Brett Kavanaugh ‘willing to talk’ to Congress about allegations
Judge Brett Kavanaugh said Monday he is willing to talk to Congress to defend himself against startling allegations of attempted sexual assault in high school and vehemently denied every part of the accusation.
The allegations were made by Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who as a high school student in the 1980s knew the judge and says he attempted to force himself on her at a party.
The accusation has upended Republicans’ push for quick confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Committee was slated to vote on Thursday, but Democrats and one key Republican have said that can’t happen until the Senate can learn more.
Ms. Ford’s lawyer says she is willing to appear to testify though it’s not clear what setting she is willing to appear for.
Judge Kavanaugh, in a statement released by the White House, said he, too, is willing to clear things up though he didn’t use the word “testify.”
“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” he said in the statement.
He sat for two days of questions earlier this month, including a closed-door session where issues such as these allegations could have been raised. Nobody raised them though the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was aware of the allegations in July.
Republicans say that lends credence to their suspicions of dirty tricks to derail the confirmation, which has been Democrats’ chief goal for the last two months.
Ms. Ford’s allegations, which she told to The Washington Post, are specific in some respects but not others.
She says the incident happened when she was 15 and the judge was a 17-year-old student at Georgetown Prep, an all-boys high school in suburban Maryland. She says they were at a party together when he attacked her, attempting to strip off her clothes while holding his hand over her mouth.
She says she resisted and escaped him, and didn’t talk about the memory until 2012.
Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegation last week, before any details were known. Now that Ms. Ford has given details, he delivered an even more forceful denial Monday.
“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes to her or to anyone,” he said in a statement issued by the White House. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”