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story.lead_photo.caption Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, speaks about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the floor of the Senate on Monday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

President Trump and fellow Republicans dug in Monday in their support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, as the Supreme Court nominee vowed to fight back against additional allegations of sexual misconduct, which he called a coordinated smear campaign.

In a letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh said he would "not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process."

"The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out," said Kavanaugh, who will testify Thursday before the committee. "The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed."

Kavanaugh reiterated that he won't bow out in an interview with Fox News that aired Monday night. Speaking with his wife, Ashley, at his side, the nominee said, "I'm not going anywhere" and dismissed what he called "false accusations."

He added, "I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter." The women aren't claiming he had intercourse with them.

"The truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise," Kavanaugh said. "I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone."

"I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process and we're looking for a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity, my lifelong record," he said.

Brett Kavanaugh, with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, answers questions during a Fox News interview on Monday in Washington about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee.
Brett Kavanaugh, with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, answers questions during a Fox News interview on Monday in Washington about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee.

Trump and other Republicans echoed that assessment Monday, with the president saying he is looking forward to a confirmation vote.

In comments to reporters, Trump vowed to support his nominee "all the way," calling Kavanaugh "a man with an unblemished past" and characterizing the allegations swirling around him as "totally political."

"There's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen for a candidate for anything," Trump said.

His comments, made as he entered United Nations headquarters in New York, were his first since a report Sunday night on a second allegation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., lashed out at Democrats, accusing them of throwing "all the mud they could manufacture" and decrying a "shameful smear campaign." He defended Kavanaugh and vowed that this "fine nominee" will receive a vote in the Senate.

On Sunday, The New Yorker magazine reported that Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale University, said he exposed himself at a party when they were both first-year students.

Bipartisan Judiciary Committee staff members will interview Ramirez privately about her allegation, said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican.


Later on Monday, The New York Times reported on a mysterious entry in Kavanaugh's 1983 yearbook. Among the reminiscences about sports and booze in Kavanaugh's page is the entry: "Renate Alumnius."

The word "Renate" appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School's 1983 yearbook, on individuals' pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Kavanaugh, who were described as the "Renate Alumni." It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls' school.

Two of Kavanaugh's classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players' unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.

"They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate," said Sean Hagan, a Georgetown Prep student at the time, referring to Kavanaugh and his teammates. "I can't express how disgusted I am with them, then and now."

This month, Renate Schroeder Dolphin joined 64 other women who, saying they knew Kavanaugh during their high school years, signed a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter stated that "he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect."

When Dolphin signed the Sept. 14 letter, she wasn't aware of the "Renate" yearbook references on the pages of Kavanaugh and his football teammates.

"I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago," Dolphin said in a statement to The New York Times. "I don't know what 'Renate Alumnus' actually means. I can't begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment."

Alexandra Walsh, a lawyer for Kavanaugh, said in a statement: "Judge Kavanaugh was friends with Renate Dolphin in high school. He admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.

"Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Dolphin attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event," the statement continued. "They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh's high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else."

Dolphin said she had never kissed Kavanaugh. "I think Brett must have me confused with someone else, because I never kissed him," she said through her lawyer.

In an interview on Fox News on Monday, Kavanaugh defended his high school behavior in general terms. "People might have had too many beers on occasion and people generally in high school -- I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit," he said.

A White House spokesman, Raj Shah, declined to comment beyond the statement from Kavanaugh's lawyer.


The Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing Thursday with Ford, the California professor who has alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while both were teenagers in Maryland.

Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed, groped her and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes at a house party in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh has firmly denied the accusation.

On Saturday, Ford sent a personal letter to the Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in which she asked for "fair and respectful treatment" and said she had "one motivation in coming forward -- to tell the truth about what Mr. Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge did to me."

Several Republican senators pressed for a quick vote after the hearing.

"What we are witnessing is the total collapse of the traditional confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a string of tweets Monday morning. "It is being replaced by a game of delay, deception, and wholesale character assassination.

"In my view, the process needs to move forward with a hearing Thursday, and vote in committee soon thereafter," Graham said.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, another member of the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of "demeaning both the Senate and the Supreme Court through their partisan games and transparent attempts at character assassination."

"We should hear from Dr. Ford on Thursday as planned," Hatch said in a statement. "Then we should vote."

Despite the forceful rhetoric by Kavanaugh and his GOP supporters, it remained unclear how three moderate Republicans -- Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Arizona's Jeff Flake and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski -- would react to the latest accusation. With the GOP's Senate control hanging on a razor-thin 51-49 margin, defections by any two Republican senators would seal his fate if all Democrats vote "no."

Murkowski wouldn't say Monday whether she's closer to a decision. "There's a hearing on Thursday," she said.


Besides the new allegation from Kavanaugh's college years, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, has claimed to be representing another accuser from the judge's high school years.

"This is starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy," White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday on CBS This Morning.

Dozens of people protesting Kavanaugh were arrested Monday outside Collins' Capitol Hill office. Many wore black "Be A Hero" shirts and chanted slogans including, "We will not be silenced."

Protests on Capitol Hill were buttressed by walkouts away from Washington in support of Ford and Ramirez that were staged by dozens of liberal groups. The campaign was promoted on Twitter under the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors, and several Democrats in Congress -- including members of the Senate Judiciary Committee vetting Kavanaugh -- posted photos in support.

At Yale Law School, dozens of students dressed in black staged a sit-in Monday to protest the nomination of Kavanaugh, a graduate of the school. Organizers said allegations of sexual assault and harassment should be taken seriously, and Kavanaugh poses a "real threat" to the country. Other Yale students traveled to Washington to protest Kavanaugh's nomination on Monday.

In his first comments since the New Yorker report, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., reiterated his call for the FBI to reopen its background check of Kavanaugh, a step the White House has resisted.

"There is only one way to get to the bottom of these allegations against Judge Kavanaugh and prevent the nation from being thrown into further turmoil: an independent background check investigation by the FBI," Schumer said on Twitter. "If President Trump and Senate Republicans are so certain the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh aren't true, then why are they blocking the FBI from reopening the background check and investigating?"

Trump has made clear he won't order an FBI investigation of the allegations. And McConnell said that Thursday's Judiciary Committee hearing would proceed and that full Senate consideration would follow "in the near future," though he mentioned no date.


Also, six Senate Democrats including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and California's Kamala Harris are seeking a court order compelling the National Archives and Records Administration to turn over documents regarding Kavanaugh's work under President George W. Bush.

The senators, who all serve on the Judiciary Committee considering Kavanaugh's nomination, filed the complaint Monday in federal court in Washington. The Central Intelligence Agency is also named as a defendant in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The Democrats called their lawsuit "a last resort," compelled by Republican refusal to seek "whole categories of documents" relevant to the confirmation process.

The suing senators, who also include Vermont's Patrick Leahy, Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse, Hawaii's Mazie Hirono and Cory Booker of New Jersey, claim the National Archives acknowledged their request on Aug. 8, but has failed to act on it. They also asked for information from the CIA and from Bush's presidential library, according to court papers. The library has complied. The agency has not.

Information for this article was contributed by John Wagner, Mike DeBonis, Emma Brown and Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post; by Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Catherine Lucey, Jonathan Lemire, Kevin Freking, Padmananda Rama and Matthew Daly of The Associated Press; by Steven T. Dennis, Laura Litvan, Sahil Kapur, Toluse Olorunnipa, Jennifer Epstein and Andrew Harris of Bloomberg News; and by Kate Kelly and David Enrich of The New York Times.

Photo by AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Activists opposed to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, are arrested on Capitol Hill on Monday in Washington.

A Section on 09/25/2018

Print Headline: Kavanaugh slams what he labels as a smear campaign


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Archived Comments

  • PopMom
    September 25, 2018 at 4:23 a.m.

    Interesting. What is ironic is that Kavanaugh and the supremely qualified Merrick Garland work together in the same courthouse.

  • mozarky2
    September 25, 2018 at 5:36 a.m.

    Not for much longer, PM...

  • RBear
    September 25, 2018 at 5:58 a.m.

    "The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out." Kavanaugh seems to be a big drama queen. Let's be clear. If anyone has suffered intimidation since this began, it's been Ms. Ford. The drama Kavanaugh displayed on Fox is pretty smarmy. His claims of being a virgin in HS are almost laughable when you dig into the jock culture of Georgetown Prep during the 80s. When I hear several of the supportive comments from some of his friends during that time, it's almost a "say anything to get Brett confirmed" mentality.
    Regardless, Kavanaugh and Ford will get their time before the committee and they can decide. At this point, it's all about optics and if Kavanaugh can't portray choir boy persona and Ford is deemed credible, the American public can decide in November if the Senate does confirm him.

  • BoudinMan
    September 25, 2018 at 6:51 a.m.

    Pump the brakes. Let'em all testify. FBI investigation into all of it. Bring it all out into the open. It's not like the repugs have been in a hurry to confirm the 9th justice to the court in the past. Merrick Garland. The women seem willing to submit to an investigation. One even did a lie-detector test. Why not the men? Kavannaugh and the repugs. Which, as an aside, the demographic for the repugs on the judiciary committee is all white men. Same as it was in 1991 for Anita Hill. Plus ca change...

  • PopMom
    September 25, 2018 at 8:37 a.m.

    One of Kavanaugh's supporters named "Renate" has withdrawn her support after learning of a yearbook entry in which he and 8 others claim to be "Renate alumni"--i.e. they bragged that they had all had sex with her. While the brag may have been a lie, it shows severe misogyny which should disqualify him for the court. The lawyer Avenetti claims that another credible accuser will be coming forward.


    After all this, Kavanaugh will be lucky to keep his job on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • hah406
    September 25, 2018 at 8:53 a.m.

    Go ahead GOP and confirm him to the Supreme Court, and then brace for the backlash in a few weeks. He is the most unpopular nominee since Bork. I don't know if he did it or not, but more and more evidence seems to point to him being less than a child of God during high school and college. Regardless, the optics of this for the GOP, should they confirm him, are terrible according to a vast majority of the country.

  • mrcharles
    September 25, 2018 at 9 a.m.

    Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

    I believe K's support from the reich wing is so strong, as if it is true , then defintely he is their kind of man, and if it isnt, they would want lucifer himself as long as they can get a chamber of commerce and a supernatural supporter rolled into one. For too long has the white man lost his right to discriminate against others and not be automatically given preferences, but the gop with their last gasp may accomplish this.

    Of course the Merrick Garland matter was different, otherwise the gop could not retain their hypocrisy hat which they wear proudly. They dont want democracy they want aristocracy, and heir minions are so deluded many think they will be part of the new utopia of the rich but they do hope they dont have to set next to on buses or have their children go to schools with minorities , hope for bazookas, and to bring back school prayer... though their is some rumblings over which kinds, protestant or catholic since both claim the one true revelation.

  • jumpedcut
    September 25, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

    I heard a rumor that Kavanaugh was a member of the Life and Death Brigade while at Yale, which is one of the more sinister and disturbing secret societies at the college. For that reason, his nomination must be withdrawn.

  • mozarky2
    September 25, 2018 at 9:35 a.m.

    PM, he'll be confirmed to the SC, damn the "optics". "pubbies seem to be growing a spine, and are actually going to fight for a change.

  • RobertBolt
    September 25, 2018 at 9:38 a.m.

    I'll drink to that, mrcharles, but not from their cups, pure and polished as they appear.