More details of Kavanaugh’s past surface as vote nears
by Harvest Prude
Posted 10/03/18, 12:12 pm
WASHINGTON—The FBI investigation into sexual assault complaints against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is nearing an end, allowing Republicans to move toward a final vote even as new accusations emerge. Investigators talked with initial witnesses, including Kavanaugh classmate and friend Mark Judge and second accuser Deborah Ramirez, who knew Kavanaugh at Yale University, then expanded to include former high school classmates Tim Gaudette and Chris Garrett, who were both listed on a calendar Kavanaugh kept in the summer of 1982.
Another entry on the calendar is getting attention after The New York Times published a letter Kavanaugh wrote in 1983 to friends organizing plans for a weeklong getaway. In a postscript, Kavanaugh said whoever got there first should “warn the neighbors that we’re loud obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us.” It’s signed “FFFFF, Bart.” Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents third accuser Julie Swetnick, raised a new accusation Wednesday from a former participant in the annual “Beach Week.” The anonymous accuser alleged that while attending the gathering in 1980 and while at subsequent house parties, Kavanaugh and Judge would “be overly aggressive and verbally abusive toward girls.” Kavanaugh has denied all accusations.
If the investigation wraps up in the next day or so, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could introduce a motion to end debate on the nomination and schedule a vote by the end of the week. The Senate could also stay in session through the weekend to vote.
Every senator will have access to the bureau’s findings, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for the public release of a redacted version, a move that has bipartisan support. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he would support it, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said a public release could forestall an inevitable leak.
Some, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pushed back on the idea. Grassley said such a move could dissuade witnesses from cooperating with the FBI in future.
At a campaign rally Tuesday, President Donald Trump derided Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, for the gaps in her story such as how she got home the night the alleged assault took place or where it happened. “Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it? ‘I don’t know, but I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,’” the president said, mocking Ford.
Key swing vote GOP senators have condemned Trump’s remarks, including Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who have so far refused to say ahead of time how they will vote. Collins said the president’s remarks “were just plain wrong.”
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.