Law & the Courts

Kavanaugh: ‘I Will Not Be Intimidated into Withdrawing from This Process’

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, September 4, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Brett Kavanaugh sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday reiterating his refusal to withdraw from the Supreme Court confirmation process amid allegations of sexual assault by two women.

“These are smears pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assasination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from public service,” Kavanaugh wrote. “As I told the committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”

The statement comes one day after The New Yorker published allegations that Kavanaugh, then a freshman at Yale, drunkenly thrust his penis into the face of female classmate Deborah Ramirez during a dorm party. Ramirez thus became the second woman, after Christine Blasey Ford, to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

The New Yorker and the New York Times failed to secure an eyewitness account of Ramirez’s allegation, and a number of Kavanaugh’s college friends and roommates disputed that the assault ever took place. Ramirez herself initially expressed doubts about Kavanaugh’s guilt to New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow as well as to former Yale classmates whom she called last week about her claims. One former classmate, however, claims he heard of the incident soon after it took place.

Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify publicly Thursday before the Judiciary Committee.

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