A writer who an unnamed woman claims was present when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly tried to sexually assault her more than three decades ago has denied any knowledge of the incident described in a letter that a Democratic senator is holding over the jurist’s head.
But his own work publicly deconstructing the all-boys Catholic school the two attended in the 1980s will raise eyebrows. Mark Judge has written that Georgetown Preparatory School, in the tony Washington suburn of Bethesda, Maryland, was a viper’s nest of sin where ‘alcoholism was rampant’ and church mores were ignored.
The woman, whose identity Sen. Dianne Feinstein is losely guarding, reportedly claimed in the mysterious letter that a 17-year-old Kavanaugh held her down in a locked room while he covered her mouth and tried to force himself on her sexually.
Her story includes a charge that Kavanaugh and Judge, both of whom had been drinking, turned up the volume of music in the room so her cries of protest couldn’t be heard outside.
In her telling of the story, she managed to escape the room. Judge insists it never happened.
‘It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,’ Judge told The Weekly Standard on Friday.
He added that he had never seen boys ‘rough-housing’ with his female peers from other schools in ways that might have been interpreted negatively: ‘I don’t remember any of that stuff going on with girls.’
In a statement the White House distributed earlier in the day after The New Yorker published the letter’s lurid charges, Kavanaugh said: ‘I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.’
Judge told the magazine’s Ronan Farrow, famous as the #MeToo movement’s journalistic voice, that ‘I have no recollection of that.’
It’s clear that Kavanaugh and Judge were close at Georgetown Prep. They are pictured along with six of their school friends in a 1981 ‘beach week’ photograph Judge posted on Facebook seven years ago.
The image of wind-touseled haid, sunglasses and biceps captures an early 1980s teen machismo that Judge would later put into words.
His senior-year high school yearbook included photos of him playing basketball, a sport he now coaches in his spare time. The team photo includes a few of the same adolescent buddies.
Judge’s 2005 book ‘God and Man at Georgetown Prep’ is out of print. But conservative writer George Weigel, of the Kavanaugh-friendly Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote that year that in it Judge ‘freely admits that his own propensities for wild behavior (especially when fueled by drinking) made a circus out of his high school and (extended) college years.’
A year later in an essay about media bias, Judge wrote that he and Kavanaugh had been ‘instructed in graphic sex ed – including abortion,’ a controversial tack for Catholic Jesuits.
And that had ‘had a bachelor party for a teacher and there was a stripper present.’
Donald Trump made Kavanaugh his second Supreme Court nominee, opening up his life to intense scrutiny from Democrats who want to stymie the president’s chances to tilt the court politically to the right
Brettt Kavanaugh (at right, pictured in his high school yearbook with an unnamed football teammate) is now a 53-year-old U.S. Supreme Court nominee. He was 17 years old at the time a woman alleges he tried to force himself on her sexually – an accusation he flatly denies
FBI request: Diane Feinstein has referred a letter she has received to the Justice Department. It reportedly concerned Brett Kavanuagh’s high school behavior
‘It was a combustive place that was playing with fire, I argued in internet articles from Frontpagemag.com to Spectator.org,’ Judge recalled, name-checking two conservative websites.
His other books include ‘A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism and Rock n’ Roll’ and ‘Wasted: Tales of a Genx Drunk.’ The latter is a narrative of his experiences as a teenage alcoholic and his path to recovery and sobriety.
Kavanaugh graduated in 1983 from Georgetown Prep, an all-boys Catholic school in suburban Maryland near Washington, D.C.
Judge did not respond to an emailed request for comment on Friday evening.
The accuser from Kavanaugh’s teenage past says the memory of the incident drove her to seek psychological treatment. But she has not been publicly identified, making it impossible for him to challenge her.
Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says she is keeping her name a secret in order to honor her wishes.
The tight-lipped Californian released a cryptic statement Thursday saying the woman ‘strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision.’
Even when Feinstein made it known that she had referred the letter to the FBI, according to Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, another committee member, the woman’s name was redacted, ‘meaning no further investigation could take place.’
The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that the FBI handed the senator’s materials over to the White House instead of opening a probe, and considered it an update to his background check file.
Kavanaugh, who now coaches girls basketball, was captain of his high school varsity team (front, center)
The Georgetown Prep yearbook showed a teenage Kavanaugh shooting hoops in his final high school basketball game
‘Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process,’ an FBI official told the Post.
The woman reportedly sent her letter to Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, her California congresswoman. Eshoo passed it to Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the rancorous committee that is weighing Kavanaugh’s nomination.
The New Yorker reported that she attended a high school near Georgetown Prep, a school whose alumni also include Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first nominee.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said Friday that next week’s Thursday vote to move Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor will proceed as scheduled.
Committee Republicans scrambled Thursday to assemble a glowing open letter from 65 women who knew Kavanaugh during his high school years and say ‘he has always been a good person.’ The letter was released Friday morning.
‘For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect,’ they wrote.
The unnamed woman has reportedly retained Debra Katz, a prominent Washington D.C. attorney involved in the #MeToo movement
Judiciary Committee Republicans quickly released a glowing open letter from 65 women who knew Kavanaugh during his high school years and support him
‘Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.’
One signer, former Republican Party spokeswoman Virginia Hume, said on Twitter that she was asked to sign it on Thursday.
Responding to Democrats who speculated that Republicans knew the accusation would surface and prepared for it weeks earlier, Hume tweeted: ‘This is absurd. I signed the letter. I learned of it last night.’
Speculation about a sexual-misconduct September surprise ran rampant after Debra Katz, a Washington, D.C. lawyer best known for representing women who make ‘#MeToo’-style accusations against powerful men, was seen leaving the Capitol.
Multiple reports said she was representing the unnamed woman, who now would likely be 53 years old. Katz has not responded to requests for comment.
Senators will soon vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will become Justice Kavanaugh. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee want him seated on the Supreme Court when its next term begins on October 1.