In a piece just published by the New Yorker magazine, Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer report that Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
Farrow and Mayer report that a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez, recalls a drunken incident at a dormitory party gone awry that she wants the FBI to investigate. The incident dates back to the 1983-84 academic year, Kavanaugh’s first at Yale University.
Ramirez recalled that Kavanaugh exposed himself, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away, the magazine reported.
In a statement provided by the White House, Kavanaugh said the event “did not happen” and that the allegation was “a smear, plain and simple.” A White House spokeswoman added in a second statement that the allegation was “designed to tear down a good man.”
The magazine reported that Ramirez was reluctant at first to speak publicly “partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.” She also acknowledged reluctance “to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty.”
The magazine reports that after “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections” to recall the incident.
The new information came hours after the Senate committee agreed to a date and time for a hearing after nearly a week of uncertainty over whether Ford would appear to tell her story.
The agreement and the latest accusation set the stage for a dramatic showdown as Kavanaugh and Ford each tell their side of the story. The developments could also determine the fate of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which hangs on the votes of a handful of senators.
Statement from Judge Brett Kavanaugh
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name–and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building–against these last-minute allegations.”
Statement from White House Spokesperson Kerri Kupec
“This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”
Kavanaugh is slated to testify Thursday about the first allegation of sexual assault, dating back from a high school party more than 35 years ago. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is also set to testify.
Tweets from senators and congressmen
Calls for Kavanaugh to withdraw and other statements of support
Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, a Democratic group, is calling on Kavanaugh to step aside. “Enough is enough. Brett Kavanaugh needs to withdraw immediately.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue issued the following statement:
“Brett Kavanaugh must withdraw immediately. We believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and we believe Deborah Ramirez. Brett Kavanaugh was unfit to serve before these latest allegations, now there can be no question that he must not serve on the highest court in the land. There is no possible way for this nomination to proceed without wholly undermining the integrity of the Supreme Court and without sending the resounding message to women across America that they do not matter.”
Tomorrow, Monday September 24, NARAL Pro-Choice America along with survivors across the country, allies, and over 80 organizations will participate in a nationwide walkout at noon CST.
Planned Parenthood issued the following statement from Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens:
“Brett Kavanaugh is now facing multiple sexual assault accusations — it could not be more clear that senators must stop this confirmation process. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez have courageously come forward with their experiences, and have been bullied, shamed and threatened for speaking out. They have nothing to gain by telling their stories publicly. Every senator and the entire country owes them respect and gratitude for coming forward.
“Instead of seeking additional information when Deborah Ramirez’s allegations became known to the Committee last week, Chairman Grassley tried to accelerate the confirmation process and silence her voice. Once again, his actions make clear that he has no intention of seeking the truth or listening to survivors.
“This is a job interview for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Judge Kavanaugh’s record of blocking abortion access and birth control are already a clear disqualification. The two — and counting — allegations of sexual assault are further disqualification, and if senators and the White House continue to push forward Kavanaugh’s nomination, they threaten the integrity of the Supreme Court.
“Enough is enough. Senators, now is the time: Reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.”
Judicial Crisis Network released the following statement from a top official, Carrie Severino:
“Senate Republicans must not allow unsubstantiated and discredited allegations from over three decades ago to destroy the life and reputation of a good man. Countless people from every phase of Brett Kavanaugh’s life have testified that he is a good man of the highest character and integrity. Chuck Schumer vowed to oppose Kavanaugh with everything he’s got, and apparently that took the form of character assassination. This has all of the ingredients of a smear campaign on steroids. Senate Republicans should stand up to these unsubstantiated and discredited allegations and move forward with a vote to confirm Kavanaugh.”
The Alliance for Justice issued this statement, quoting its president, Nan Aron:
“No one can now ignore the accumulating allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh. There is no place on the United States Supreme Court for a person who has displayed such a pattern of behavior, and we believe it is time for the White House and Senate Republicans to face the truth: this nomination cannot proceed, period.”