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New Book’s Evidence On Kavanaugh Sparks Calls For Impeachment

A new book by two New York Times reporters suggests that Deborah Ramirez — who claimed that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while both were Yale students — had significant evidence to corroborate her charges. But Republicans seeking to confirm Kavanaugh ensured that her charges were not fully investigated. Now some prominent Democrats, including several presidential candidates, are calling for Kavanaugh to be impeached for lying during his Senate confirmation hearings.

According to The Education of Brett Kavanaugh, which the Times excerpted last weekend, Ramirez described the incident to the FBI in detail:

During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.

Ramirez reportedly gave investigators a list of 25 witnesses who could support her allegation but they were hindered by rules imposed by the Senate Republicans and interviewed none of the proposed witnesses. Following up on her charges in a ten-month investigation, however, authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly found that “at least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge.” Two of those witnesses were Ramirez classmates who learned of the assault just days after the party, “suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.”

(Here I should note that both Pogrebin and Kelly were my colleagues at the New York Observer — and I continue to hold them in the highest regard.)

Over the weekend, the Times itself came under heavy criticism for an insensitive tweet promoting an article about the book, which described “having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party” as seeming “like harmless fun.” The paper subsequently deleted the tweet and instead noted on Twitter that “we deleted a previous tweet regarding this article. It was offensive, and we apologize.”

While President Trump and Senate Republicans continued to defend Kavanaugh, denouncing the new reporting as a “smear,” Democrats demanded a renewed investigation and possible impeachment of the new justice. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) declared in a tweet that Kavanaugh “was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.”

In her own tweet, Senator Elizabeth Warren linked him to Trump: “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”

 

Feinstein Urges Delay After New Sexual Misconduct Allegation Against Kavanaugh

The New Yorker reported on Sunday night that Senate Democrats are investigating a second accusation of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Reported by staff writers Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, the story includes an extensive interview with Deborah Ramirez, 53, who says the incident occurred during their freshman year together at Yale University.

Ramirez agreed to be interviewed when the magazine contacted her. She said that she recalls a drunken dormitory party where Kavanaugh thrust his exposed penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Kavanaugh denied that the incident ever occurred, calling it a “smear” in a statement distributed by the White House.

According to the New Yorker, the story has spurred controversy among their Yale classmates, some of whom supported Ramirez’s  account while others backed Kavanaugh’s denial.

But as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepared to hear testimony this week from Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, at least one of its members asked Sunday night that any further action be postponed pending a full investigation of both charges.

“I am writing to request an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,” wrote Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on Judiciary, in a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the committee chair. “I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation….We need a fair, independent process that will gather all the facts, interview all the witnesses, and ensure that the Committee receives a full and impartial report.”

Kavanaugh is already under heavy scrutiny following Ford’s accusation that he assaulted her in an attempted rape during a drunken high school party when both were teenagers in suburban Maryland. He categorically denied ever attending the party described by Ford or participating in any such attack.