ATTORNEY SENT LETTER TO CHUCK GRASSLEY AND DIANNE FEINSTEIN CLAIMING FEDERAL COURT EMPLOYEES WILLING TO SPEAK ABOUT BRETT KAVANAUGH
by Ryan Grim September 17 2018, 12:31 p.m.
THE TOP REPUBLICAN and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.
Cyrus Sanai made his first attempt to reach out to Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter dated July 24.
Sanai told the committee leadership that "there are persons who work for, or who have worked for, the federal judiciary who have important stories to tell about disgraced former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and his mentee, current United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I know that there are people who wish to speak out but fear retaliation because I have been contacted by more than a half-dozen such persons since Judge Kozinski resigned in disgrace."
Sanai is the California attorney who blew the whistle on Kozinski years before a series of articles in the Washington Post in December finally brought about the resignation of the former chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court over sexual harassment revelations. Sanai has long challenged the judiciary and was deemed a "vexatious litigant" by one trial court, an attempted designation that was overturned on appeal.
Since Kozinski's resignation, questions have been raised about what Kavanaugh knew or did about such behavior, given the close relationship between the two. Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski in the 1990s, a post that led directly to his clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who recommended Kavanaugh to President Donald Trump as his replacement. Kozinski and Kavanaugh remained close and both vetted prospective clerks for Kennedy.
Kozinski's son recently clerked for Kavanaugh.
The Sanai letter was overnighted and emailed to Grassley's office on July 25, and Sanai provided a copy of the receipt. He dropped the letter off by hand to Feinstein's office in West Los Angeles, he said, after being told over the phone that was the most efficient route to delivery.
Grassley's spokesperson provided the following statement after publication:
Senator Grassley's office received correspondence, which was also addressed to Sen. Feinstein, from Mr. Sanai in July. As we always do, the office reviewed the content and claims in the letter to determine how best to assess and use the information. The contents of the letter concerned the actions and behavior of former Judge Alex Kozinski and, to a lesser extent, his relationship with Judge Kavanaugh. This topic was discussed significantly at Judge Kavanaugh's hearing.
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