A report by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee concluded that there’s no evidence to support “numerous allegations” of misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, including an accusation of attempted rape, exposure, and instances of heavy drinking.
“This was a serious and thorough investigation that left no stone unturned in our pursuit of the facts,” said committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a statement about the 414-page report on the committee majority’s probe released Saturday. “In the end, there was no credible evidence to support the allegations against the nominee.”
In the most troubling accusation against Kavanaugh after his nomination to the top court, California professor Christine Blasey Ford testified that a stumbling drunk Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, tried to remove her clothing and pressed his hand over her mouth when she attempted to scream at a house party when they were both in high school.
Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez also said that a drunken Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party and thrust his penis into her face. High school and college classmates said publicly before Kavanaugh was confirmed that he was a heavy drinker.
But the Senate Judiciary Committee noted that six FBI reports on Kavanaugh over the course of his career in politics and on the bench, which included interviews with nearly 150 individuals who knew Kavanaugh, “did not reveal any alcohol abuse or inappropriate sexual behavior.”
In interviews by senators outlined in the report a bizarre mistaken identity story appeared to be told by at least two men regarding the incident concerning Ford. Information is redacted so there are no names in the stories, but both men speculated that Ford may have mistaken them for Kavanaugh during innocent encounters.
Before Ford’s testimony, conservative lawyer Ed Whelan suggested in a strange series of tweets that a classmate of Kavanaugh’s who looked like him may have assaulted her. President Donald Trump also subscribed to the theory. Ford said in her testimony that she was “100 percent” certain she was assaulted by Kavanaugh.
Generally, interviews in the committee report concerning Kavanaugh in the Ford section were glowing, and comments about Ford were negative.
One person interviewed who claimed to know Ford said she did drugs on occasion, but she did not specify what kind of drugs. Another woman said he had seen a photo of Ford posing with billionaire Democratic donor George Soros. Still another said Ford had a “robust” social life and did not seem to be suffering from the effects of a sexual assault.
The report concluded: “Committee investigators found no verifiable evidence that supported Dr. Ford’s allegations against Justice Kavanaugh. The witnesses that Dr. Ford identified as individuals who could corroborate her allegations failed to do so, and in fact, contradicted her.”
In the Ramirez case, the report cited a public statement by James Roche, who was Kavanaugh’s roommate at Yale. He “characterized Justice Kavanaugh as a ‘notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time’ who ‘became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk,’” the report noted.
But another, unidentified, classmate, said Kavanaugh’s drinking was “within range of what was normal at the time.” That classmate added that those who accused Kavanaugh of heavy drinking “were engaged in the same behavior.”
Committee investigators “found no verifiable evidence to support Ramirez’s allegations,” the report stated.
As for Julie Swetnick, who told NBC that Kavanaugh was present in a house during high school when she said she was sexually assaulted, the committee “found no verifiable evidence to support Swetnick’s allegations.” The report added: “Indeed, the evidence appears to support the position that Julie Swetnick and [her attorney Michael] Avenatti criminally conspired to make materially false statements to the Committee and obstruct the Committee’s investigation.” The case has been forwarded to the Department of Justice for further investigation.
Other allegations with few details and largely unknown to the public, were also dismissed by the committee. Judy Munro-Leighton, who falsely claimed she authored an anonymous letter that alleged that Kavanaugh and a friend raped her, recanted. Her name was also forwarded to the Justice Department — and the FBI — for investigation.
Most of the report consists of 386 pages of exhibits, including emails, text messages, resumes and statements.
Committee investigators spoke with 45 individuals and took 25 written statements,
Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick could not immediately be reached for comment.