Fight Over Kavanaugh Heats Up Amid New Allegations Ahead of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is scheduled to appear Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a high-stakes hearing, beginning at 10 a.m. The committee will also hear separately from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were teenagers. In interviews with staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, Kavanaugh denied every detailed allegation levied against him by two women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. He also vehemently denied two new and unsubstantiated allegations that were passed on to the committee by two senators. “This is crazy town. It’s a smear campaign,” Kavanaugh said. “It’s trying to take me down, trying to take down my family.”

According to transcripts of interviews released Wednesday, Kavanaugh flatly denied Ford’s account that he forced himself on her at a party in high school and the allegation by Deborah Ramirez account that he exposed himself at a party when they were freshmen at Yale University. The newest accusations against Kavanaugh came Wednesday from Julie Swetnick, a Washington resident represented by lawyer Michael Avenatti. She said in a sworn declaration that Kavanaugh was physically abusive toward girls in high school and present at a 1982 house party where she says she was the victim of a gang rape. “That is false. I’ve never participated in gang rape,” Kavanaugh said. “I think it’s absurd, outrageous, a joke, a farce, the Twilight Zone.”

Democrats seized on the latest accusations to call on Kavanaugh to withdraw, calling on Republicans to launch outside investigations into the accusations. Republicans, however, vowed to push ahead with a committee vote scheduled for Friday. However several Republican Senators, including Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have expressed reservations about Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, lawyers for Ford and Kavanaugh jockeyed for advantage. Attorneys for Ford sent four sworn declarations to the Judiciary Committee from people who say Ford told them of her allegations in the years before Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Lawyers for Kavanaugh, meanwhile, released five pages of his calendar from 1982 to news organizations in an attempt to bolster his contention that he was not at a house party with Ford 36 years ago.

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