US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by three different women—Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick. Now, a fourth woman, Elizabeth Rasor, has written to the Senate Judiciary Committee to say that she’s willing to speak with the FBI about what she learned from the nominee’s high-school wingman, Mark Judge, who was implicated by two of the three women and is Rasor’s former boyfriend.
On Sept. 23, The New Yorker wrote that Rasor learned from Judge that he and others participated in taking turns having sex with a drunk woman in their youth. Judge was ashamed of the incident but viewed it as consensual, according to Rasor. Judge didn’t mention names, however, and Rasor said she didn’t know if Kavanaugh was involved. The Washington Post reported today (Sept. 26) that Rasor sent a letter through her attorney to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirming the account and expressing willingness to discuss it.
According to Julie Swetnick, Judge and Kavanaugh were involved in numerous “train” or “gang” rapes in the early 1980s, including raping and drugging her in 1982. Swetnick’s accusation lends support to the account of Christine Blasey Ford, who will be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, and says Judge and the nominee attempted to rape her.
Judge has said he has nothing to say about Blasey Ford’s accusations and no recollection of the party she describes. But Swetnick’s affidavit and Blasey Ford’s accusation suggest that Judge and Kavanaugh had a pattern of behavior, or modus operandi in legal terms. They allegedly drank excessively and took advantage of vulnerable young women. Ramirez said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when drunk at a Yale University party.
What Rasor says Judge told her seems to support the claims about a pattern of behavior. Her willingness to speak also increases pressure on the committee to subpoena Judge to testify, though he’s expressly said he doesn’t want to.
Judge, for his part, wrote a book, the 1997 memoir Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, which references a character with the last name “Kavanaugh” who also drank a lot. Judge is currently at a friend’s beach house in Delaware, trying to avoid public scrutiny, which his lawyer says is trying for the recovering alcoholic.
For now, US president Donald Trump is standing by Kavanaugh, and has called the accusations “a con.” In a statement issued to White House reporters today, Trump said, “I know this particular man—Judge Kavanaugh. He’s outstanding. You don’t find people like this. He’s outstanding. He’s a gem. He’s an absolute gem.”
Later, at a live press conference at the United Nations, Trump admitted that he is willing to consider withdrawing Kavanaugh’s nomination if he is convinced by Blasey Ford’s testimony at the hearing tomorrow.
But he warned that even if a woman is nominated to replace Kavanaugh, she too could face accusations. ”I was accused by I believe it was four or five women…who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me,” Trump told reporters. “So I’ve had numerous accusations about me. They made false statements about me. I never met them…”
He said the accusations leveled against him impacted his opinion. “Does it affect me in terms of my thinking with Judge Kavanaugh? Absolutely.” However, he didn’t outright call the women accusing Kavanaugh “liars” when a reporter asked if that’s what he meant.
Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations. Tomorrow he will testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee about Blasey Ford’s accusations. It’s likely that he’ll continue to deny being at a party or assaulting her.