Woman linked to newly revealed allegation against Kavanaugh: 'Ask Brett' originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
A woman reportedly involved in a second allegation of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh during his freshmen year at Yale University had a simple response when asked by ABC News if there are other people who can speak to her story: “All I can say is, ask Brett.”
The woman, who ABC News is not naming at this time, said Sunday she “can’t do it again” referring to speaking about the allegations. The alleged incident was not widely reported on until the New York Times published a story that a former classmate said he saw Kavanagh "with his pants down” at a dormitory “where friends pushed [Kavanaugh’s] penis into the hand of a female student."
That classmate, named in the Times as Max Stier, who now runs a non-profit, nonpartisan organization in Washington called “Partnership for Public Service,” declined to comment to ABC News.
The Times report, adapted from the soon-to-be-released book titled "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," written by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, is reigniting controversy by publicizing this alleged incident and raising questions about the scope of the FBI’s probe into allegations of sexual misconduct when Kavanaugh was a student. Pogrebin and Kelly say that although the FBI was notified of the unnamed alleged victim’s account, the FBI did not investigate it, and that the agency declined to interview over two dozen people “who may have had corroborating evidence”related to another former classmate who says she had a similar experience, Deborah Ramirez.
Ramirez told the New Yorker that during a dorm party sometime in the 1983-1984 academic year, Kavanaugh "thrust his penis in her face" causing her "to touch it without her consent." The New Yorker article was published less than a week after Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh were made public. Kavanaugh flatly denied Ramirez’s accusations.
"This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen," he said in statement soon after the report was published. "The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple."
Kavanaugh again denied the allegations, along with Blasey Ford’s and those of another accuser, Julie Swetnick, during his public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last September.
Through a court spokeswoman, Kavanaugh declined comment to ABC News on the allegations made in the Times story published Sunday and the new book out this week.At the request of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Donald Trump eased limits on an FBI background check into Kavanaugh, sources close to the process told ABC News last October. Trump had previously called for it to be "limited in scope," but sources told ABC News he later authorized the FBI to interview anyone it wanted, with a focus on accusations raised separately by Ford and Ramirez.
In early October, the FBI delivered its report to the Senate Judiciary Committee. After reviewing the report, the committee’s chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley called the women’s accusations "uncorroborated" and said "neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations." The Senate ultimately confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by a vote of 50-48.
The book authors now claim that FBI investigation wasn’t sufficiently thorough, saying that Ramirez’s legal team gave the FBI a list of at least 25 individuals who they said might have been able to confirm her allegations, but that none of them were interviewed as part of the bureau’s supplemental investigation, even after some of them tried to contract the FBI on their own accord. The Times also reports that two FBI agents interviewed Ramirez and said that they found her "credible," but that the Senate "had imposed strict limits on the investigation."
When it was initially published, the New York Times report did not include reporting that the unnamed woman did not remember the alleged incident, and that she declined to be interviewed by Pogrebin and Kelly, although this information is included in the forthcoming book. The Times’ article has been updated to include these details. A spokesperson for Ramirez declined to provide a comment to ABC News.
These newly revealed allegations against Kavanaugh are prompting both calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment and renewed support from his allies. Trump, championed his nominee on Twitter, writing, "He is an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY. Such lies about him. They want to scare him into turning Liberal!"
Many of the Democratic candidates for president were quick to call for Kavanaugh’s removal. Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment through tweets. Both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders were critical of the new reports, but did not specifically call for impeachment.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., weighed in on last year’s investigations into Kavanaugh on "This Week" telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, "My concern is that the process was a sham."
Trump accused the Times of trying to libel Kavanaugh.
-Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, claims that he first learned of the new allegation on Sunday from the Times report.
"The sad consequences of this article are a misinformed public, a greater divide in our own recourse -- discourse, and a deeper lack of faith in our news media," he said on the Senate floor.
But Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told ABC News that he copied Grassley on a letter he sent to the FBI about the new allegation at the time.
"I also remain upset, frustrated, concerned that the FBI conducted an overly narrow follow on the investigation. As is now public, I sent a letter to Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein and the director of the FBI. It was a letter to the director of the FBI, but the Chairman and Ranking member of Judiciary were copied, encouraging them to contact a particular individual. We now know that to be Max Stier," Coons said.
On the Senate floor Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the Times report on Kavanaugh, calling it "poorly sourced, thinly reported" and "unsubstantiated."
"There they go again," McConnell said, "call it a one-year anniversary reenactment."
"The latest report was blasted out by a major newspaper despite a lack of any, any, corroborating evidence whatsoever," McConnell said.
McConnell went on to criticize the Democratic presidential candidates who he said were "hysterically" calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment, and warned they are scheming to "pack the courts."
"This is not just a left wing obsession with one man, it's part of a deliberate effort to attack judicial independence," McConnell said.
ABC News’ Sarak Kolinovsky, Kaitlyn Folmer, Martha Raddatz, Trish Turner and Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.