letter from Eshoo's office and informed colleagues on the Judiciary Committee of its existence. Some wanted her to take it public, while others told her she should take it to the FBI, which is what she did yesterday.
The FBI, which conducts background checks on all nominees, confirmed that it has received the letter, and a copy of it has been added to Kavanaugh's file. That makes the letter available to the White House, as well as potentially to other senators.
A copy was also sent to Sen. Chuck Grassley's office, a Republican who chairs the committee.
"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. Not until the eve of his confirmation has Senator Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him,” said White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.
“Senator Schumer promised to ‘oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have,’ and it appears he is delivering with this 11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”
"Senator Grassley is aware of Senator Feinstein’s referral,” said George Hartmann, a spokesman for the senator. “At this time, he has not seen the letter in question, and is respecting the request for confidentiality. There’s no plan to change the committee’s consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”
Democrats had attempted to subpoena documents and testimony into Kavanaugh’s years working in the White House under former President George W. Bush, but came up short in that effort with a series of votes that fell along party lines.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination next week, with a full Senate vote expected the following week.
He denied the allegation in a statement issued today.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said.