With House Democrats vowing to investigate accusations of sexual misconduct and perjury against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh if they win control of the House, Republicans on the Senate Senate Judiciary Chairman released a 414-page report over the weekend concluding there is “no credible evidence” to support the claims that arose during the confirmation process.
Already, the panel’s chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has referred criminal charges to the Justice Department against lawyer Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick, and against Judy Munro-Leighton, who admitted her rape accusation was a “ploy.”
The report presents details of the “mistaken identity” claims of two witnesses who testified they were the ones who had an encounter with Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s chief accuser.
The Democrat in line to chair the House Judiciary Committee if his party regains the majority Tuesday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, insisted last month there was evidence that Senate Republicans and the FBI had overseen a “whitewash” investigation of the allegations, the New York Times reported.
Grassley’s team found otherwise.
“This was a serious and thorough investigation that left no stone unturned in our pursuit of the facts,” the senator said. “In the end, there was no credible evidence to support the allegations against the nominee.”
Ford dismissed the “mistaken identity” theory in dramatic testimony at a Sept. 27 committee hearing, declaring she was 100 percent positive Kavanaugh assaulted her. Visibly angry, Kavanaugh followed with an impassioned, categorical denial of Ford’s accusation.
The man told Senate investigators that as a 19-year-old college student visiting Washington over spring break, he kissed a girl he believes was Ford, Fox News reported.
“He said that the kiss happened in the bedroom of a house which was about a 15-to-20 minute walk from the Van Ness Metro, that Dr. Ford was wearing a swimsuit under her clothing, and that the kissing ended when a friend jumped on them as a joke,” the committee report said.
The second man claiming to be the one who had the encounter with Ford, in 1982, said that “based on old photographs of Justice Kavanaugh he has seen on the news, he believes the two of them share a similar appearance.”
Grassley’s report said both men described “consensual encounters.”
Probing witness tampering
His committee also is investigating potential witness tampering by Ford’s friend and former FBI agent, Monica McLean.
The report says “several media outlets have reported that the FBI’s supplemental report indicated that Leland Keyser, a friend of Dr. Ford, felt pressure from Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement to the Committee that she did not know Justice Kavanaugh or have any knowledge of the alleged incident.”
Ford claims Keyser was downstairs at a party where she asserts Kavanaugh assaulted her. Keyser has testified she has no recollection of any such party, and the three other witnesses Ford names have said the same.
Ford said she could not remember the date and the place where the alleged assault took place, and doesn’t remember how she got home.
The panel report says Keyser is reported by media to have told the FBI that McLean and others contacted her and pressured her to “clarify” her account.
The report also summarized testimony that cast further doubt on the claim of Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh had thrust his penis in her face when they were at Yale. A man who said he was a member of Kavanaugh’s Yale fraternity insisted it was another member of the fraternity who had a reputation for exposing himself.
Ramirez told the New Yorker she was drunk and couldn’t be sure it was Kavanaugh until conferring with her attorney for a week. The New York Times followed up and concluded it could not corroborate the story. And later, the author of the New Yorker story, Jane Mayer, acknowledged there were no corroborating witnesses.