More than five dozen women came forward Friday to defend Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh against an alleged high school incident, calling President Trump’s pick for the high court “a good person.”
The 65 women, who claim to have known Kavanaugh for more than 35 years, penned a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to vouch for his character.
“We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect,” the letter read. “We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time.”
The women wrote that while Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory School, an all-boys high school in Bethesda, Maryland, they knew him through “social events, sports, church, and various other activities.”
Many of us have remained close friends with him and his family over the years. Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity,” they wrote. “In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.”
They added: “The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views. Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person.”
The letter comes amid a controversy ignited by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who released a statement this week saying that she turned information about Kavanaugh over to the FBI. She did not detail the accusation, and Republicans accused her of trying to orchestrate a last-minute smear.
“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a surprise statement. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
Fox News confirmed that the letter involved an allegation about Kavanaugh while in high school in the 1980s. A woman who was also in high school at the time, accused Kavanaugh of holding her down and trying to force himself on her during a party, before she got away. The details were first reported by The New Yorker.
The woman also claimed Kavanaugh was joined at the time by a friend who turned up music to conceal her protests. The unnamed classmate, quoted in the New Yorker article as having "no recollection of that," is Mark Judge, Fox News confirmed. His identity was first reported by The Weekly Standard.
"It's just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way," Judge said, adding that he still does not know the identity of the woman who made the allegations.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations Friday.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh, 53, said in a statement.
The White House blasted the charges on Thursday.
“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him,” White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
The accusations come after Kavanaugh’s Capitol Hill confirmation grilling, and ahead of the committee vote on sending his nomination to the full Senate.
The FBI conducts background checks on all major government appointees, including Supreme Court nominees.
“Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process,” the FBI said in a statement.
Fox News has learned that the White House would need to request that the bureau follow up on the letter for the matter to be investigated further.
Despite the controversy, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said there is no plan to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Grassley set the panel’s vote on Kavanaugh for Sept. 20 and Republicans hope to confirm him by the start of the new court session on Oct. 1.