LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Is Feinstein the Joe McCarthy of our era?

The conduct of members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has been under intense scrutiny by the media and the public during the last few weeks.

President Trump, at the request of the Judiciary Committee, has ordered a renewed FBI investigation and report into the allegations against Judge Brent Kavanaugh, nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

While the FBI report is due by Friday and a U.S. Senate may vote on Kavanaugh’s appointment soon after, the questionable conduct of some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will reverberate far in the future.

Recently, Judiciary Committee member Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham has called for a Senate investigation of ranking Democrat member of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Diane Feinstein, her staff, and the lawyers involved in withholding confidential information from the other members of the committee and leaking confidential letters to the media.

Those familiar with the conduct of former Michigan Sen. Joseph McCarthy or choose to research his conduct during the 1950s, may notice an unsettling and disturbing parallel to the alleged conduct of Sen. Feinstein, her staff and the lawyers involved.

Interestingly, current Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins co-wrote with now-former Michigan U.S. Sen. Carl Levin the following in the preface to a previously sealed report on Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s conduct released almost 50 years after his censure in 1954 by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 67 to 22:

“Senator McCarthy’s zeal to uncover subversion and espionage led to disburbing excesses. His browbeating tactics destroyed careers of people who were not involved in the infiltration of our government. His freewheeling style caused both the Senate and the subcommittee to revise the rules governing future investigations and prompted the courts to act to protect the constitutional rights of witnesses to congressional hearings … These hearings are part of our national past that we can neither afford to forget not permit to reoccur.”

If the allegations of misconduct by Sen. Diane Feinstein and those under her direction, upon investigation, prove to be true, if will become part of our national past to be remembered and commented upon well into the future.

In any event, the manner in which Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings are conducted appear to be in need of major revisions to restore public trust in our government.

Dave Graham

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dave Graham was the 2014 Independent Party of Delaware candidate for Delaware Attorney General.

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