Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Sunday night called for an “immediate postponement” on the confirmation vote for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a new sexual misconduct allegation surfaced against the federal judge.
In a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein call pointed to the first allegation made by Kavanaugh’s former high school classmate, Christine Blasey Ford, earlier this month, as well as the latest by Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale University classmate, which was reported by the New Yorker on Sunday.
Both claims allegedly occurred more than 35 years ago and Kavanaugh has denied any wrongdoing.
“An investigation needs to be conducted as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background investigation by career professionals at the FBI — not partisan staff of the Committee,” Feinstein wrote. “We need a fair, independent process that will gather all the facts, interview all the relevant witnesses, and ensure the Committee receives a full and impartial report. Should the White House continue to refuse to direct the FBI to do its job, the Committee must subpoena all relevant witnesses.”
Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, added: “It is time to set politics aside. We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.”
In the New Yorker story published Sunday, Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing his genitals to her at a 1983 college dorm party while she and a group of friends were playing a drinking game. When she pushed Kavanaugh away, she accidentally touched his genitals, according to her memory of events.
Ramirez said she didn’t remember seeing Kavanaugh’s face at the time, but remembers somebody shouting: “Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.”
“It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there,” Ramirez said.
Kavanaugh denied the allegation.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” he said in a statement. “The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple.”
According to The New York Times, Ramirez contacted several former classmates to ask if they recalled the incident and said she couldn’t be sure it was Kavanaugh who exposed his genitals.
A spokesperson for Grassley accused Democrats of holding the allegations to delay the vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“Yet again, Senate Democrats actively withheld information from the rest of the Committee only to drop information at politically opportune moments,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
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