Kavanaugh confirmation looking shaky for Republicans as new accuser comes forward

A second woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

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Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh is facing renewed calls for an FBI investigation into his past behaviour after a second woman came forward on Sunday to accuse him of alleged sexual misconduct when they were students at Yale university.

Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Dianne Feinstein, have renewed their calls for the hearing to be delayed after a new accuser came to the New Yorker alleging that Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her when he was a first year student at Yale.

The New Yorker reported on Sunday that Deborah Ramirez said that Kavanaugh “exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away."

She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”

Dr Christine Blasey Ford, who has alleged that Kavanaugh held her down and groped her at a drunken party when they were both high school students, is set to appear before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday. But Feinstein is calling for the hearing to be delayed again so that the new accusations from Ramirez can also be fully investigated.

The clock is ticking for the Trump administration. If the hearings are delayed long enough, which could happen if the FBI are brought in to investigate the allegations, it is possible that they will have to be re-set for after November’s midterm elections, in which polling suggests Republicans are likely to lose control of the House of Representatives.

It is less likely but still very possible that they could also lose control of the Senate, which votes to confirm Supreme Court nominations. That would likely permanently sink Trump’s chances of putting Kavanaugh, a doctrinaire conservative judge recommended by the right-wing Federalist Society, on America’s highest court.

On Friday, before the New Yorker story was published, Trump reiterated his attacks on Blasey Ford’s credibility, tweeting: “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

Despite the mounting allegations, Trump stood by his nominee, telling reporters Monday morning that the accusations against Kavanaugh were “totally political.”

“I am with him all the way,” Trump said.

In a statement released on Monday, Kavanaugh described the accusations as a “smear, plain and simple,” adding, “I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name – and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building – against these last-minute allegations.”

Nicky Woolf was the launch editor for New Statesman America and has formerly written for the Guardian and the New Statesman. He tweets @NickyWoolf.

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