Sexual harassment and assault

Brett Kavanaugh reportedly accused of sexual misconduct in letter flagged to FBI by Democrats

The claims, which come as the Senate prepares to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, were made in a letter obtained by a Democratic senator, who then alerted the FBI

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 September, 2018, 4:26am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 September, 2018, 5:26am

Democrats on Thursday alerted the FBI to decades-old sexual misconduct allegations against US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to reports and a person familiar with the matter.

The potentially damning claims, which come as the Senate prepares to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, were made in a letter obtained by Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic source told the New York Daily News.

Two officials briefed on the letter’s contents told The New York Times the allegations relate to possible sexual misconduct between Kavanaugh and an unidentified woman when they were both in high school.

The nature of the allegations was not immediately known. Feinstein informed her fellow committee Democrats about the letter on Wednesday evening, the sources said. Several of the Democrats advised her to contact the FBI.

The Democratic source said the letter was recently given to Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, who in turn handed it over to Feinstein.

US Senate hearings for Kavanaugh end, with court confirmation likely

Feinstein acknowledged in a statement that an individual who “strongly requested confidentiality” flagged information about Kavanaugh that she found concerning enough to contact federal authorities.

A spokesman for Eshoo did not return a request for comment. FBI representatives did not respond to emailed questions.

White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec did not outright deny the allegations against Kavanaugh but criticised Democrats for introducing them so late in the game.

“Throughout his confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators – including with Senator Feinstein – sat through over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and additional questions in a confidential session,” Kupic said in a statement.

“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Senator Feinstein or anyone raised the spectre of new ‘information’ about him.”

Uproar at confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh

In party-line votes, the committee’s Republicans rejected motions by Democratic senators seeking access to more documents relating to Kavanaugh’s service in the White House under Republican President George W. Bush more than a decade ago.

The Republican-led committee agreed to vote on the nomination on September 20, with a final Senate confirmation vote likely by the end of the month.

“I don’t understand the rush to judgment. I really do not,” Feinstein said.