Woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct goes public
The woman who accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school has come forward publicly in an interview with the Washington Post after sending a private letter containing the allegations to a Democratic senator.
Christine Blasey Ford told the Post in an interview published Sunday that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a house party in Maryland, attempted to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she tried to scream for help. She said she was about 15 at the time while Kavanaugh was about 17.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford is now 51 and works as a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California. She says she was able to get away after Kavanaugh’s friend jumped on top of them and everyone tumbled.
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Senate Democrats, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, immediately called for Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to be postponed. Kavanaugh would be replacing retired Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kavanaugh, 53, has promptly denied the claims.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or any time,” Kavanaugh said in response to the allegations.
Ford first contacted the Post in early July, the newspaper reported, when it became clear that Kavanaugh was on U.S. President Donald Trump’s shortlist to replace Justice Kennedy. She later presented her allegations in the form of a letter, which she sent through the office of her her representative in Congress, Democrat Ann Eshoo, to top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Feinstein revealed the existence of the letter late last week. The White House countered that Feinstein was waging an “11th hour attempt to delay [Kavanaugh’s] confirmation.” Her revelation of the letter has been questioned by both Democratic and Republican senators alike.
“It raises a lot of questions about Democrats’ tactics and motives,” said Taylor Foy, the spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Judiciary Committee’s Republican chairman.
Ford told the Post that she decided to reach out to the newspaper after her private approach to Sen. Feinstein became public without her permission.
“Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” Ford told the Post. She added that she kept quiet about the alleged incident until she found herself in couple’s therapy with her husband back in 2012.
Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh, a federal appeals judge in Washington has divided Congress – with most Republicans supporting him and most Democrats opposing him.
Sixty-five women who knew Kavanaugh in high school have since come forward in a follow-up letter, defending him as someone who “always treated women with decency and respect. The letter was circulated by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Ford told the Post that she made the decision to come forward publicly after watching her story be made public without her permission.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has completed its hearings on Kavanaugh and had plans to vote this week.
–With files from the Associated Press.
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