Just as negotiators reached agreement on an extraordinary hearing for Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, a second allegation of sexual misconduct by the Supreme Court nominee put the White House and Senate Republicans on the defensive and fueled calls from Democrats to postpone further action on his confirmation.
A days-long back and forth over the timing and terms of a hearing with Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, appeared to end Sunday with the announcement that they would appear separately Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hours later, however, The New Yorker magazine reported online that Senate Democrats were investigating another woman’s accusation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, this time dating to the 1983-84 academic year, Kavanaugh’s first at Yale University. The New Yorker said 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez described the incident in an interview after being contacted by the magazine. Ramirez recalled that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away, the magazine reported.
In a statement provided by the White House, Kavanaugh said the event “did not happen” and that the allegation was “a smear, plain and simple.” A White House spokeswoman added in a second statement that the allegation was “designed to tear down a good man.”
Will there be a separate hearing for Ramirez and would it be any different from that of Blasey Ford? What does this mean for the confirmation?
With files from the Associated Press
Lara Bazelon, professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law; she was a trial attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles for seven years; she has litigated Title IX cases
Jenna Parker, attorney in LA specializes in Title IX cases with Werksman, Jackson, Hathaway & Quinn, LLP