UPDATE: 2 more accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault

UPDATE 2 — 9/26, 9:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate Judiciary Committee asked Brett Kavanaugh about two more alleged incidents of sexual assault during a conference call Tuesday, both of which the Supreme Court nominee denied.

An anonymous letter to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) accused Kavanaugh of shoving his then-girlfriend “up against the wall very aggressively and sexually,” in 1998 while inebriated.

male constituent of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) also claims to know a woman who was sexually assaulted in 1985 “by two heavily inebriated men she referred to at the time as Brett and Mark.”

 

UPDATE — 9/26, 12:20 p.m. EDT: The Washington Post is reporting Phoenix’s top county sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, has been chosen by the Senate Judiciary Committee to cross-examine Christine Blasey Ford under oath on Thursday.

The committee announced earlier Tuesday a vote to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has been tentatively scheduled for Friday morning.

On Wednesday, one Julie Swetnick from Gaithersburg, Md., submitted a statement to the committee saying she witnessed Kavanaugh “drink excessively . . . engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior towards girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts,” at “well over 10” high school parties.

 

On Monday, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he would not be “intimidated into withdrawing” after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.

One Deborah Ramirez has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her while they were freshman students at Yale University.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Thursday for Christine Blasey Ford to testify concerning her accusation against Kavanaugh of sexual assault in 1982, where he allegedly forced himself on her at a party in suburban Maryland.

Kavanaugh denied Ford’s allegation the alleged assault occurred during an interview with Fox News:

“I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone,” he said.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday the Senate will hold a vote “in the near future” on Kavanaugh, regardless of the results of the committee hearing, and the nominee will be confirmed.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn similarly told reporters Tuesday a committee vote could commence Friday, paving the way for a full floor tally by early next week.

“Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated,” McConnell said.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to McConnell by accusing Republicans of “a rush job to avoid the truth” and suggested an FBI investigation be called.

President Trump, for his part, has refused to order a federal probe and has instead defended Kavanaugh, calling the allegations “unsubstantiated“:

“Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way. I think . . . this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stated in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America Trump is “open” to having Ms. Ramirez testify.

Additionally, lawyer Michael Avenatti claims he is representing a third woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his time in high school, who will disclose her identity by Wednesday evening.

Senate leaders are watching Sens. Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins closely to determine if moderate Republicans will vote against confirming Kavanaugh. A defection by any two GOP senators could put Kavanaugh’s confirmation in jeopardy as at least 50 votes are needed and red-state Democratic senators up for reelection now have political cover to vote against Trump’s nominee.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Tuesday Republicans have hired an unnamed female attorney to cross-examine Ms. Ford during Thursday’s hearing.

Editor’s note: The original article was edited and updated after its first publication.

 

[Politico] [Reuters] [Daily Mail] [Roll Call] [The Hill] [AP] [RT] [CNN via MSN]

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