A second woman has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, a claim the judge denies.
It is unclear now whether the allegations will derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation. A few Senate Republicans signaled Ford’s accusation could sway their vote, though President Donald Trump has publicly defended his Supreme Court choice. If two Senate Republicans vote against Kavanaugh, his nomination will fail.
In a statement, Kavanaugh said that “this alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen.”
“The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so,” he said. “This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name — and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building — against these last-minute allegations.”
White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec called the accusation “the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man.” She added that the White House “stands firmly behind” Kavanaugh.
Trump had conversations about the second accusation Sunday before it became public, NBC News reported, citing a source familiar with the confirmation process. The president still supports Kavanaugh, according to NBC.
In a statement, Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy said the senator’s office learned about Ramirez’s allegation from the New Yorker story and said neither her nor her lawyer have contacted Grassley’s office. Democrats did not tell their Republican counterparts about the claim, Foy said.
Senate Democrats, who have already urged their GOP counterparts to slow down Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, are looking into the new accusation.
“This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanagh. It should be fully investigated,” Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said, according to The New Yorker.
Read the full New Yorker story here.