Brett Kavanaugh.  FILE PHOTO

UPDATED 5 p.m. – additional reporting with excerpts from Kavanaugh’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a letter from Dr. Ford to the same committee.

Embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is fighting back after new allegations surfaced against him this weekend.

In a letter published by the White House and addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committe, Kavanaugh defended his character and career.

“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 assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all

political persuasions from service. 

“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.

I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women,” Kavanaugh wrote.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the same committee dated September 22, 2018, Dr. Ford wrote, “Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life. . . I will answer any questions you have . . . I have one motivation in coming forward – to tell the truth about what Mr. Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge did to me.”

Kavanaugh’s letter came after additional allegations against him surfaced this weekend, from his time in college and in high school. Government investigators confirmed Monday they’re aware of a potential second sexual assault complaint in the county against former Georgetown Prep student and Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.

While investigators weren’t specific and spoke on background, they said they are looking at allegations made against Kavanaugh during his senior year in high school after an anonymous witness voluntarily came forward to speak with them this weekend.

This would potentially bring the number to four women accusing Kavanaugh of wrongdoing and comes after Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale college student, stepped forward this weekend to accuse Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her in college, and after attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted out a message saying he represents a woman with “credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.”

In an email to Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Avenatti asked about house parties in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh, his friend Judge and others who allegedly plied women with alcohol and drugs, “In order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”

Investigators we spoke with say it is unclear if Avenatti’s tweet and email is about the same woman they’ve interviewed.

Judge is a writer who wrote a fictional account of his time at Georgetown Prep and was allegedly involved in the sexual assault of Professor Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s first accuser who is set to testify this Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kavanaugh has denied any wrongdoing from the beginning. In addition to today’s letter, on Sunday the White House released a statement in which Kavanaugh said of the new allegations by Ramirez, “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.”

President Trump refused to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations, but Montgomery County’s Prosecuting Attorney John McCarthy confirmed this weekend he would direct the Montgomery County Police Department to investigate any complaint brought against Kavanaugh but only if a complaint were filed against Kavanaugh. “No complaint has been filed or forwarded to this office,” he explained.

No complaints have been filed by anyone at either the federal, state or local level.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said, “We are prepared to investigate if the victim wants to report to us, and we can determine it occurred in the county.”

One issue police will have to determine is whether the alleged assault described by Ford occurred in Chevy Chase, Maryland or in Washington D.C. “If it is in D.C. we would not have jurisdiction,” Manger said.

Police said Ford’s accusations – occurring approximately 36 years ago presented other difficulties to investigators. “There is no forensic evidence, there is a question of where it occurred and when and who was around. But we will do what we can if we are called upon to do it.”

Manger said that any investigation would have to respect the victim. “Some sexual assault victims do not want police involvement. We respect that. Typically, if we are aware of a case and the victim does not want to involve us, the hospital will collect the physical evidence and turn it over to us for safekeeping in case the victim ever changes their mind about prosecution.”

Investigators we spoke with over the weekend said they were particularly interested in the semi-autobiographical books written by Judge about his time at Georgetown Prep and Kavanaugh’s involvement in some of the events described in the book.

Those events, originally thought to be exaggerated by Judge for his novels were apparently looked at in a new light after comments by Dr. Ford and others.

Judge has denied being involved in the events alleged by Dr. Ford.

Kavanaugh’s own admissions in his senior yearbook at Prep and references to “Beach Week Ralph Club” and being the treasurer of the “Keg City Club” apparently lined up with allegations leveled by at least one other woman who knew him at that time. Others have said the “Keg City Club” and other comments in Kavanaugh’s high school year book were meant as a joke and not to be taken seriously.

Meghan McCaleb, a high school friend of Kavanaugh’s who assisted in assembling a letter of support for Kavanaugh told CNN’s Jim Sciutto “this was not an accurate portrayal” of the Supreme Court nominee in the 1980s.

“I’ve been friends with him for years and I was one of the people who gathered women together . . . 65 women . . . all said that he always was a gentleman, always respected women and nothing like that has ever happened,” she said.

@BrianKarem

 

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