WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers has come forward to The Washington Post.
California professor Christine Blasey Ford tells the newspaper that Kavanaugh and a friend corralled her in a bedroom during a gathering at a house in Maryland in the early 1980s. She says that both boys were “stumbling drunk” and that the friend watched as Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and clumsily tried to pull off her clothes.
She says she tried to scream and Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.
Ford says she escaped when Kavanaugh’s friend jumped on top of them and they tumbled.
The now-53-year-old Kavanaugh issued a statement on Sunday, saying, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
The White House also spoke out.
“As the story notes, we are standing with Judge Kavanaugh’s denial,” Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said.
Ford said she didn’t reveal what happened until 2012 during couples therapy with her husband.
North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis told CBS News he was “shocked” that the allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh did not come up in his days-long Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
On “Face the Nation” Sunday, Tillis, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he had not seen a letter sent by a then-unnamed female accuser to her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo. On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, confirmed the existence of the letter.
According to The New Yorker, the letter described an alleged incident when Kavanaugh and the woman were both minors at different high schools in the D.C. area in the 1980s. The New Yorker reported the letter claims that Kavanaugh unsuccessfully attempted to force himself on her at a high school party.
“I believe that the member that first received that letter was as late as July, and quite honestly, I’m shocked that the matter didn’t come up in the nearly 32 hours of testimony that Judge Kavanaugh was before us, in the open sessions or the nearly hour, hour and a half session that we had in a closed session,” Tillis said Sunday. “That information never came up.”
Tillis said that that committee intends to look into the matter upon returning to Washington this week, but “it really raises a question in my mind about, if this was material to the confirmation process, why on Earth, over the past four to six weeks, hasn’t it been discussed among the committee members?”
A Democratic senator says an anonymous allegation of sexual misconduct this late in the process is unlikely to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but Doug Jones of Alabama says there’s time for lawmakers to investigate. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the nomination Thursday.
The sexual assault allegations follow a tumultuous hearing earlier this month which included a move from New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker to release a classified document related to Kavanaugh.