Senate investigators questioned Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about two new claims of sexual misconduct, including one from an anonymous Colorado tipster who says Kavanaugh shoved an unnamed woman up against a wall ‘aggressively and sexually’ in 1998.
That corresponds to a period of time when Kavanaugh was working for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, investigating then-President Bill Clinton’s illicit sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The Colorado accusation took up one moment in an hour-long phone interview between Kavanaugh and Judiciary Committee lawyers on Tuesday. They also asked him about a separate claim that he and longtime friend Mark Judge sexually assaulted a woman on a boat near Newport, Rhode Island in 1985.
Kavanaugh denied both allegations, calling them ‘made up,’ ‘ridiculous’ and ‘total Twilight Zone.’ He is set to testify Thursday in a hearing where senators will also question Christine Ford, the California woman who claims that he sexually assaulted her during a beer-soaked high school party.
The future ideological balance of the United States Supreme Court, the Trump administration’s credibility, and the politics of November’s congressional elections all hang in the balance.
Brett Kavanaugh was a staff attorney for the Bill Clinton-hunting Independent Counsel Ken Starr in 1998 (pictured) when, according to an anonymous person who wrote to a Democratic lawmaker, the future Supreme Court nominee ‘sexually’ pushed a woman up against a wall after getting drunk
The letter, sent to Democratic Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, left no clues about its author
It was mailed in Denver on Saturday but included no return address; Senate aides say they aren’t taking it seriously but asked Kavanaugh about it as a matter of course
The Colorado accusation came in a letter to Democratic Sen. Cory Gardner, postmarked Saturday but bearing no name, signature or return address.
Kavanaugh, a federal judge on the D.C. Circuit, has been beseiged by sexual misconduct claims since becoming President Trump’s high court pick
‘I will remain anonymous, but I feel obligated to inform you of this 1998 incident involving Brett Kavanaugh. When he was the author of the Starr Report, my daughter (from Boulder, Colorado) occasionally socialized with Brett Kavanaugh,’ it reads.
Describing an alleged 1998 incident outside a Washington, D.C. bar, the author writes that his daughter’s friend was dating Kavanaugh at the time.
‘When they left the bar (under the influence of alcohol) they were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually,’ the letter continues. ‘There were at least four witnesses including my daughter.’
Kavanaugh said it never happened, according ot the call transcript, labeling the charge ‘crazy town’ and ‘a smear campaign.’
‘We’re dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend. It’s ridiculous. Total Twilight Zone. And no, I’ve never done anything like that,’ he told investigators.
Senate staffers told Kavanaugh that another uncorroborated claim, that he and his friend Mark Judge once raped a woman on a boat off the coast of Rhode Island, came from a person whose Twitter profile matches this one, owned by a man named Jefferey Catalan
Kavanaugh was a staff attorney in 1998 working for INdependent Counsel Kenneth Starr as he investigated Bill Clinton’s illicit affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky
Judiciary Committee spokesman Taylor Foy said late Wednesday that Republican aides ‘have no reason to assign the letter credibility, and even if we did, we’d have no way to investigate the allegation as it was made anonymously and cannot be corroborated.’
The other new accusation surfaced Monday morning in a call to Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office. Kavanaugh had been told about it before Tuesday’s call.
The caller alleged that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, while ‘heavily inebriated,’ had committed a rape on a boat on a Sunday morning in August 1985.
‘The event took place on a 36-foot maroon and white boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island, after the three had met at a local bar,’ according to a summary from Whitehouse’s office that investigators read to Kavanaugh.
The caller claimed to have physically confronted both Kavanaugh and Judge, who would have been in their early 20s, and said he left them ‘with significant injuries.’
Kavanaugh insisted he ‘was not in Newport, haven’t been on a boat in Newport, not with Mark Judge on a boat, nor all those three things combined.’
‘This is just completely made up, or at least not me. I don’t know what they’re referring to,’ he said.
Aides quizzing Kavanaugh on Tuesday told him that the Rhode Island tipster runs a Twitter account whose profile matches one owned by a man named Jefferey Catalan. Attempts to reach him late on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Catalan’s Twitter account has just three followers, one of which is the office of Democratic Congressman David Cicilline.
Kavanaugh has already issued unqualified denials of claims by three women that he engaged in behavior ranging from drunken groping to gang-rape.
President Donald Trump said during an afternoon press conference on Wednesday that while he sees the flurry of attacks on his Supreme Court nominee as a ‘con job’ pushed by his Democratic opponents, he’s keeping an open mind about the first accused, Christine Ford, until he hears her testimony on Thursday.
If I ‘thought he was guilty of something like this,’ Trump said, he would consider withdrawing the nomination.