A fourth allegation of sexual misconduct levied against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, sent in an anonymous letter received at Sen. Cory Gardner’s office Monday, was not mentioned at Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
The letter’s existence was first reported by NBC News on Wednesday night.
No senator – Democrat or Republican – discussed the fourth allegation against Kavanaugh at the hearing. However, Kavanaugh’s second and third accusers, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, and their allegations were discussed, primarily by Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were high schoolers, testified to the committee Thursday. Kavanaugh later denied her allegations.
Feinstein criticized the Republicans on the committee for planning a confirmation vote before the weekend “without delay” despite the multiple allegations.
“What I find most inexcusable is this rush to judgment. The unwillingness to take these kinds of allegations at face value and look at them for what they are: a real question of character,” Feinstein said. “This is, despite the fact, that in the last few days, two more women have come forward with their own serious allegations of sexual assault involving Brett Kavanaugh.”
Ramirez of Boulder was the second woman to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. According to Colorado Politics, Ramirez has been a senior coordinator of volunteers for Boulder County’s Department of Housing and Human Services since 2013, and several Colorado associates have publicly stated that they believe her claims.
Feinstein said Ramirez was a student at Yale University with Kavanaugh and originally did not want to come forward publicly with her allegation, similar to Ford, who testified to the committee Thursday.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., submitted letters for the record from 50 members of Yale University’s faculty calling for an investigation into Ramirez’s claims.
Gardner was unavailable to comment on the anonymous letter or the hearing Thursday. His press secretary, Casey Contres, released a statement Wednesday about the confidential letter.
“The letter contained no names, no address and no contact info,” Contres said in a written statement. “Upon receiving the anonymous letter, we immediately notified the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is handling the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh. The letter was shared with both Republican staff and Democrat staff.”
The anonymous letter claimed that Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman he dated in a Washington, D.C., bar in 1998, but the contents of the letter have not been corroborated.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., criticized the committee’s handling of Ford’s allegations, and called for an FBI investigation into Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick’s claims. He did not mention the fourth allegation.
“Chairman, you and I were both here 27 years ago. At the time, the Senate failed Anita Hill. I said I believed her, and I’m concerned that we’re doing a lot less for these three women today,” Leahy said.
He then went on to address Ford directly about her decision to testify in front of the committee and the public.
“There are millions of victims and survivors out there who have been inspired by your courage. I am,” Leahy said. “Bravery is contagious. Indeed that is the driving force behind the #MeToo movement, and you sharing your story is going to have a lasting, positive impact on so many survivors in our country.”
Emily Martin is a student American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.