U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denied an anonymous woman’s allegation Friday that he forced himself on a woman decades ago in high school.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” Kavanaugh said in a statement to The New Yorker. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
Kavanaugh has faced relentless attacks and political fights since President Donald Trump nominated him July 9 to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. But the latest accusations against him go well beyond his views on constitutional law or his personal political leanings.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) received a letter from an unidentified constituent claiming to be the victim, according to The New Yorker. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, disclosed Thursday that she referred the letter, which she first received months ago, to the FBI for investigation.
The alleged incident occurred when Kavanaugh was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the early 1980s. The alleged victim went to a local high school at that time. The letter reportedly claims he tried to hold her down and force himself on her during a party more than 30 years ago.
Kavanaugh and a classmate were drinking, according to the letter, which claims Kavanaugh increased the volume of the music and held his hand over her mouth to muffle her protests. The New Yorker reported that the classmate named in the letter said he had no recollection of the incident.
“This is nothing more than a last-minute attempt at character assassination, and there should be no delay in confirming Judge Kavanaugh.”
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“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a statement to The New Yorker. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
Republicans on the judiciary panel received a letter Friday from 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school and spoke on his good character. The letter was released amid the allegations.
Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel Carrie Severino called the attacks just another attempt to paint him in a negative light:
“Judge Kavanaugh has denied this allegation, and over 60 women — with a broad range of political views — who’ve known him since high school have sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee vouching for his integrity and respect for women over that time,” Severino told LifeZette.
“This is nothing more than a last-minute attempt at character assassination, and there should be no delay in confirming Judge Kavanaugh,” Severino said.
Kavanaugh began his legal career working as a clerk for U.S. Circuit Judge Walter Stapleton after graduating from Yale Law School in 1990. He later had the chance to clerk for Justice Kennedy for one term in 1993. He also worked as an attorney for the Office of the Solicitor General at the Department of Justice.
President George W. Bush would later take him on as a senior associate counsel and assistant at the White House. The former president then nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where he has served since 2006.