Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee, September 27, 2018
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh faces new sexual abuse claims, with several Democratic Presidential candidates calling for his impeachment.
On Saturday a New York Times essay, from a new book by reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, set out the new information. In a 10-month investigation, they found more support for the claim of Kavanaugh’s Yale University classmate Deborah Ramirez that the future judge thrust his penis in her face, prompting her to push it away.
During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings last autumn, Senate Republicans said Ramirez’s account lacked corroboration. However, Pogrebin and Kelly said at least seven people “heard about the Yale incident long before Kavanaugh was a federal judge”. Ramirez’s mother and two classmates learned of the alleged incident just days after the party.
The reporters said Ramirez’s lawyers gave the FBI a list of at least 25 people who may have had corroborating evidence, but the bureau interviewed none of them. Nor was it highlighted that he two agents who interviewed Ms. Ramirez told her that they found her account “credible”.
The authors set out a second, previously unreported incident at a different party in Kavanaugh’s freshman year. Classmate Max Stier, who now runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, said he saw Kavanaugh with his pants down and friends pushing his penis into the hand of a female student.
Stier notified senators and the FBI, but there was no investigation.
Kavanaugh declined to speak to the reporters about the latest claims.
During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, another witness, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her, and tried to remove her clothes while covering her mouth. The alleged assault occurred at a Washington-area party when Blasey Ford was a high school student.
Kavanaugh aggressively denied the claim, and Donald Trump publicly mocked Blasey Ford at his campaign rallies.
Pogrebin and Kelly wrote that, while they obtained more evidence in Ramirez’s case, they found Blasey Ford’s account “credible”.
On Sunday, Trump again went on a Twitter offensive to protect Kavanaugh:
Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Calls for Impeachment
Trump’s possible concern was illuminated by calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, including from the Democratic Presidential candidates.
Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 15, 2019
Sen. Kamala Harris, a member of the Judiciary Committee holding Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, wrote:
I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice.
He must be impeached.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden said the revelations were “profoundly troubling” and called for an investigation into “whether the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans pressured the F.B.I. to ignore evidence”.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro also called for action against Kavanaugh and against the FBI over the failure to carry out a full investigation and provide information to the Judiciary Committee.
Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Republicans, and the Trump administration knew about corroborating witnesses and additional allegations of his sexual abuse and kept them quiet.
As I said yesterday, it’s clear he lied under oath and he must be impeached. pic.twitter.com/iqXJqVBtws
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 15, 2019