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What you need to know about the new assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh

Deborah Ramirez alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a freshman dorm party.

by David Gilbert
Sep 24 2018, 12:49pm

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing multiple new allegations of sexual misconduct days before he is due to face the woman who first accused him of sexual assault.

In a bombshell new report by The New Yorker published Sunday evening, Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, alleges that the then-18-year-old student exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party and thrust his penis in her face.

Kavanaugh and the White House have strongly denied Ramirez’s claims, with her former classmate saying, “This is a smear, plain and simple.”

Also on Sunday evening, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, published an email he had sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he claims to be in possession of “significant evidence” of a toxic culture of gang rape among Kavanaugh and his friends where they “would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang-rape them.”

Avenatti said one of the people who has provided him with evidence claims to be a victim of one of these gang rapes.

Christine Blasey Ford, who claims Kavanaugh assaulted her at a drunken party 36 years ago, announced over the weekend that she will testify in an open hearing on Thursday at 10 a.m. Kavanaugh will also testify to refute the allegations.

However, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, called for a postponement in a letter to chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley following the publication of the new allegations in The New Yorker, adding that a full FBI investigation is needed.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest allegations against Kavanaugh:

What is Ramirez alleging took place?

While they were both freshmen at Yale, Ramirez was invited to a dorm-room party that Kavanaugh was also attending. They began playing a drinking game. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.”

Ramirez, who admits there are gaps in her memory, claims she was chosen repeatedly and quickly became inebriated. She remembers being on the floor, slurring her words while two male students stood nearby.

It was at this point that she says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”

She recalls thinking “That’s not a real penis.” The students had earlier been playing with a fake penis. The other students laughed at her confusion and taunted her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.”

“Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She remembered that another male student "yelled down the hall, ‘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.”

Why didn’t she come forward before now?

Ramirez said she was nervous about coming forward previously because she knew that the fact she was drunk and the gaps in her memory would leave her account open to attack.

However, after spending six days assessing her memories and discussing the incident with her solicitor, the 53-year-old told the New Yorker she was confident of Kavanaugh’s role in the assault.

Multiple former classmates of Kavanaugh and Ramirez commented on the allegations, and while some said such actions were consistent with the types of parties Kavanaugh attended at the school, no one could independently verify the details of the incident.

One group of former classmates, including the two men who stood over Ramirez while she lay on the ground, dismissed the claims, saying they would have heard about it if it happened, and the behavior would be “completely out of character for Brett.”

What is Avenatti alleging?

After days of teasing the news, on Sunday night Avenatti released the contents of an email sent to the Chief Counsel for Nominations at the Senate Judiciary Committee saying he has information about a series of house parties in the Washington area during the 1980s attended by Kavanaugh and his friends, including Mark Judge — who Blasey Ford says was in the room when Kavanaugh attacked her.

Avenatti told Politico he would only describe one of the people he has been in contact with as a victim, adding that she is willing to testify but will “will likely appear on camera for an interview.” He also said more evidence would be released in the coming days.

There is also some cross over between Avenatti’s claims and the New Yorker report.

An unidentified woman, who went to high school in the same area as Georgetown Prep, where Kavanaugh went to school, spoke about house parties in a letter she sent to Blasey Ford’s lawyers.

In it, the woman says she saw male students “get a female student blind drunk” and then try to take advantage of her. “It was disgusting,” she said. “They treated women like meat.”

What is Kavanaugh and the White House saying?

In a statement, the nominee completely denied the allegation.

“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. 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.”

In a move that shows Kavanaugh is set to take a more proactive approach to defending himself, he will give the Judiciary Committee his calendars from the summer of 1982, with the New York Times reporting that they “do not show a party consistent with the description of his accuser.”

The White House is standing fully behind its candidate, also labeling Ramirez’s account a “smear”:

This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say.

Donald Trump had remained relatively quiet about the allegations, but on Friday he sought to undermine Ford’s account, questioning why she didn’t called the FBI 36 years ago when the assault happened.

Cover: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh leaves his home September 19, 2018 in Chevy Chase, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)