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President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Distractions aplenty.
UNCONTROLLED DAMAGE

A flack defending Kavanaugh has quit over misconduct allegations of his own

By Ana Campoy

The Republican campaign to keep Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process on track just suffered another setback.

Garrett Ventry, a GOP spokesman working on the Kavanaugh confirmation process, resigned Friday night after sexual harassment accusations against him came to light, NBC News reported. Ventry, 29, had been helping the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Republican senator Charles Grassley respond to allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the Supreme Court nominee.

Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor, said last week (paywall) that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both teenagers. Today her lawyers said Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about “her firsthand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week.”

Ventry allegedly harassed a woman who was part of the Republican staff at the North Carolina General Assembly. At the time, he was a social media advisor to John Bell, the state’s House majority leader, who fired him after several months on the job last year, according to NBC.

Both Kavanaugh and Ventry have denied the allegations against them. Ventry told the Washington Post (paywall) today that he decided to step down “in order to not be a distraction.”

His resignation comes as Republicans are recovering from another embarrassing development related to Kavanaugh this week. In an effort to clear him, Ed Whelan, a conservative legal activist, tweeted the unfounded theory that Ford’s attacker had been not Kavanaugh, but a close friend. The move backfired, forcing Whelan to apologize.

Even if Kavanaugh wins confirmation, the way the GOP has handled the process doesn’t do it any favors among female voters ahead of November’s midterm elections.