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Grassley Smacks Down Latest Kavanaugh Allegation

Senator Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 2, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley has dismissed as absurd the latest allegation levied against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a blistering letter to Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, who forwarded the allegation to his office on Tuesday.

“This allegation has all the makings of a tabloid headline. There’s just one problem. The accuser freely admits to having no evidence Judge Kavanaugh even attended this party,” Grassley wrote, referencing a Yale alumnus’s claim to have witnessed a prostitute perform a “public sex act” in a house owned by Kavanaugh”s fraternity the year after he graduated. “We’ve reached a new level of absurdity with this allegation. There is no evidence to suggest Judge Kavanaugh was anywhere near this party or had anything to do with it at all. In fact, the only person we can be sure attended the party is the accuser himself.”

“The purpose of this allegations is plain: to smear Judge Kavanaugh’s name by associating him with this party’s hosts,” Grassley added. “This guilt-by-association tactic is the basest form of political attack and deserves unqualified condemnation.”

Coons, who was instrumental in pushing Senate Republicans to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation pending an FBI investigation into the previously aired allegations against the nominee, forwarded Grassley’s office the email in an apparent suggestion that committee investigators examine the claim. The alumnus who authored the letter, Tad Low, does not claim to have seen Kavanaugh at the party in question but suggests investigators examine his calendar to ascertain whether he attended any fraternity parties during his first year in law school.

Republicans were forced to capitulate on Friday to Democrats’ demand that the confirmation vote be delayed until the FBI could investigate the multiple claims of sexual misconduct made against Kavanaugh. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, after consulting with Coons, ensured that the vote would be delayed by agreeing to help move Kavanaugh’s nomination out of committee in exchange for a one-week FBI probe.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that a vote to confirm Kavanaugh would take place Friday, at the conclusion of the FBI investigation, while Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat, objected, arguing that Friday would be too soon to hold the vote.

McConnell announced on Tuesday that the FBI report detailing the results of the investigation would not be made public.

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