The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced a public hearing on Monday, September 24 on the allegations against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is accused of sexual assault by a woman who knew Kavanaugh when they were high school students in suburban Maryland in the 1980s.
The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, is a professor at Palo Alto University who teaches in a consortium with Stanford University. She trains graduate students in clinical psychology.
She claims one day in the summer of 1982, Kavanaugh and a friend, described by Ford as both being “stumbling drunk,” lured her into a bedroom during a get together of teenagers.
Ford was a sophomore at the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda at the time. Kavanaugh would have been a junior at his high school, Georgetown Prep. Ford says she knew Kavanaugh and the friend, a man by the name of Mark Judge, as “friendly acquaintances” in the private-school circles they both were a part of.
Ford says Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on the night in question and got on top of her, attempting to pull off her clothes and grope her as Judge watched. When Ford attempted to scream, Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth, she says.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told The Washington Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Judge allegedly falling on top of the two and sending all three teenagers stumbling to the floor allowed Ford an opportunity to escape. She briefly locked herself in a bathroom before fleeing the house, she says.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. “On Friday, Judge Kavanaugh ‘categorically and unequivocally’ denied this allegation,” a statement released by the White House read. “This has not changed. Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement.”
Judge says he remembers no such incident taking place and voiced his continued support for Kavanaugh. “…I have no memory of the alleged incident,” Judge said in a statement through his attorney.
“Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner that Dr. Ford describes,” he continued.
Kavanaugh has said he will attend the hearing, which effectively delays a vote on his confirmation, which was originally scheduled for Thursday.
Ford has not agreed to testify and has called on the FBI to investigate her claims first. A statement released by her attorney says Ford does not believe a hearing with just her and Kavanaugh as witnesses qualifies as a “fair or good faith investigation.” But, she says, she is willing to cooperate with the committee.
Both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate agree an investigation should take place but differ on what one should look like. Democrats believe the FBI should lead the investigation while Republicans believe the Senate should handle it.
President Trump has maintained his support for Kavanaugh in light of the accusations but has signaled his want to see an investigation by the Senate take place.
Kavanaugh is one of the “great intellects and one of the finest people,” the president said this week but the Senate should be allowed “to go through a full process…If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay,” he said.
Photo by the Office of the Vice President via Wikimedia Commons