Kavanaugh, Round 2: New Book Revives Controversy

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Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle roared back into the news with The New York Timespublication of a book excerpt by two of its reporters that added details to one sexual assault allegation and surfaced another one, calling into question his truthfulness in last year’s hearings. Several Democratic presidential candidates called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, the Times reported, while Republican leaders defended him and President Trump urged the Justice Department to “come to his rescue.”

In an opinion section essay adapted from the new book The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, the Times‘ report published Saturday refuted claims by Senate investigators during Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation battle that an assault allegation by a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s lacked corroboration. The book also reports that lawyers for the classmate, Deborah Ramirez, gave the FBI a list of at least 25 people who may have had corroborating evidence, but that the bureau interviewed none of them.  The authors also said they uncovered a second, previously unreported incident involving charges similar to the Ramirez allegations, involving Kavanaugh exposing himself at a drunken college party. Among the calls for impeachment were statements by Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, all senators, and Julian Castro. The president tweeted that Kavanaugh should sue for libel. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to fill a vacancy on the court after a contentious Senate hearing focusing on sexual assault allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, has strenuously denied the Ramirez allegations and declined to speak to the authors about the newly surfaced claims. Already on Monday, there was backlash to the backlash, as the Times updated its story with an editor’s note disclosing that in the newly revealed case, the woman told friends she cannot remember the incident.

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