The New Yorker magazine is reporting another allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The magazine reported late Sunday two U.S. senators are investigating a woman’s charge that Kavanaugh exposed himself and shoved his penis into her face, causing her to touch it as she shoved him away at a Yale University dormitory party during the 1983-1984 academic year.
Deborah Ramirez, 53, admits she had been drinking and that she has gaps in her memories. But after consultation with a lawyer, Ramirez told the magazine she felt confident enough in her recollection that it happened.
The New Yorker says it could not find any witnesses.
Several of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates say he would never have done such a thing. But some of Ramirez’s classmates vouch for her integrity and recall seeing Kavanaugh “frequently and incoherently drunk.”
An aide to one of the senators investigating the story said, the “allegations seem credible and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”
The White House has issued a statement from Kavanaugh who denies the incident, calling it “a smear, plain and simple.”
Meanwhile, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of a 1982 sexual assault has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning.
Details on exactly under what conditions Christine Blasey Ford will tell her story are still being worked out.
Reports say her lawyers lawyers — Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich — agree Ford will go first, to be followed by Kavanaugh.
The three lawyers are not pleased with but agree to the committee’s decision not to call any other witnesses. They include Kavanaugh’s friend, Mike Judge, who Ford says was in the room when the alleged sexual attack occurred.
“Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” the lawyers said in a statement. They noted that other witnesses are “essential for a fair hearing.”
Also to be worked out is exactly who will question Ford. There are 21 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee – 11 conservative Republican men and 10 Democrats.
“Various senators have been dismissive of her (Ford’s) account and should have to shoulder their responsibility to ask her questions,” Ford’s lawyers say.
But Republicans do not want to look as if they are badgering a woman who claims to be the victim of a sexual assault just weeks before congressional elections with control of Congress at stake.
Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump’s choice to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.
His confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate seemed assured until Ford said in a Washington Post interview that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party when they were in high school in Maryland and she was 15 years old.
According to Ford, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to tear her clothes off. She says he put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Ford says she feared Kavanaugh might inadvertently kill her before she managed to get away.
Kavanaugh has denied sexually abusing anyone at any time in his life. A number of women who know and him and worked with him throughout his legal career have said he has been totally respectful toward them.
Trump has questioned Ford’s account, tweeting Friday that “if the attack …was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed” with police.
The tweet has prompted an outpouring of testimonials by self-described sexual assault survivors under the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, and a rebuke from a key Republican.
The White House has called Kavanaugh’s character and legal qualifications impeccable.
Capitol Hill correspondent Michael Bowman contributed to this report.
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