Inside Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Accusations
“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” Kavanaugh said in a statement provided to reporters from the White House. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, speaking to the Washington Post about her account of the event she says happened when they were both in high school. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford in the interview. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.” Kavanaugh repeated that the allegation was “completely false.”
Debra S. Katz, the attorney for the accuser, said Ford was willing to tell her story publicly to the Judiciary panel but no lawmakers had yet contacted her. Katz denied that Ford, a Democrat, was politically motivated. “She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped,” Katz told NBC’s “Today.” Explaining Ford’s initial reluctance to come forward, Katz said, “No one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of violation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go through.”
Ford said Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” she says — corralled her in a bedroom at a Maryland party in the early 1980s when she was around 15 years old, and Kavanaugh 17. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and she escaped when the friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them. In the interview, Ford says she didn’t reveal what had happened until 2012 when she and her husband sought couple’s therapy. Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, said he recalled his wife using Kavanaugh’s last name and expressing concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might someday be nominated to the Supreme Court.
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone,” he said. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
“This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted; she should be heard,” Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor to the president, said in an interview with Fox News.
Kavanaugh and Ford both indicated Monday that they would be willing to testify to a Senate panel as the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee shifted from seemingly painless to problematic.
Democrats and some Republican senators have expressed concern over Christine Blasey Ford’s private-turned-public accusation that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when both were teenagers at high schools in suburban Maryland. Currently a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely viewed as the nation’s second most powerful court, Kavanaugh seemed to be on a smooth confirmation track until the new allegation emerged.
Kavanaugh, 53, “categorically and unequivocally” denied the allegation when it came out anonymously last week. “This has not changed,” said White House spokesman Kerri Kupec on Monday. “Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement.”
Stressing that Kavanaugh had already testified and undergone FBI background checks, Conway said: “I think you have to weigh this testimonial evidence from Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh along with the considerable body of evidence that is already there about the judge’s temperament and qualifications and character.”
Initially, the sexual misconduct allegation was conveyed in a private letter, without revealing Ford’s name. With a name and disturbing details, the accusation raised the prospect of congressional Republicans defending Trump’s nominee ahead of midterm elections featuring an unprecedented number of female candidates and informed in part by the #MeToo movement.
With Republicans narrowly controlling the Senate 51-49, this accusation is a major issue. There is a substantial amount of pressure from outside groups who would like for at least two (2) Republican Senators to oppose Kavanaugh on grounds that as a justice he could vote to undercut the Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.
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