A woman is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s, according to a source familiar with the allegations, which were relayed in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein earlier this summer.
The letter details an incident when the woman, who has not come forward publicly, attended a party with Kavanaugh and others in a suburban Maryland home. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has referred the letter to the FBI.
Kavanaugh physically pushed her into a bedroom, the accuser said. Along with another male, Kavanaugh locked the door from the inside and played loud music that the accuser said precluded successful attempts to yell for help.
Both men were drunk, she said, and Kavanaugh attempted to remove her clothes.
At one point, Kavanaugh was on top of her laughing as the other male in the room periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh held his hand over her mouth at one point, and she said she felt her life was inadvertently in danger.
She said she was able to leave the room and go into a hallway bathroom. After Kavanaugh and the other male began talking to others in the house, she went home.
There is no indication the woman reported the incident to law enforcement at the time, but she said she has received medical treatment regarding the alleged assault. The woman also declined to come forward publicly after sending the letter to Feinstein. The accuser’s name was redacted before Feinstein forwarded it to the FBI.
In a statement Friday, Kavanaugh denied the allegation.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said.
Kavanaugh testified for three days before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, where the issue was not raised. The Judiciary panel is scheduled to consider Kavanaugh’s nomination next Thursday, and the full Senate may vote on confirmation later this month.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, does not plan to postpone the vote.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination will proceed as scheduled, next Thursday,” said Grassley spokesman George Hartmann.
The New Yorker first reported the details of the letter to Feinstein. The woman making the allegations declined a request from the
No new criminal investigation
The FBI confirmed it had received the referral from Feinstein.
“Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process,” an FBI spokesperson said Thursday.
A source familiar with the process says there is no criminal investigation into Kavanaugh as a result of this letter.
It is now part of Kavanaugh’s background file and it will be up to the White House to determine whether there is any further action to take. The Judiciary Committee received an updated supplement to Kavanaugh’s background investigation from the FBI Thursday afternoon, an aide said. Senators on the committee can now request access to that information.
In a statement Thursday, Feinstein emphasized that the person asked not to be identified.
“That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision,” Feinstein said.