The allegations of sexual assault documented against Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearings last year should have been enough to prevent him from becoming a Supreme Court justice. They weren’t.
Now, The New York Times is reporting new information about one of his alleged victims, Deborah Ramirez, who was a target of sexual harassment by Kavanaugh when the two were freshmen students at Yale.
The newspaper also uncovered details of a second alleged victim at Yale that we hadn’t heard about during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. During those hearings, held in September 2018, it appeared that Kavanaugh wasn’t telling the truth while under oath about the allegations against him. In the new reporting by the Times, it becomes clearer that this likely was the case.
In the incident with Ramirez in college, Kavanaugh allegedly pulled his pants down during a dormitory party and forced his penis at her, prompting her touch it while pushing him away. Others at the party laughed. But the incident was traumatizing for Ramirez.
Asked about this during confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh said Ramirez’s allegations were untrue. “None of the witnesses in the room support that. If that had happened, that would have been the talk of campus in our freshman dorm,” Kavanaugh had said.
According to the Times, “Our reporting suggests it was [the talk of the campus].”
Per the report:
At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.
As to the other incident, which was previously unreported, the newspaper says that also during freshman year at Yale, a classmate, Max Stier, “saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”
Stier reported the incident to both senators and the FBI during Kavanaugh’s vetting process for the Supreme Court—and nothing happened.
Ramirez’s allegations also went nowhere with the FBI, despite a list of 25 (!) possible corroborating witnesses:
Ms. Ramirez’s legal team gave the F.B.I. a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence. But the bureau — in its supplemental background investigation — interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own.
Two F.B.I. agents interviewed Ms. Ramirez, telling her that they found her “credible.” But the Republican-controlled Senate had imposed strict limits on the investigation. “‘We have to wait to get authorization to do anything else,’” Bill Pittard, one of Ms. Ramirez’s lawyers, recalled the agents saying. “It was almost a little apologetic.”
All of this is in addition to the very credible allegations by a third woman, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh sexually attacked her while the two were in high school. Ford said Kavanaugh “pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth,” according to an account previously published in The Washington Post.
Despite these details, as the Times notes, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time, outrageously claimed, “There is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.” Kavanaugh was confirmed on Oct. 6, 2018, by a vote of 50-48.
Donald Trump, who also has been accused of multiple cases of sexual assault and who picked Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court, weighed in on the issue on Twitter on Sunday morning.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for liable, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” Trump tweeted, misspelling the word “libel.” He corrected it about an hour later in a new tweet.
“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!” he wrote.
In another tweet, Trump wrote, “Now the Radical Left Democrats and their Partner, the LameStream Media, are after Brett Kavanaugh again, talking loudly of their favorite word, impeachment. He is an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY. Such lies about him. They want to scare him into turning Liberal!”
Last year, when all of this initially came out, Trump had claimed it was a “hoax” plotted by Democrats to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Update, 9/16/19, 1:47 p.m. ET: The New York Times added an editors’ note to its piece about Kavanaugh, saying that it had updated the piece to clarify that the woman at the center of Max Stier’s allegation about Kavanaugh “declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident.”