Blumenthal, other Dems, demand Trump withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination

Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday joined his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee in demanding that President Donald Trump either direct the FBI to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh or withdraw the nomination.

The president, who has escalated his support for nominee, is not likely to comply.

“Judge Kavanaugh is being considered for a promotion. He is asking for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court where he will have the opportunity to rule on matters that will impact Americans for decades,” the 10 Democratic senators wrote. “The standard of character and fitness for a position on the nation’s highest court must be higher than this.”

The letter to Trump also said “Judge Kavanaugh has staunchly declared his respect for women and issued blanket denials of any possible misconduct, but those declarations are in serious doubt.”

“We therefore ask that you immediately direct an FBI investigation or withdraw this nomination,” the letter concluded.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct that have been leveled against him.

The letter from Democrats who are opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation was sent to the White House after a third woman, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. She said Kavanaugh lined up with other boys, including his close friend Mark Judge, waiting to rape those girls at many parties — and that she once became a victim herself.

The allegations were detailed in an affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury, that was released by Swetnick’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who also represents port star Stormy Daniels in her accusations against Trump.

“This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” Kavanaugh said in a statement released by the White House on Wednesday.

 

 

On Wednesday, the president escalated his pushback of the claims of Kavanaugh’s accusers, saying Avenatti “is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”

“He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships – a total low-life!” the president said in a tweet.

Trump later declined to answer a reporter’s question about whether he thought all three women who have made claims against Kavanaugh are lying.

On Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman issued statements concerning what they called  “credible sexual misconduct allegations” against Kavanaugh by Swetnick. They echoed the Senate Democrats’ call for an investigation of claims against the nominee or the withdrawal of the nomination.

“Republicans in the United States Senate should treat women with respect and should start to believe them,” Malloy said. “As a first step towards this end, Senate Republicans should immediately request a full investigation into the allegations made by several women in recent days regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s prior conduct. In the meantime, President Trump should temporarily withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination as that investigation proceeds.”

Malloy also said if the president does not withdraw the nomination, “Kavanaugh should ask the president remove his own name if only for the honor of the court.”

Swetnick’s claims come on the eve of scheduled testimony before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday by Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist, says Kavanaugh held her down on a bed when she was 15 and groped her during a house party in the early 1980s while Judge watched.

Later in the day, the Blumenthal and his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to the panel’s chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asking the hearing be postponed and a scheduled vote on Friday in the committee on the nomination be cancelled.

The Democrats also repeated their calls for an investigation of the allegations.

“It would be an unprecedented abuse of power and abdication of our constitutional responsibilities to move forward with this nomination given the concerns about Brett Kavanaugh’s character and actions,” the letter to Grassely said. ” We ask that you immediately request an FBI investigation or support the withdrawal of this nominee, but at a minimum the vote that has been scheduled for Friday must be canceled.”

Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a party at a Yale University dorm when they were both freshmen.

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