WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh told the leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday that he will not remove himself from consideration in light of a new sexual assault allegation.
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh wrote in a letter to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s chair and ranking member, respectively. “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”
The letter comes the day after the New Yorker published a second allegation against the nominee, this time focusing on Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of his from Yale.
Ramirez told the magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and ‘caused her to touch [his genitals] without her consent as she pushed him away’ during an on-campus party his freshman year.
The New Yorker was not able to confirm the story with eyewitnesses and includes two former students and the wife of a third who denied that it took place.
It also cites two students who said that they heard about the incident but were not present.
According to the report, Ramirez has “acknowledged that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening,” but said that she is confident that it was Kavanaugh.
The report comes on the heels of California-based professor Christine Blasey Ford telling the Washington Post last week that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothing when they were both teenagers.
She also said that Kavanaugh covered her mouth and that she feared for her life.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all the allegations.
The Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing with both Ford and Kavanaugh on Thursday.
In Monday’s letter, Kavanaugh dismissed the allegations as “smears, pure and simple.”
“They are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service,” Kavanaugh wrote.
The White House has maintained that they stand behind the nominee, with President Donald Trump telling reporters Monday that the accusations are “totally political.”
After Sunday’s New Yorker report was published, Feinstein sent a letter to Grassley calling for the “immediate postponement” of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process until the allegations could be examined.