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Book reveals new allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, FBI’s handling of probe

September 16, 2019 - 5:10 am
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(WASHINGTON) -- It will be exactly a year on Monday since Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations of sexual assault against then-nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh, ultimately leading to an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct when Kavanaugh was a student.

Now, in their new book, New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, are sparking fresh controversy, alleging that investigators failed to interview over two dozen people "who may have had corroborating evidence" regarding Kavanaugh’s second accuser’s account and, potentially, overlooked another alleged victim entirely.

In a report, adapted from the soon-to-be-released book titled The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, The New York Times focuses on Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University. Her allegations against him were first detailed in The New Yorker, less than a week after Blasey Ford’s account was made public. Ramirez told the New Yorker that during a dorm party sometime in the 1983-1984 academic year, Kavanaugh "thrust his penis in her face" causing her "to touch it without her consent."

Kavanaugh flatly denied Ramirez’s accusations.

"This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen," he said in statement soon after the report was published. "The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple."

Kavanaugh again denied the allegations, along with Blasey Ford’s and those of another accuser, Julie Swetnick, during his public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Through a court spokeswoman, Kavanaugh declined comment to ABC News on the allegations made in the Times story published Sunday and the new book out this week.

At the request of members of the committee, President Donald Trump eased limitation on an FBI background check into Kavanaugh, sources close to the process told ABC News last October. Trump had previously called for it to be "limited in scope," but sources told ABC News he later authorized the FBI to interview anyone it wanted, with a focus on accusations raised separately by Ford and Ramirez.

In early October, the FBI delivered its report to the Senate Judiciary Committee. After reviewing the report, the committee’s chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley called the women’s accusations "uncorroborated" and said "neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations."

Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court by a vote of 50-48.

The book authors now claim that FBI investigation wasn’t sufficiently thorough, saying that Ramirez’s legal team gave the FBI a list of at least 25 individuals who they said might have been able to confirm her allegations, but that none of them were interviewed as part of the bureau’s supplemental investigation, even after some of them tried to contract the FBI on their own accord. The Times also reports that two FBI agents interviewed Ramirez and said that they found her "credible," but that the Senate "had imposed strict limits on the investigation."

A spokesperson for Ramirez declined to provide a comment to ABC News.

The book also includes another Yale student’s account of a separate incident from Kavanaugh’s freshman year, where he said he saw Kavanagh "with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student." However, authors allege that even though that classmate notified senators and the FBI, the FBI did not investigate his claim. The book says that the alleged victim has refused to discuss the incident and several friends said she does not recall it, although the Times report does not include this detail.

These newly revealed allegations against Kavanaugh are prompting both calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment and renewed support from his allies. Trump, championed his nominee on Twitter, writing, "He is an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY. Such lies about him. They want to scare him into turning Liberal!"

Many of the Democratic candidates for president were quick to call for Kavanaugh’s removal. Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro all called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment through tweets. Both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders were critical of the new reports, but did not specifically call for impeachment.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., weighed in on last year’s investigations into Kavanaugh on This Week, telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, "My concern is that the process was a sham."

ABC News has reached out to the Senate Judiciary Committee for comment, but did not receive any response.

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