WASHINGTON - The original letter sent months ago by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to Sen. Dianne Feinstein telling her about the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was released Sunday evening during a firestorm of news centered around allegations of sexual assault.
The letter was released by Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was given it by Feinstein on Thursday, who in a memo attached to the letter specifically requested it "not be released publicly."
Feinstein has been criticized for keeping the letter secret and not handing it over to authorities or Congress until confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh had concluded. Feinstein has argued she was honoring Ford's request of confidentiality.
Ford goes into detail in the letter about a high school party she attended in the 1980s and allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh. The letter, which leaked into the public last week, is what started the public spectacle that has rattled Washington and left Kavanaugh's bid on the nation's highest court in a sea of uncertainty.
Grassley decided to release the July 30 letter Sunday evening amid new accusations by a second woman who alleged Kavanaugh assaulted her in college.
The woman, identified as Deborah Ramirez, told the New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a dormitory party and thrust his genitals in her face when they were both freshmen at Yale University. The article says Senate Democrats are investigating the allegations.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied both accusations.
A second letter from Ford is also in the hands of Grassley and his staff, USA TODAY has learned. The letter, which hasn't been released, is heartfelt and asks for kindness and dignity.
Ford's attorneys have consented for its release.
Here is the full text of the July 30 letter where Ford warned Feinstein about the alleged sexual assault:
July 30, 2018
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Dear Senator Feinstein:
I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court. As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.
Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980's. He conducted these acts with the assistance of his close friend, Mark G. Judge.
Both were 1-2 years older than me and students at a local private school. The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and 4 others.
Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music, precluding any successful attempts to yell for help.
Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with Judge, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state.
With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth, I feared he may inadvertently kill me.
From across the room, a very drunken Judge said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop."
At one point when Judge jumped onto the bed, the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other.
After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me.
Both loudly stumbled down the stairwell, at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.
I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see Judge once at the Potomac Village Safeway, where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me.
I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6, I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information. It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.
I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently vacationing in the mid-Atlantic until August 7th and will be in California after August 10th.
Pala Alto, California