In an unprecedented move, embattled U.S. Judge Brett Kavanaugh went on national television Monday to speak against the sexual assault allegations that have put his Supreme Court nomination at risk.
Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley, spoke with Fox News' Martha MacCallum one day after a second accuser came forward with allegations of sexual violence. "I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process," he said. "I'm not going anywhere."
The New Yorker reported Sunday that Deborah Ramirez claims "Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away" while both were first-year students at Yale University in the 1980s. His first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, came forward last week with allegations that a 17-year-old Kavanugh sexually assaulted her and attempted to rape her when she was 15 at a house party.
Kavanaugh has denied both allegations. "I never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise," he said. He said he was a virgin in high school and throughout college, even though that doesn't prove that he never sexually assaulted anyone.
He denied being at the party where he allegedly assaulted Ford, saying: "The other people who alleged to be present have said they do not remember any such party. A woman who was present, another woman who was present who was Dr. Ford’s lifelong friend has said she doesn’t know me and never remembers being at a party with me at any time in her life."
Kavanaugh added that he "may have met" Ford while they were in high school, but said they were not friends. He also said he believes Ford was perhaps assaulted, just not by him. The mistaken identity theory has been pushed by Kavanaugh's allies in recent days. In fact, Ed Whelan, one of Kavanaugh's most prominent friends, bizarrely decided to compose a now-deleted Twitter thread in which he publicly identified another Georgetown Prep student as Ford’s possible assailant. The conspiracy theory relied on floor plans and pictures as "proof" the other student was Kavanaugh's lookalike, without any evidence to support the claims or a victim statement.
Dr. Ford immediately dismissed the theory, telling the Washington Post: "I knew them both, and socialized with [the other classmate.] I even visited [him] when he was in the hospital," she said. "There is zero chance that I would confuse them."
Regarding Ramirez' allegations, Kavanaugh also categorically denied it. "I never did any such thing," he said. "The other people alleged to be there don't recall any such thing. If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus."
However, a classmate independently told The New Yorker that he had known about the allegations that Kavanaugh exposed himself to Ramirez, saying: “I’ve known this all along. It’s been on my mind all these years when his name came up. It was a big deal.”
He did admit that on occasion he drank heavily and that he thought "all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit."
Kavanaugh's sit-down with Fox News was extremely unusual since no Supreme Court nominee in recent history has granted interviews to the media while awaiting to be confirmed by the Senate. His wife Ashley sat beside him, offering her unconditional support. "He's decent," she said. "He's kind."
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for Stormy Daniels, claims he's representing a third accuser who will come forward in the next few days. The Montgomery County Sentinel reported that investigators have been made aware of allegations that there's yet another sexual assault complaint against Kavanaugh, an incident that allegedly took place when he was a high school senior. No additional information is known at this time.
Ford and Kavanaugh are both set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
"I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name," he said. (Kavanaugh repeated this sentiment nearly 20 times throughout the interview.)
He added that U.S. President Donald Trump has promised he would stand by him. The U.S. President, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women, tried to cast doubt on Ford's allegations, after days of silence. He said the allegations were "totally political" earlier Monday, once again siding with an alleged abuser like he's done in the past.
Both Ford and Ramirez have asked for the FBI to re-open Kavanaugh's background check as a nominee and investigate the claims. The White House and Republican leaders have refused. When asked whether the FBI should investigate the allegations, Kavanaugh dodged the question.