A New York Post writer claims that a former classmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s has identified a fraternity brother of his as the person who likely exposed himself to Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez during a dormitory party in the early 1980s.
Ramirez, who was Kavanaugh’s second accuser, went public in a New Yorker piece published Sept. 23.
“She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty,” The New Yorker reported.
“After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”
Ramirez was to be interviewed by the FBI as part of the bureau’s one-week re-investigation of the background of the Supreme Court nominee. However, a new wrinkle may have presented itself in the form of a report about an alleged letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Paul Sperry is best known nowadays as a writer for the New York Post, although he’s appeared in a number of different publications over the years. On Sunday afternoon, he tweeted about the existence of a letter from “(a) classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale has sent a tip into the Senate Judiciary Committee identifying a fraternity brother known for exposing himself as the likely boy who exposed himself to Debbie Ramirez.”
So, what does this mean? As for the existence of the letter, while Sperry has made it clear both on his Twitter account and his writings for the New York Post that he doesn’t believe the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, he’s also usually not blatantly wrong on these sorts of things. The likelihood is better than not that such a letter has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee by someone.
As for the truth of the letter? Well, that’s the problem with almost every piece of testimony in the Kavanaugh case: It’s sketchy at best, usually uncorroborated and could likely be contradicted by other testimony the committee’s already received.
Take the case of Dabney Friedrich, a former girlfriend of Kavanaugh’s. In an anonymous letter to Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, a woman claimed her daughter witnessed a low-level assault against Friedrich by Kavanaugh in the late-1990s.
“Her friend was dating him, and they left the bar under the influence of alcohol. They were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually,” the letter read.
“There were at least four witnesses, including my daughter.”
And that letter was almost immediately contradicted by the former girlfriend in question. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Friedrich — now a judge — said “(t)o the extent the attached letter is referring to me as the ‘friend [who] was dating him,’ the allegations it makes are both offensive and absurd.
“At no time did Brett ever shove me against a wall, including in an ‘aggressive and sexual’ manner. When we dated, Brett always treated me with the utmost respect, and we remain friends to this day. I have never observed (nor am I aware of) Brett acting in a physically inappropriate or aggressive manner toward anyone.”
And then we have a Rhode Island man who is now under investigation for making false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee about a sexual assault he initially said Kavanaugh perpetrated in the mid-1980s. He has since repudiated the story.
So, this new letter — should it exist — could be materially false. It could be the result of memories corrupted over the process of 35 years. It could be politically motivated. It could be some combination thereof; those aren’t mutually exclusive categories, after all.
But that’s the problem with the entire case against Kavanaugh: At no point have we received concrete corroboration of anything. Christine Blasey Ford can’t remember where the house was where Kavanaugh assaulted her or how she got home.
None of her witnesses can corroborate her story. The same questions linger over the Ramirez case. That makes this letter pretty much the equal of anything that’s been brought against Kavanaugh. Why should we believe one over the other?
This is the problem of throwing these unverifiable cases against a public career that has been unmarred by personal or professional misconduct. We’ve been asked to treat the former as a condition that negates the latter when it ought to be the other way around.
If these are the standards we’re holding ourselves to in 2018, God help us all.
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