Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is denying allegations of sexual misconduct and says he will not withdraw his name from consideration for the top court.
Appearing Monday on Fox News for his first television interview on the allegations, Kavanaugh said, “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school. Not ever.”
Kavanaugh appeared on the news program with his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, who said Kavanaugh’s nomination process has been “incredibly difficult.” She said, “at the end of the day, our faith is strong. We know we are on the right path.”
Kavanaugh’s television appearance comes one day after new allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him.
The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday that two U.S. senators are investigating a charge Kavanaugh exposed himself at a Yale University dormitory party during the 1983-1984 academic year.
Deborah Ramirez described the incident in an interview after being contacted by the magazine. She admitted she had been drinking and has gaps in her memories. But after consulting a lawyer, Ramirez said she felt confident in her recollection.
Speaking in New York on Monday, President Donald Trump labeled the new charges “totally political.”
Kavanaugh has also denied allegations by a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her when they were both high school students in 1982.
The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, is expected to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh is also expected to respond to the allegations on Thursday.
The new allegations that were reported Sunday have prompted a key senator to call for “an immediate postponement” of any further proceedings by the committee, which is considering Kavanaugh’s nomination.
California’s Diane Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat, sent a letter Sunday to Republican committee chairman Chuck Grassley, urging him to refer the new allegations to the FBI in order to ensure “a fair, independent process that will gather all the facts.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed Monday that the chamber will vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, promising the vote will come “in the near future.”
McConnell, who was visibly angry, accused Democrats of attempting to destroy an honorable jurist on the basis of “decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said if Republicans believe in Kavanaugh, then they, too, should want the accusations investigated by the FBI.
“Leader McConnell is afraid of what might come out (about Kavanaugh), what the truth is,” Schumer said.
Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in the 1980s when both were teenagers. Kavanaugh vehemently denied the charge.
Kavanaugh, a judicial conservative and Trump’s second Supreme Court pick, was nominated to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.
His confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate had seemed all but assured until allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced last week.
Capitol Hill correspondent Michael Bowman contributed to this report.