Three of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Yale classmates who, along with others, initially endorsed him in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling for an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against him.
NEW: Yale classmates say Brett Kavanaugh untruthful about drinking, say he was a “sloppy” drunk—once wore a superhe… https://t.co/LjVmjKZwYd— Aaron C. Davis (@Aaron C. Davis)1537933518.0
“The confirmation process should be conducted in a way that fosters trust in the process and the Supreme Court, and that seriously considers allegations of sexual violence,” Kent Sinclair, a political independent who practices law in Beverly, Massachusetts, and Douglas Rutzen, a lawyer in Washington and registered Democrat, said in a joint statement.
Fellow classmate Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, said in an interview that “the focus can’t just be on the accusers and trying to bring their veracity into question. The circumstances need to be probed.”
Additionally, Yale Law professor Akhil Amar, who taught Kavanaugh and testified on his behalf before the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for a probe into what he described as “serious accusations.”
"If the investigation’s facts and findings support him, then he will join the Court in the sunshine and not under a cloud,” he wrote in the Yale Daily News, noting that a probe would be the “best way forward.”
Other classmates have also come forward, saying that the comments Kavanaugh made in his Fox News interview––that he had been a pious virgin who did not engage in drunken or lewd behavior with his fraternity––do not match the classmate they remember.
“He’s trying to paint himself as some kind of choir boy,” said Lynne Brookes, a Republican and former pharmaceutical executive who at one point lived on campus with Deborah Ramirez, who this week said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a fraternity party and recalled seeing Kavanaugh drunk at a fraternity event. “You can’t lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out, he’s gone too far. It’s about the integrity of that institution.”
Brookes told The Washington Post that she remembered seeing Kavanaugh "outside the Sterling Memorial Library, wearing a superhero cape and an old leather football helmet and swaying, working to keep his balance" and that he'd been "ordered to hop on one foot, grab his crotch and approach her with a rhyme." She still remembers the rhyme: “I’m a geek, I’m a geek, I’m a power tool. When I sing this song, I look like a fool.”
“It’s a funny, drunk college story that you remember — at least, I remember,” Brookes said. Of watching Kavanaugh's career rise over the years, she said: “I thought it was so funny to think that’s the Brett who sang that song.”
Recalling Kavanaugh's drunken behavior with Delta Kappa Epsilon, Brookes said there was “no way” he remembered all of the behavior she observed. Fraternity brothers pressured pledges to get “ridiculously drunk” and do “ridiculous things," she said.
Kavanaugh's college friend Liz Swisher, who lived with Ramirez for three years, said she was shocked that Kavanaugh denied drinking to the point of blacking out.
"Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” said Swisher, a Democrat and chief of the gynecologic oncology division at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”
James Roche, another classmate, recalls Kavanaugh would drink to the point of incoherence. He hung out with the football players and soccer players, and they drank a lot and were bros,” Roche, who roomed with Kavanaugh briefly, said.
After Kavanaugh's Fox News interview, Roche described Kavanaugh as a “notably heavy drinker” who “became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.”
The following is a statement from James Roche, Brett #Kavanaugh’s freshman roommate at Yale. https://t.co/VfHUgPj3cV— Peter Kauffmann (@Peter Kauffmann)1537835679.0
But some of Kavanaugh's friends from high school and college have come to his defense.
“Drinking was prevalent in high school, but some guys handled it better than others, and Brett always maintained his composure,” said Tom Kane, a close friend who met Kavanaugh when the two entered Georgetown Prep in 1979. “He was not a stumbling drunk. He was never all that interested in getting wasted.”
Retired NBA player Chris Dudley, who considers Kavanaugh a close friend, says Kavanaugh is being treated unfairly.
“I went out with him all the time. He never blacked out. Never even close to blacked out,” said Dudley. “There was drinking, and there was alcohol. Brett drank, and I drank. Did he get inebriated sometimes? Yes. Did I? Yes. Just like every other college kid in America.”
Kavanaugh has denied that he ever engaged in "fratty" behavior, and in his Fox News interview, he once again denied ever sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the Palo Alto University professor who identified herself as the author of a then-anonymous letter alleging that he had assaulted her while at a high school party.
“I was never at any such party,” Kavanaugh said. “The other people who alleged to be present have said they do not remember any such party. A woman who was present, another woman who was present who was Dr. Ford’s lifelong friend has said she doesn’t know me and never remembers being at a party with me at any time in her life.”
"The truth is, I've never sexually assaulted anyone." —Brett Kavanaugh Watch @marthamaccallum's full interview wit… https://t.co/rauolTRZUj— Fox News (@Fox News)1537823580.0
Kavanaugh also denied a claim from attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents adult fillm actress Stephanie Clifford (better known as Stormy Daniels) in the case against President Donald Trump, that he, along with Mark Judge, had plied women with drugs and alcohol at parties so other men could gang rape them.
“That’s totally false and outrageous. I’ve never done any such thing, known about any such thing. When I was in high school – and I went to an all-boys Catholic high school, a judgment (ph) high school, where I was focused on academics and athletics, going to church every Sunday at Little Flower, working on my service projects, and friendship, friendship with my fellow classmates and friendship with girls from the local all-girls Catholic schools,” he said.
“And yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18, and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there,” he continued. “And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion and people generally in high school – I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit, but that’s not what we’re talking about.”
Kavanaugh’s Fox News appearance came on the same day he wrote a letter addressed to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, once again denying that he’d ever assaulted women in high school and college and declining to formally withdraw his nomination.