New misconduct accusations roil Kavanaugh nomination

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A new sexual assault allegation has surfaced against Justice Brett Kavanaugh and is being investigated by the Senate Democrats, a media report claimed Sunday, a development that can further complicate the confirmation process of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Ramirez's call for an investigation came despite her admission to the New Yorker that there are gaps in her memory of the incident, and that she expects her memories to be questioned as she had been drinking.

Deborah Ramirez, who studied sociology and psychology at Yale with Kavanaugh, outlined her accusations to The New Yorker after the left-wing publication contacted her, acting on a tip about a possible incident.

"This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen", Kavanaugh said in a statement provided by the White House.

"Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her", the lawyers said in a statement.

The White House and Kavanaugh have denied the allegation as a "smear", and the White House is standing by the president's nominee.

Kavanaugh has denied both accusations, as has The White House, which continues to support his Supreme Court nomination.

The lawyers for Ford wrote to the committee on Saturday that she "accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week". Brett Kavanaugh was unfit to serve before these latest allegations, now there can be no question that he must not serve on the highest court in the land.

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"Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation", she told the Washington Post in a coming-out story last week, placing herself squarely at the epicentre of a political quake that has made her a household name.

He did not offer any evidence, except to cite the New Yorker report that the committee's Democratic staff were made aware of the allegations. They were both present at a party in a dorm room their freshman year, Ramirez told The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer.

The magazine said it had not found eyewitnesses to confirm that Mr Kavanaugh was at the party, though one former classmate remembered hearing about the incident from another, and independently corroborated numerous details offered by Ms Ramirez.

According to The New York Times, the federal judge has calendars from the summer of 1982 he plans to share with senators showing he was out of town most of that time with no indication of the party of concern.

A White House spokeswoman adds in a second statement that the allegation is "designed to tear down a good man". "She should have her say". They also compared the current controversy to the sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in 1991. Separately, an attorney for another woman said his client had information about Kavanaugh's behavior at parties at high school parties and wanted to testify as well. The Senate Judiciary Committee's 11 Republicans - all men - have been seeking an outside female lawyer to interrogate Ford.

Ms Ford alleges that Mr Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her at a party when he was 17, she was 15 and they were attending private schools outside Washington in the 1980s. California's Diane Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, sent a letter Sunday to Republican chairman Charles Grassley urging him to refer the new allegations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to ensure "a fair, independent process that will gather all the facts". All three told investigators that they had no recollection of the evening in question, the committee said.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican, wrangled with Ms Ford's lawyers for the last week over the exact terms of her appearance.

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