President Trump on Monday stood by Brett Kavanaugh amid newly raised allegations from another woman who claims, without corroboration from witnesses, that the U.S. Supreme Court nominee exposed himself to her at a party while they were students at Yale University.
“He is a fine man with an unblemished past, and these are highly unsubstantiated statements from people represented by lawyers,” the president told reporters as he arrived at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person and I am with him all the way.”
Trump said that for people “to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mention it, all of a sudden it happens, in my opinion, it’s totally political.”
“It’s totally political,” he said.
The new allegations, published Sunday night in a New Yorker article co-bylined by Pulitzer Prize winner Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, are being made by Deborah Ramirez, who was a student at Yale University when Kavanaugh was a freshman.
Ramirez, however, admitted she didn’t know for 35 years who had sexually harassed her until Kavanaugh was nominated and she met with a Democrat lawyer for six days to “assess her memories.”
And even now, the New Yorker article points out, Rameriz, who admits she was drunk at the time of the alleged incident, still is not certain it was Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, as with the claim by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford that has delayed the vote on his confirmation, denies he was at the party described.
In a letter Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh decried attempts at “character assassination” and said he looks forward to defending himself Thursday at a hearing where Ford also is scheduled to tesify.
“There is now a frenzy to come up with something — anything — that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring,” he wrote.
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, on Sunday called for Thursday’s hearing to be canceled “in light of a disturbing new allegation of misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh.
“The FBI must investigate ALL allegations,” the California senator said.
Echoing President Trump, on the Senate floor Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of playing dirty politics.
He asserted Democrats have put on “whatever performance the far-left special interests demanded and thrown all the mud, all the mud, they can manufacture.”
“It’s not like they didn’t warn us,” he said. “But even by the far-left’s standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low.”
McConnell said Senate Democrats and their allies are “trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.”
“This is what the so-called resistance has become,” the senator said.
McConnell vowed that Kavanaugh “will be voted for here on the Senate floor, up or down.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 24, 2018
A Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, dismissed the “Republican narrative that this is all politically motivated.”
Republicans, she told reporters Monday and the Capitol, “cannot get to the idea that this investigation needs to occur,” referring to Democrats’ calls for an FBI probe of the allegations of both women.
“They cannot get their arms around the fact that women do not make these things up,” Hirono said. “And they just want to obfuscate that by calling it politically motivated.”
Kavanaugh: ‘This is a smear, plain and simple’
Kavanaugh said in a statement issued by the White House that the alleged incident described by Ramirez “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.
White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec charged the accusation is part of a “coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man.”
The White House, she said, “stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”
Purported witnesses named by Martinez also deny her claims.
Farrow, who sparked the #MeToo movement with his reporting on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, and Mayer write that they could not confirm “with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party.”
The New York Times followed up, reporting it had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge.”
Ramirez herself, according to the Times, “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.”
Regarding Ford’s allegation, along with Kavaugh, two of the witnesses Ford has named regarding the alleged 1982 event in Maryland when both were in high school deny they were at any such party.
And now, another purported witness named by Ford, Leland Ingham Keyser, says she doesn’t know Kavanaugh and doesn’t recall attending a party with him.
“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser’s lawyer, Howard Walsh, said in a statement.
Republicans deny Democrats disclosed new claims
The Senate Judiciary Committee will “evaluate” the new allegations of sexual misconduct, according to a spokesman for panel Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
The spokesman sharply criticized Democrats for “withholding information” regarding the allegations, The Hill reported.
“Yet again, Senate Democrats actively withheld information from the rest of the Committee only to drop information at politically opportune moments,” the statement said.
Democrats appear to be “more interested in a political takedown” than “pursuing allegations through a bipartisan and professional” investigation, the statement said.
“Of course, we will attempt to evaluate these new claims.”
The New Yorker reported Republican staffers were aware of the Ramirez accusation as they worked toward votes by the committee and the full Senate to confirm Kavanaugh before the new Supreme Court session begins next Monday.
But Grassley’s spokesman denied the claim, saying they learned of the Ramirez allegations when the New Yorker article was published Sunday evening.
“Neither [Ramirez] nor her legal representative have contacted the chairman’s office,” the spokesman said. “The article reports that Democratic staff were aware of these allegations, but they never informed Republican staff.”
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Antonia Ferrier, also stated Senate Democrats “didn’t inform us of these allegations.”
Kavanaugh charges: #MeToo vs. #FalselyAccused by Michael Brown
5 reasons to be skeptical of Kavanaugh’s accuser by Larry Tomczak
What justice demands in Kavanaugh imbroglio by Rita Dunaway
Brett Kavanaugh: Victim of social justice by Carl Jackson