That's two

Second woman with allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh comes forward

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the second day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2018. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Late Sunday night, a new bombshell was dropped into the prospective appointment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he and Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct decades ago, prepare to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Investigative reporters Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, writing in The New Yorker, uncovered a new allegation against Kavanaugh, dating back to his time at Yale University, which bears some similarities to Ford’s accusation.

Deborah Ramirez says that during a dorm party, a group of people were drinking, and at one point a man she believes to be Kavanaugh exposed himself and shoved his penis in her face, causing her to touch it to get him away from her. She says her memories of the night and the event are hazy due to her own intoxication, but that she felt ashamed and many other people were there, and the rumor spread about what she says happened to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she told The New Yorker. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” The allegation is explosive given the already contentious nature of the allegation Ford has leveled, and how the Senate Judiciary Committee has responded in handling her possible appearance on Capitol Hill, along with Kavanaugh’s staunch denials of any wrongdoing.

Kavanaugh, in a statement given to The New Yorker, denied this new claim as well. “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple,” he said. The White House is also still backing President Donald Trump’s nominee after the new accusation surfaced.

Sides have already been taken over the new claim. Other former students who spoke to The New Yorker attest to Ramirez’s character and say they also heard the rumor. Meanwhile other students said they had never heard of the event taking place, that Kavanaugh would never do such a thing and some disputed that Kavanaugh was at the party in question. Farrow and Mayer even went so far as to offer the following caveat in their story: “The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. The magazine contacted several dozen classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh regarding the incident. Many did not respond to interview requests; others declined to comment, or said they did not attend or remember the party.”

Senate Republicans knew at the end of last week that this story was in the works, but unsure of whether it would see the light of day, they still pushed for his confirmation hearing to happen as soon as possible, giving Ford a deadline to testify on Monday or else she had no other option. Her lawyers pushed back — and asked for an FBI investigation, which is not happening — and Ford is now set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The New Yorker was not the only outlet investigating Ramirez’s claims. According to a report by The New York Times, reporters there were trying to verify Ramirez’s account, but ultimately did not go forward with publishing a story. “The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos wrote in the report. “Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.”

The New Yorker is only one of the developments that is rocking Washington D.C. Lawyer and one-man watchdog Michael Avenatti, who has rocketed to fame representing Stormy Daniels, made an announcement on Twitter that he’s representing a client with “credible information” about Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, a Georgetown Prep classmate who Ford says was present during the encounter. He said his client is not Deborah Ramirez, so it remains to be seen if more allegations will come to light. The fate of the hearing hangs in the balance, and this week will play a deciding factor in whether Kavanaugh will receive a lifetime appointment to this country’s highest court.

On Monday morning, Jane Mayer appeared on NBC’s Today show to discuss the story. Savannah Guthrie questioned Mayer on the the fact that no eyewitness has come forward to corroborate Ramirez’s account. Mayer answered by citing a high-profile source who spoke to her on background and said he heard about the alleged incident not long after it was said to have occurred. Mayer said she pressed the source about whether he was sure that he’d heard it was Brett Kavanaugh who committed the act. “I am 100 percent sure,” she said he answered. Watch highlights from that interview below.

 

Read the full story at The New Yorker.

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