Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, according to a bombshell report in The New Yorker on Sunday.
The new allegation dates to Kavanaugh’s freshman year at Yale University during the 1983-84 school year, according to the report by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer. The report says that Deborah Ramirez, a 53-year-old woman who was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s, is accusing Kavanaugh of exposing his penis to her at a dorm-room party, thrusting it in her face, and causing her to touch it without her consent while she resisted.
Kavanaugh categorically denied the allegation in a statement to The New Yorker.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” he said. “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.”
The offices of at least two Democratic senators have begun investigating Ramirez’s claim, according to The New Yorker.
“This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono told the magazine.
Ramirez told The New Yorker that at the party, which took place in a suite at Yale’s Lawrence Hall, she quickly became intoxicated while playing a drinking game with Kavanaugh and other classmates. She said at one point a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction, and shortly after, Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and exposed himself to her.
“Brett was laughing,” she told the magazine. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.”
Although Ramirez said there are gaps in her memory from that night, she said she felt confident enough in her recollection of those details to come forward.
Senator Diane Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for Kavanaugh’s nomination proceedings to be postponed in light of Sunday’s report and asked Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the committee, to refer the new allegation to the FBI.
The report comes less than a week before Christine Blasey Ford is slated to testify in open court about her allegation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. Ford alleged that while they were both in high school, a drunk Kavanaugh forced himself on her, tried to remove her clothing, and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. Kavanaugh has denied that allegations as well.
Earlier on Sunday, attorney Michael Avenatti claimed to represent a woman with “credible information” about Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, a conservative writer and friend of Kavanaugh’s who according to Ford, was an eye-witness to the alleged assault. He later specified that his client was not Ramirez.
“We will be demanding the opportunity to present testimony to the committee and will likewise be demanding that Judge and others be subpoenaed to testify,” Avenatti tweeted. “The nomination must be withdrawn.”