Kavanaugh vows 'last-minute character assassination' will not force him to withdraw

  • Brett Kavanaugh lashes out at a report detailing a second allegation of sexual assault against him, calling the accusation "grotesque and obvious character assassination" and vowing not to withdraw his nomination.
  • Kavanaugh says he "will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process."
  • Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second pick to join the nine-member high court, was hit with the second allegation in a report from The New Yorker published Sunday night. He strongly denies both the allegations against him.
Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. 
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. 

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday lashed out at a report detailing a second allegation of sexual assault against him, calling the accusation "grotesque and obvious character assassination" and vowing not to withdraw his nomination.

In a letter sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kavanaugh said he "will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process."

"The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed," he wrote.

Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second pick to join the nine-member high court, was first hit with the second allegation in a report from The New Yorker published Sunday night.

The New Yorker and NBC News reported that Kavanaugh is accused of exposing himself to a college classmate, Deborah Ramirez, while they were both at Yale University in the 1980s.

That allegation arrived about a week after reports first surfaced that Christine Blasey Ford, 51, had sent a letter detailing her own accusation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, 53, that was obtained by Feinstein. The committee's top Democrat said she referred the letter to federal investigators.

Ford alleges that an intoxicated Kavanaugh held her down, covering her mouth and trying to undress her at a gathering when they were both teenagers.

Kavanaugh has categorically denied both the allegations, and said he will testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee in a public hearing on Thursday.

On Sunday, lawyers for Ford appeared to confirm that Ford, too, would testify on Thursday, following days of negotiations with the Judiciary Committee over the date of the hearing, the witnesses present and the cross-examination process.

Read the full text of Kavanaugh's letter:

Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:

When I testified in front of the Senate three weeks ago, I explained my belief that fair process is foundational to justice and to our democracy.

At that time, I sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 31 hours and answered questions under oath. I then answered more questions at a confidential session. The following week, I responded to more than 1,200 written questions, more than have been submitted to all previous Supreme Court nominees combined.

Only after that exhaustive process was complete did I learn, through the news media, about a 36- year-old allegation from high school that had been asserted months earlier and withheld from me throughout the hearing process. First it was an anonymous allegation that I categorically and unequivocally denied. Soon after the accuser was identified, I repeated my denial on the record and made clear that I wished to appear before the Committee. I then repeated my denial to Committee investigators—under criminal penalties for false statements. All of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening. I asked to testify before the Committee again under oath as soon as possible, so that both Dr. Ford and I could both be heard. I thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling that hearing for Thursday.

Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring.

These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.

As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.

I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.

Sincerely,

Brett M. Kavanaugh

WATCH: Trump casts doubt on Kavanaugh rape allegation