The attorney for Deborah Ramirez, the former Yale University classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who has accused him of sexual misconduct, made several appearances on morning television Wednesday and said his client is “willing to testify” before the Senate Judiciary Committee if she were to be asked to do so — and certain conditions are met.
John Clune said on CBS This Morning that he’s been in contact over email with Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, but that they are “refusing” to have a discussion with him and Democrats over the phone. He added that a call had been scheduled for Tuesday evening, but only his team and Democratic senators showed up for the call.
When John Dickerson asked if Ramirez is open to testifying, Clune responded, “She would be willing to testify … but she wants us to have this conversation about what this is going to look like, what the process is going to be and if there’s going to be an FBI investigation into what happened in her case.”
Ramirez came forward in a story published Sunday by The New Yorker. She said during a party held at a dormitory on the Yale campus during their freshman year, Kavanaugh, inebriated, exposed his penis and shoved it in near her face without her consent. She admitted to being intoxicated as well and said she touched it as she tried to push him away. “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.”
However, no eyewitnesses have come forward to verify her claim and Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusation, most recently during a 20-minute interview on Fox News. Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor who was acquainted with Kavanugh as a teenager, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the two were drunk at a house party. She was 15, he was 17 at the time of the alleged incident. Kavanaugh has also denied that accusation. As the uncertainty over whether the Judiciary Committee will hear Ramirez out, friends and acquaintances are coming forward to defend her character, saying she is someone who is credible and who never sought the spotlight.
Angela Hardin, a close friend of Ramirez’s who spoke to her as recently as Sunday evening, told The Associated Press, “I definitely had known she went to Yale and I knew that it wasn’t always an easy experience for her. “Debbie would talk about feeling various levels of discrimination,” Hardin, who became friends with Ramirez later in life as the two worked as women’s crisis volunteers, added. She also said Ramirez struggled with whether or not to speak up about the accusation.
“The fact that she brought her story forward tells me that she had to have gone through a lot of introspection,” Lisa Calderon told the AP. Calderon is Ramirez’s former supervisor at a Colorado nonprofit where she once worked that provides support for of survivors of domestic violence. “Bringing in what she went through would have been in some ways compromising boundaries because she always felt it wasn’t about her,” Calderon continued. “She had a passion for social justice, helping people, particularly women of color whose voices tended to not be heard.”
Clune, the lawyer, also spoke to Ramirez’s credibility when he discussed the care she took in revealing the details she did and offering the caveats that she too was
heavily intoxicated — “slurring her words,” as Ramirez put it to The New Yorker — on the night in question.
“If somebody’s going to make something up they’re not going to put gaps in their memory, right? She was very, very conscientious about only putting forth the information that she was comfortable with and acknowledging the things that were the gaps in her memory. So that — as a former prosecutor, I can tell you that only helps her credibility because somebody’s not going to falsify a report that has that kind of gap,” Clune said.
Watch the full interview with Clune below.