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Supreme Court nominee denies allegation of sexual misconduct in school

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WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Friday denied an allegation of sexual misconduct from when he was in high school, seeking to defuse a potential threat to his confirmation as a handful of key senators remained silent on whether they would vote for him.

In a statement released by the White House, Kavanaugh said: "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time."

Senate Republicans insist Kavanaugh's confirmation remains on track. But the allegation has inflamed an already intense political battle over President Donald Trump's nominee. It also pushes the #MeToo movement into the court fight, less than two months before congressional elections that have seen a surge of female Democratic candidates.

The New Yorker magazine reported the alleged incident took place at a party when Kavanaugh, now 53, was attending Georgetown Preparatory School. The woman making the allegation attended a nearby school.

The magazine said the woman sent a letter about the allegation to Democrats. A Democratic aide and another person familiar with the letter confirmed Friday to The Associated Press that the allegation is sexual in nature. Two other people familiar with the matter confirmed to the AP that the alleged incident happened in high school. They were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The AP has not confirmed the details in The New Yorker's account.

Rallying to Kavanaugh's defense, 65 women who knew him in high school issued a letter, released by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying he has "always treated women with decency and respect."

"We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983," wrote the women, who said most of them had attended all-girl high schools in the area. "For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect."

The swift pushback comes after the Senate Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, notified federal investigators about information she received about the nominee.

Feinstein won't disclose the information publicly, but the FBI confirmed it has included it in Kavanaugh's background file at the committee, now available confidentially to all senators.

Kavanaugh's nomination has divided the Senate and the new information complicates the process, especially as key Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are under pressure from outside groups seeking to sway their votes on grounds that Kavanaugh might vote to undercut the Roe v. Wade ruling. One activist group favoring abortion choice, NARAL, called on Kavanaugh to withdraw from consideration.

The Judiciary Committee, which has finished confirmation hearings for Kavanagh, still plans to vote Thursday on whether to recommend that he be confirmed by the full Senate, a spokesman said.

The White House called Feinstein's move an "11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation."

Collins held an hour-long phone call with Kavanaugh on Friday, her spokeswoman confirmed. It had been a previously scheduled follow-up to an initial visit that Kavanaugh made to her office in August. It was not immediately clear if they discussed the new information.

If Collins or Murkowski should vote for Kavanaugh, he is likely to be confirmed. Every other Republican in the Senate is expected to vote yes — and some Democrats from Trump-won states may join them — though it remains to be seen if the misconduct allegation will cost him any support.

Feinstein said in a statement Thursday that she "received information from an individual concerning the nomination." She said the person "strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision."

The FBI confirmed that it received the information Wednesday evening and included it in Kavanaugh's background file, which is maintained as part of his nomination. The agency said that is its standard process.

Feinstein's statement that she had "referred the matter to federal investigative authorities" jolted Capitol Hill and threatened to disrupt what had been a steady path toward confirmation for Kavanaugh by Republicans eager to see the conservative judge on the court.

Feinstein, who is up for re-election this year, has held the letter close. Democratic senators on the panel met privately Wednesday evening and discussed the information, according to Senate aides who were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some senators, including the No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, learned about the information for the first time at the meeting, according to one of the aides.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., declined to confirm reports that the congresswoman had forwarded a letter containing the allegations to Feinstein. The spokeswoman said the office has a confidentiality policy regarding casework for constituents.

A White House spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said the FBI has vetted Kavanaugh "thoroughly and repeatedly" during his career in government and the judiciary.

She said Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators — including with Feinstein — has sat through over 30 hours of testimony and publicly addressed more than 2,000 questions. "Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new 'information' about him," she said.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican and a member of the committee, was also skeptical.

"Let me get this straight: this is statement about secret letter regarding a secret matter and an unidentified person. Right," he tweeted.

Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was unaware of the information until it was made public, according to a GOP committee aide. Kavanaugh has undergone six federal background checks over his time in government, including one for the nomination, the aide said.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Comments

smmlv3 says...

Ms. Fienstein will be held accountable for propogating this lie.

Posted 14 September 2018, 12:24 p.m. Suggest removal

RobertBolt says...

Confirmation to such an august post should compel responsible Senators to take all necessary time and actions to ensure the next Justice is a person worthy. This protects the citizens and confers legitimacy to the seated appointee.

Posted 14 September 2018, 12:25 p.m. Suggest removal

LR1955 says...

So it appears any thing that a person ever did is up for grabs to put them down. Peeing behind a tree as a youth could be twisted into an Indecent Exposure allegation.

Posted 14 September 2018, 12:46 p.m. Suggest removal

Delta123 says...

Senator, have you no shame?

Posted 14 September 2018, 1:13 p.m. Suggest removal

ObieOne says...

I have a confidential letter from an anonymous source that must remain anonymous due to being illegal, saying that Senator Frankenstein kidnapped her at age 12 and kept her in slavery for the last 30 years, beating her and having male senators rape her for favorable senate votes and she just recently escaped.

Posted 14 September 2018, 1:20 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Come on boys will be boys and our commander in chief is not above a little grabbing of some bodies daughters private parts [ parts are parts] . And we know from the Evangelicals celestial decoding of the ancient book , revision # 1,234, stuff happens .

After all sarah's daddy didnt think that there duggar boy's family needed smeered for the arkansas hobby of sisters nor a lack of support of DT and his frat house antics.

delta123, Mr. Donald Trump has made it clear shame is not bad, in fact some people admire it. The believers feel it is not that bad , after all who can disagree with the high priced suit wearing successor to Billy Graham and his views on jew, the righteous Franklin Graham [ what a gig he has] who with knowledge deprived from the rest of us mere mammals, tells us this DT is a god appointed divine right of king type guy. From one who hears voices , hard to disagree with assessments of the monies priestly class.

lr1955, your right, but as to peeing, making tapes of that would be in bad taste. Wonder what putin is doing these days?

By the way is obama a muslim born in kentucky, I heard that brought up by unnamed sources.

Posted 14 September 2018, 1:28 p.m. Suggest removal

RobertBolt says...

If any person is known to have had sex with a platypus and then goes on to design a better mosquito trap that saves countless lives, he or she will still be most widely remembered as the person who had sex with a platypus. This societal characteristic matters even more to Supreme Court Justices than to most of the rest of us.

Posted 14 September 2018, 1:40 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

LOL! 65 NAMED Women come out in support of Kavanaugh...vs the ANONYMOUS Democrat. SIXTY FIVE (65) openly public people vs one anonymous claimant!

Excerpt: <<"Five dozen women who went to high school with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have written a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein backing his character.

"We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time," the letter states. "Brett attended Georgetown Prep, an all-boys high school in Rockville, Maryland. He was an outstanding student and athlete with a wide circle of friends. Almost all of us attended all girls high schools in the area. We knew Brett well through social events, sports, church, and various other activities. Many of us have remained close friends with him and his family over the years." -Katie Pavlich at Townhall article >>

Won’t matter to the commies. They’re only interested in character assassination at this point because that’s all they have left....just like the PR death count going from 65 to ~3,000. However this was a genius move by the good guys to have this in their back pocket, waiting for the Commies to pull the only thing left in their stale playbook. I was actually waiting for Gloria ALL RED to show up, not the CHICOM spy employer, DiFi.

Posted 14 September 2018, 1:41 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

LOL@"commies"

Posted 14 September 2018, 2:18 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

^^^^but trusts an anonymous FAKE claim vs 65 KNOWN persons...because Trump^^^^^^LOL!

Posted 14 September 2018, 2:31 p.m. Suggest removal

3WorldState1 says...

Of course this is stupid. But Republicans refused to follow the constitution and advise and consent for the last President. So, really, there is nothing a Dem senator can now do that could be as low as what Republicans have already done. I'm frankly surprised republicans are getting so upset over this. Because if the Dems were in the majority, they wouldn't be completely out of place to hold that seat until the next President is elected. Seeing how this one is a Russian sympathizer and could very well be indited for criminal activities.
That all being said. Kav does look like your typical lying Repub. But he will get sworn in and he will take more workers rights and women's rights. Sweet!!! That's so awesome. I hope all your daughters get pregnant in high school and you have to travel out of state. Cuz I know half of you will. It's the republican way.

Posted 14 September 2018, 2:58 p.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

Funny the same media who never uttered a peep about Bill Clinton's rapes and sexual assaults are suddenly all over this fakery...

Posted 14 September 2018, 3:09 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

I am with 3worldstate. Merrick Garland did not even get a hearing, and he had stellar credentials. However, I would like this pattern to end and have written my senators in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation. I am suspicious about what he will do, but he is more likely to be a SOuter than anybody else Trump would ever nominated. He is the best that could come from Trump. While I think that Clarence Thomas is a weak justice, I also thought that the accusations from Anita Hill were bogus. Most men with predatory sexual habits are repeat offenders. If this woman was willing to come out and use her name, that would be another thing. It also would be different if all of a sudden more women came out. One faceless accusation of something somebody allegedly did in high school is not enough to keep him off the court. We do not really even know of what he is accused. I also do not think that Justice Roberts is going to allow Trump to avoid justice.

ABB,

Many people died in Puerto Rico. Even the Florida Republicans agreed. FEMA did a poor job in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Posted 14 September 2018, 3:13 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

O.K. I just read an account of the letter from the anonymous person. Sen. Feinstein was out of line. You do not publish such information of an inflammatory nature anonymously. Very flimsy evidence from an unnamed person. Feinstein is 85 years old and needs to step down. This is outrageous.

Posted 14 September 2018, 3:24 p.m. Suggest removal

BoudinMan says...

There are so many questions swirling around this guy that "the world's greatest deliberative body" should pump the brakes on his nomination. Take a breath, and delve further into the many questions about him. The repugs just want to hurry him onto the bench before the mid-terms so he can protect the orange blob. After what they did to Garland, this is just shameful.

Posted 14 September 2018, 4:24 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

I am afraid that this makes the Democrats look bad which is exactly what we do not need before the election. Regardless of what you think about one's political views, nobody deserves to be accused of an assault from an anonymous person from 30 years ago without any details of when and where and without a chance to know the identity of the accuser. This is just terrible.

Posted 14 September 2018, 4:53 p.m. Suggest removal

Libertarian says...

I don't know if I'd approve of Kavanaugh's positions, but I do know Feinstein is a communist plant and a threat to our country. I further believe she made this whole thing up from whole cloth

Posted 14 September 2018, 5:46 p.m. Suggest removal

obbie says...

The Democrats are holding a limbo party. Sen Feinstein wins so far. How low can you go? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Posted 14 September 2018, 6:02 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

I thought the author was known but requested anonymity. On one hand, if the alleged event is rape, then Kavanaugh should rot. On the other hand, I've made my share of lewd comments and grabbed enough a$$ while I was in high school. There comes a point 40 years later where that simply shouldn't count for anything. And if that's all it was, then the author should be outed and Feinstein dealt with accordingly.

Posted 14 September 2018, 6:09 p.m. Suggest removal

carpenterretired says...

Well does make Kav seem more like Trumps kind of guy and a turnip truck kind of guy.

Posted 14 September 2018, 6:26 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

What is ABB ranting about now?

Posted 14 September 2018, 6:52 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Is that all you have Jay Dee? LOL. Loser. DiLIe produced an anonymous witness and the good guys produce sixty five (65) REAL people and you want to attack me? LOL....go to bed you sub-85IQ commie.

Posted 14 September 2018, 8:28 p.m. Suggest removal

0boxerssuddenlinknet says...

ole diane has really shamed herself with this one the democrats do not seem to get it through their heads that they DID NOT win the 2016 election. and to put icing on their sorry cake Harry Reid screwed them out of any chance to oppose the judge's confirmation. hopefully old Ruth will call it quit before the end of Trump's last term in 2024.or Maybe diane can get together with other grandstanders and all do a Spartacus. who stated the famous quote "elections have consequences "?

Posted 14 September 2018, 9:25 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

So even ABB doesn't know what she's ranting about.

Who roofied her Metrecal?

Posted 14 September 2018, 9:58 p.m. Suggest removal

DontDrinkDatKoolAid says...

Sounds like any other attempt, of a high tech lynching.

Posted 15 September 2018, 1:18 a.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

NoUserName,

The anonymous person alleges something to the effect that during a high school party she was with Brett Kavanaugh and another guy in a bedroom with the music blasting and that the guys were drunk. (I don't think that we know whether she was drunk.) Kavanaugh allegedly started kissing her and attempting to remove her clothing. She started screaming and he put his hand over her mouth. She then "escaped". This was over 30 years ago. The person is anonymous to the world though there may be a couple of people who have her name. The reason we have a 6th amendment right to confront your accusers is to protect people from this sort of anonymous garbage. People should not be free to slander and libel people without impunity. You might not like Kavanaugh's views on the second amendment or presidential power or suspect that he might overrule Roe v. Wade, but it is not acceptable to accuse somebody of assault and attempted rape with this kind of flimsy evidence. It is simply outrageous. Brett Kavanaugh is a human being with two daughters. All is not fair in politics.

Posted 15 September 2018, 5:37 a.m. Suggest removal

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