Fact Check: Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Husband Does NOT Own A Stake In Dominion Voting Systems, Nor Is Any Dominion Stake Prompting Her To Leave Judiciary Committee Post

Fact Check

  • by: Hallie Golden

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Husband Does NOT Own A Stake In Dominion Voting Systems, Nor Is Any Dominion Stake Prompting Her To Leave Judiciary Committee Post No Stake

Does California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, own a stake in Dominion Voting Systems, and is that part of the reason she is relinquishing the top Democrat spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee? No, that's not true: A Dominion spokesperson told Lead Stories that Blum does not have an ownership stake in the company. Feinstein cited other reasons for stepping down as ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee in a public statement.

The claim appeared in a post published on Twitter on November 23, 2020 (archived here). It stated:

I'm sure that Dianne Feinstein stepping down today has nothing to do with a Chinese spy driving her around for thirty years and her husband owning stake in Dominion Voting Systems.

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Nov 24 23:15:43 2020 UTC)

The tweet appears to be referring to Feinstein's statement posted on her website on November 23, 2020, that after four years as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, she has decided that in the next Congress she will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position.

She added:

California is a huge state confronting two existential threats - wildfire and drought - that are only getting worse with climate change. In the next Congress, I plan to increase my attention on those two crucial issues. I also believe that defeating COVID-19, combating climate change and protecting access to health care are critical national priorities that require even more concentration.

When asked about this claim, Tom Mentzer, communications director for Sen. Feinstein, said in an email on November 25, 2020:
"You'll have to contact Mr. Blum's company for anything to do with his finances. I'd refer you to our statement from last week regarding the senator's decision."

A Dominion spokesperson told Lead Stories in an email on November 24, 2020:

No member of the Feinstein family has an ownership stake in Dominion, including the senator's husband.

Dominion also released a statement on its website updated on November 21, 2020, saying that Dominion is a nonpartisan company based in Denver, and has "no company ownership relationships" with the Feinstein family.

It added:

Dominion works with all U.S. political parties; our customer base and our government outreach practices reflect this nonpartisan approach.

Lead Stories sent a message to Blum on November 24, 2020, with questions related to this claim, but did not hear back. We will update, if appropriate, when he responds.

Feinstein was elected to the Senate in 1992. She was the first woman to serve as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to her website.

Blum is a private-equity investor and philanthropist, and is a member of the University of California's Board of Regents, according to the website for his book, "An Accident of Geography."

The Associated Press and USA Today debunked similar claims.

Updates:

  • 2020-11-25T21:33:41Z 2020-11-25T21:33:41Z
    Updated to add response from Sen. Feinstein's office.

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  Hallie Golden

Hallie Golden is a fact checker at Lead Stories and a freelance journalist based in Seattle. Her articles have been published in such places as The Guardian, The New York Times and Bloomberg CityLab.  She previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Philadelphia, Pa

Read more about or contact Hallie Golden

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