Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday demanded that Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh be investigated or impeached in response to a new allegation that he exposed himself to a female classmate at a drunken dorm party years ago at Yale University.
The allegation surfaced Saturday night in a New York Times report. A classmate, Max Stier, said he saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at the party, where friends pushed Kavanaugh’s penis into the young woman’s hand, the Times reported. Stier notified senators and the FBI before Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but the FBI did not investigate, the Times reported.
The Washington Post last year confirmed that two intermediaries had relayed such a claim to lawmakers and the FBI. The Post did not publish a story in part because the intermediaries declined to identify the alleged witness and because the woman who was said to be involved declined to comment. The Times article, drawing from reporting for a forthcoming book, is based on interviews with “two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.”
Stier, the chief executive of a nonpartisan group in Washington, declined to comment Sunday. A court spokeswoman said Kavanaugh had no comment. The woman did not return a call seeking comment.
The political fallout from the new allegation suggested the divisions surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination last year will continue to be felt in the 2020 campaign. Republicans denounced the Times report as an effort by the media to smear Kavanaugh. Some seized on the fact that the story — labeled as a news analysis — did not mention that, according to the book, the woman involved in the alleged incident has told friends she does not recall it.
On Sunday morning, President Trump tweeted that Kavanaugh should “start suing people, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue.”
“The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!” Trump tweeted.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote that the “far left’s willingness to seize on completely uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations during last year’s confirmation process was a dark and embarrassing chapter for the Senate.”
Impeachment calls came from Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro, all presidential candidates.
“He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice,” Harris said in a tweet. “He must be impeached.”
Warren tweeted: “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called for an investigation of Kavanaugh, citing what he said was “a pattern of sexually demeaning women.”
Kavanaugh’s bitter confirmation hearing captivated and divided the nation last fall. The hearings were dominated by Christine Blasey Ford’s account, first reported by The Post, that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were high school students in the 1980s. Kavanaugh strenuously denied Ford’s claim, calling it an “orchestrated political hit.”