Woman accuses Kavanaugh of assault in letter to senator

A woman is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were in high school in...

Posted: Sep 15, 2018 3:27 PM
Updated: Sep 15, 2018 3:27 PM

A woman is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s, according to a source familiar with the allegations, which were relayed in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein earlier this summer.

The letter details an incident when the woman, who has not come forward publicly, attended a party with Kavanaugh and others in a suburban Maryland home. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has referred the letter to the FBI.

Brett Kavanaugh

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US Senate

Dianne Feinstein

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government bodies and offices

Mazie Hirono

Susan Collins

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

Kavanaugh physically pushed her into a bedroom, the accuser said. Along with another male, Kavanaugh locked the door from the inside and played loud music that the accuser said precluded successful attempts to yell for help.

Both men were drunk, she said, and Kavanaugh attempted to remove her clothes.

At one point, Kavanaugh was on top of her laughing as the other male in the room periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh held his hand over her mouth at one point, and she said she felt her life was inadvertently in danger.

She said she was able to leave the room and go into a hallway bathroom. After Kavanaugh and the other male began talking to others in the house, she went home.

There is no indication the woman reported the incident to law enforcement at the time, but she said she has received medical treatment regarding the alleged assault. The woman also declined to come forward publicly after sending the letter to Feinstein. The accuser's name was redacted before Feinstein forwarded it to the FBI.

In a statement Friday, Kavanaugh denied the allegation.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," he said.

Kavanaugh testified for three days before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, where the issue was not raised. The Judiciary panel is scheduled to consider Kavanaugh's nomination next Thursday, and the full Senate may vote on confirmation later this month.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, does not plan to postpone the vote.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination will proceed as scheduled, next Thursday," said Grassley spokesman George Hartmann.

The New Yorker first reported the details of the letter to Feinstein. The woman making the allegations declined a request from the magazine for comment.

Focus on Collins, Murkowski

In the first indication that they planned to mount a sustained defense of Kavanaugh, Judiciary Committee Republicans circulated a letter Friday signed by 65 women, vouching for Kavanaugh's character, who said they knew the nominee in high school.

But multiple GOP aides acknowledged that all eyes were focused on -- and waiting for -- the reaction of two senators: Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Neither senator has said whether they would support Kavanaugh's nomination, and have continued to examine his record in the wake of the hearing.

Collins held an hour-long phone call with Kavanaugh on Friday -- a call that had been scheduled before the letter and allegations were made public. Her office declined to comment on details of the call.

Collins told reporters Thursday she didn't plan to say anything about the nomination until she had made a decision.

As to a strategy to shore up support from Murkowski and Collins, one senior GOP aide said it mainly came down to giving both senators their space, and being available to answer questions if they had them.

Timing of letter questioned

The timing of the letter has caused consternation on both sides of the aisle. Republicans charge that while it was dated on July 30, Feinstein only referred it to the FBI after the hearings had concluded with less than a week until the committee vote.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, were critical that Feinstein didn't share it earlier. But others say she was in a hard spot.

"Feinstein is in a tough position -- there are allegations made all the time against nominees and this one was particularly contentious," one Democratic aide said.

"The woman also reportedly asked for her name to be kept private, which, as a basic principle needs to be respected. And, finally, she would not have wanted this to be seen as simply a political attack. It's a difficult position for any member to be in," the aide added.

In a statement Thursday, Feinstein emphasized that the person asked not to be identified.

"That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision," Feinstein said.

The FBI confirmed it had received the referral from Feinstein.

"Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh's background file, as per the standard process," an FBI spokesperson said Thursday.

An FBI official says there is no criminal investigation into Kavanaugh as a result of this letter.

It is now part of Kavanaugh's background file and it will be up to the White House to determine whether there is any further action to take. The Judiciary Committee received an updated supplement to Kavanaugh's background investigation from the FBI Thursday afternoon, an aide said. Senators on the committee can now request access to that information.

Asked about actions as an adult

As part of her standard set of questions, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, asked Kavanaugh at the hearing last week that if -- as an adult -- he'd ever made unwanted sexual advances. The line of questioning came before new allegations against Kavanaugh came to light.

Kavanaugh's age at the time of the alleged incident is unclear.

"As part of my responsibility, as a member of this committee, to ensure the fitness of nominees for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, I ask each nominee two questions. First question for you, since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?" Hirono asked.

Kavanaugh answered "no."

Since January 2018, Hirono has been asking the questions of all judicial nominees.

Hirono also asked if he'd faced any disciplinary action or "entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?"

Kavanaugh again said "no."

Terre Haute
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 52°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
49° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 40°
Casey
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 39°
Brazil
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 52°
Marshall
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Breezy & Colder
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 393797

Reported Deaths: 9889
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1811085450
DuPage23780615
Lake21373514
Will19141430
Kane17421348
Winnebago10703182
St. Clair8096221
Madison7373157
McHenry6671121
Champaign639028
Unassigned4786270
Peoria474877
McLean430138
Sangamon424863
Rock Island417393
Kankakee350581
Macon330854
Tazewell280956
Kendall279730
LaSalle255465
DeKalb246942
Coles203040
Adams200422
Boone195325
Williamson193861
Clinton182829
Vermilion181011
Jackson158426
Whiteside158430
Knox136221
Randolph131415
Ogle12717
Effingham12264
Marion110220
Stephenson10759
Franklin103310
Grundy10197
Morgan98324
Monroe97130
Bureau94817
Jefferson92052
Henry8637
Christian84629
Macoupin82911
Union79925
McDonough78920
Lee7692
Douglas7339
Shelby71512
Fayette69924
Livingston69210
Woodford67615
Crawford6636
Montgomery64416
Logan6144
Saline5969
Fulton5571
Jo Daviess5369
Warren5299
Bond5189
Iroquois51519
Wayne50914
Jersey48121
Cass46811
Perry46516
Moultrie4436
Carroll43712
Pike3887
Johnson3760
Lawrence3518
Richland34218
Washington3272
Clay32413
Hancock3214
Mason3175
Clark31417
Cumberland3086
Greene29915
Mercer2876
De Witt2756
White2744
Jasper27210
Piatt2651
Pulaski2451
Wabash2415
Ford20814
Menard1881
Marshall1663
Edgar15910
Massac1582
Alexander1361
Hamilton1352
Henderson1310
Brown1170
Edwards1140
Gallatin1102
Scott1090
Putnam980
Schuyler931
Stark923
Calhoun640
Hardin560
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 169112

Reported Deaths: 4227
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26448794
Lake14804364
St. Joseph9866173
Elkhart9549145
Allen8886235
Hamilton6541119
Vanderburgh626970
Tippecanoe409816
Porter361451
Hendricks3472138
Monroe342638
Johnson3352131
Delaware318577
Clark312965
Vigo288341
Madison260797
LaPorte244165
Cass232725
Kosciusko214729
Warrick208965
Floyd190569
Howard172566
Dubois153526
Marshall152829
Bartholomew150758
Wayne149833
Grant138140
Henry137730
Boone132550
Noble127335
Hancock127144
Jackson123319
Dearborn105828
Lawrence102238
Morgan100940
Gibson96712
Clinton95216
Shelby94536
Daviess94136
Knox86110
LaGrange83115
Harrison82424
Fayette81022
DeKalb80011
Putnam78817
Posey7837
Jasper7235
Miami6985
Steuben6849
Montgomery65322
White64016
Adams6177
Greene59438
Scott56916
Decatur54739
Whitley5086
Ripley5018
Wells49011
Wabash4899
Clay4757
Sullivan47414
Starke47310
Huntington4725
Spencer4336
Orange43225
Randolph42711
Fulton4118
Jefferson4095
Perry40414
Washington3983
Jennings39613
Franklin38825
Pike36718
Fountain3563
Carroll35213
Jay3516
Vermillion2871
Tipton28623
Rush2654
Parke2644
Blackford2525
Newton24111
Owen2211
Martin2050
Pulaski1814
Crawford1661
Brown1523
Ohio1377
Union1240
Benton1130
Switzerland1030
Warren1021
Unassigned0236