A group of 65 women is throwing cold water on an anonymous claim of sexual misconduct in the distant past of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The claim, which was passed on to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has roiled Kavanaugh’s confirmation because Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent the letter to the FBI, the Washington Examiner reported.
“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a statement Thursday. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
According to the anonymous accuser, Kavanaugh attended a party while in high school in the 1980s and tried to force himself on an unnamed woman, CNN reported.
Kavanaugh has denied the tale.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said in a statement Friday.
Now, dozens of women who knew Kavanaugh during that time in his life are defending him, according to the letter released Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect,” the letter read. “We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the committee at this time.”
The 65 women who signed the letter said they have witnessed Kavanaugh’s strong character for decades.
“Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day,” the letter continued.
The signers noted that they are not all aligned with Kavanaugh politically.
“The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views. Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person,” their statement added.
The FBI said it received the anonymous allegation from Feinstein.
“Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process,” the FBI said in a statement.
The FBI has no plans to investigate the allegations, according to The Washington Post.
Kavanaugh was asked about sexual misconduct during his confirmation hearing by Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, The Post reported.
Kavanaugh said he never committed “any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature.”
The judge’s nomination to fill the seat vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy has been a bruising partisan battle. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on his nomination Thursday.
The last-minute nature of the allegation was criticized by the White House.
“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him,” White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
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