Kevin Daley, DCNF
- A second women, Deborah Ramirez, levied allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday night.
- Kavanaugh and his allies vigorously denied the charge, calling Ramirez’s accusation a “smear.”
- The White House remains supportive of Kavanaugh, and there are no signs of a possible withdrawal.
A second woman shared her account of alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Sunday night, claiming that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a party in college in either 1983 or 1984.
The accuser, Deborah Ramirez, attended Yale University with Kavanaugh in the mid-1980s. The White House affirmed its support for Kavanaugh as the story broke in The New Yorker, while college classmates of both Ramirez and Kavanaugh gave conflicting accounts of the events at issue.
By Ramirez’s telling, Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face during a dorm room party, which she then pushed away. She admits to drinking heavily on the night in question, and said that, while significant gaps exist in her memory, the account was the result of six days of careful reflection in conjunction with her attorney. The report indicates that Ramirez was initially reluctant to definitively ascribe the behavior to Kavanaugh.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “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.”
In a separate statement, White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said President Donald Trump had no plans to withdraw the nomination.
“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,” Kupec said. “The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”
The report names witnesses who corroborate both Kavanaugh and Ramirez. One unnamed classmate recalled hearing about the event contemporaneously while another, Mark Krasberg, said Kavanaugh’s conduct at Yale was much discussed among alumni after his nomination to the high court.
Two male students Ramirez claimed were present during the misconduct deny that it occurred, while three other classmates who knew both Kavanaugh and Ramirez said the behavior alleged is broadly inconsistent with the judge’s behavior in college.
Another unnamed student, who said she was one of Ramirez’s closest friends at Yale, said Ramirez has never mentioned the event.
The New Yorker was not able to confirm that Kavanaugh was present at the party where Ramirez says she was assaulted.
Kavanaugh is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to give testimony, after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of attempted sexual assault. It was not clear Sunday night whether Ramirez would participate in the proceedings.
After publication of the Ramirez accusation Sunday night, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley urging him to stop action on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“I am writing to request an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,” the letter reads. “I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigation the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims.”
Kavanaugh’s conservative supporters were undeterred by the Ramirez story, and urged Senate Republicans to move ahead with the judge’s confirmation, rather than buckle to what they called a smear campaign.
“[Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer vowed to oppose Kavanaugh with everything he’s got, and apparently that took the form of character assassination,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. “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.”
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