Second Kavanaugh accuser never contacted lawmakers; Grassley evaluating the claims
The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking a look at new allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even though neither of the women who have gone public contacted the committee’s leadership, a spokesman said late Sunday.
Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale University with Judge Kavanaugh, went to the New Yorker with her story, while Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing a porn star engaged in a legal battle with President Trump, says another Kavanaugh accuser has come to him.
The Judiciary Committee says it is asking for more information about both sets of claims, but Taylor Foy, spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, also said the timing and manner of the allegations smack of partisan games.
And he said it appears from the New Yorker piece that Democratic operatives in the Senate were aware of one woman’s claims but didn’t bring them forward.
“Yet again, Senate Democrats actively withheld information from the rest of the committee only to drop information at politically opportune moments,” Mr. Foy said. “It increasingly appears that they are more interested in a political takedown than pursuing allegations through a bipartisan and professional investigative process.”
He added: “Of course, we will attempt to evaluate these new claims.”
Mr. Foy said the committee has asked Mr. Avenatti to provide evidence from the woman he is representing, who he says is not Ms. Ramirez, the woman in the New Yorker piece.
Mr. Avenatti has not detailed the allegation but has taken to Twitter to lay out demands. He says the FBI must investigate his client’s accusations, and claims she has “multiple additional witnesses.” And he wants the committee to question Judge Kavanaugh’s high school friends and interrogate him on things from his yearbook.
Judge Kavanaugh has forcefully denied the allegations.
“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,” he said in a statement released by the White House.
The White House is standing behind the president’s nominee, saying this is the latest claim in a “coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man.
The new allegations join those of Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who said Judge Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her in high school though no witnesses have corroborated her story. She is slated to testify to the committee Thursday.
Democrats, though, say the information from The New Yorker means the entire Kavanaugh nomination should be put on hold, and they said the FBI must be roped in to investigate.