Associated Press

Kavanaugh Says: 'I Will not be Intimidated into Withdrawing'

September 24, 2018 - 11:32 am
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(CBS News) -- As Judge Brett Kavanaugh faces another allegation of sexual misconduct by a woman claiming he exposed himself to her at a party when they were both students at Yale University in the 1980s, President Trump is sticking by his pick to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court, telling reporters Monday morning, "I am with him all the way."

"I look forward to a vote and for people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mention it, and all the sudden it happens," the president also said. "In my opinion, it's totally political," Mr. Trump said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting Monday morning.

The latest allegation comes as Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her while they were both in high school, and Kavanaugh are expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. 

According to The New Yorker, 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both students at Yale University in the 1980s, something both Kavanaugh and the White House have denied. 

Kavanaugh: "I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process"

Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter Monday that he "will not be intimidated" into withdrawing, calling the allegations against him a smear campaign.

"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," Kavanaugh wrote. 

"I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promote the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name."

Michael Avenatti says client is "contemporary in age" with Kavanaugh

CBS News' Nancy Cordes reports that attorney Michael Avenatti says the reason his client has not gone public yet with her own allegations against Kavanaugh is because "we have to make sure security precautions are taken before we publicly release her identity…we have to make sure she's in a safe place." Avenatti's client is at least the third person to accuse the judge of sexual misconduct.

Avenatti says his client is "contemporary in age with Brett Kavanaugh" and graduated from a public school in the area around the same time as Kavanaugh.

She "was in attendance with Kavanaugh and Judge at multiple parties" according to Avenatti. Cordes adds that according to tweets from Avenatti, in an email sent to Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, his client is going to speak to incidents that happened in high school that have to do with a number of boys, including Kavanaugh, who would get young women drunk intentionally at parties on weekends and then attempt to sexually assault them. 

Lindsey Graham says we're "witnessing is the total collapse of the traditional confirmation process"

"What we are witnessing is the total collapse of the traditional confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee.  It is being replaced by a game of delay, deception, and wholesale character assassination. Clearly when it comes to President Trump, elections – in the eyes of Democrats – have no consequences," Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a statement on Monday. 

 He suggested that the confirmation process needs to move ahead with the hearing as currently scheduled for Thursday with a final committee vote "soon thereafter." Fellow Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas echoed Graham, saying it was time to "end the character assassination" against Kavanaugh.

"The Democrats are engaged in a campaign of delay and character assassination against Judge Kavanaugh. It's time to vote this week," Cotton added. 

Trump calls Kavanaugh accusations "totally political"

After leaving his first event at the United Nations this week, Mr. Trump defended Kavanaugh when he was asked about his Supreme Court nominee by reporters. 

"He's a fine man with an unblemished past and these are highly unsubstantiated statements represented by lawyers. You should look into the lawyers doing the representation. Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way. We'll see how it goes in the Senate, we'll see how it goes with the vote," said Mr. Trump to cameras at the United Nations. 

He added, "I think it could be, there's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything but I am with Judge Kavanaugh and I look forward to a vote and for people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mention it and all the sudden it happens, in my opinion, it's totally political. It is totally political."

New Yorker author Jane Mayer on Kavanaugh allegations: "Let's get to the bottom of this" 

One of the authors behind the latest account into accusations against Kavanaugh, Jane Mayer, told "CBS This Morning" that at a "certain point... there are things people won't say to a reporter that they might feel they need to say to the FBI."

"That's why everybody thinks let's get to the bottom of this. Let's figure it out," she urged. Mayer, along with New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow, who has been behind several other stories reporting women's accounts of sexual harassment and assault carried out by high profile figures, reported an account by 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez who alleged Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both students at Yale University in the 1980s. 

Mayer said that she felt the "public ought to know" about the latest allegations against Kavanaugh. 

Kellyanne Conway says Kavanaugh allegations feel like "a vast left-wing conspiracy"

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking to "CBS This Morning" said that the allegations against Kavanaugh are "starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy."

"I know there's pent-up demand for women to get their day, women who have been sexually harassed and sexually assaulted, and I personally am very aggrieved for all of them, but we cannot put decades of pent-up demand for women to feel whole on one man's shoulders. What exactly is the standard for ruining one man's life based on decades of allegations that have nothing to do with him?" said Conway.

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