Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Trump backs Kavanaugh amid new claim of sexual misconduct

Trump backs Kavanaugh amid new claim of sexual misconduct

Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

President Trump recently praised Kavanaugh amid the new sexual assault allegations, calling him a "fine man with an unblemished past".

On Sunday night, the New Yorker magazine published an article in which a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, described an instance of alleged sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh that dates to the 1983-84 academic year when both attended Yale University.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has made public the letter in which Christine Blasey Ford alleges sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In Kavanaugh's response to the question, he denies each allegation again and shares that he never had sex in high school. "In my opinion, it's totally political", Mr. Trump said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting Monday morning.

Kavanaugh, now an appeals court judge in Washington, said no witnesses have supported the allegations and called them a "grotesque and obvious character assassination". Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week, according to the magazine, and expressed concern about the impact this new allegation could have on Kavanaugh's nomination. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said after publication of the story: "This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats created to tear down a good man".

The journalists behind the piece, Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, say they contacted dozens of classmates to try and corroborate Ms Ramirez's account.

The Post reported Sunday that Keyser said in a brief interview at her home that she still believes Ford, even if she doesn't remember the party.

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. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to have the FBI investigate the allegations of both Ford and Ramirez. The campaign was promoted on Twitter under the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors, and several Democrats in Congress - including members of the Senate Judiciary Committee vetting Kavanaugh - posted photos in support.

Grassley's spokesman, Taylor Foy, accused Senate Democrats of withholding information on the latest allegation and of seeking a "political takedown" of Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has emphatically denied all accusations, leveled at him.

"The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh", Kupec said.

California professor Christine Blasey Ford claims Kavanaugh attempted to force himself on her at a party in high school when they were teenagers.

MacCallum asked, "You're saying through all the years that are in question, you were a virgin?"

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley wrangled with Ford's lawyers for the last week over the exact terms of her appearance. They note that neither the accusers nor news organizations have found people willing to provide corroboration, even though both women have named people who they said were present at the alleged incidents.

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