The Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, bringing to an end an intensely angry and partisan process that involved multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the judge, public testimony by him and one of his accusers and an additional FBI investigation over the last week.
But while 50 Senators ultimately voted to elevate Kavanaugh to the country’s highest court, the teams representing the women who accused Kavanaugh of harassment and assault said they stood by their stories.
Christine Blasey Ford
Lawyers for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, released a statement late Friday outlining concerns about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s handling of the process.
“As the Senate debates the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, numerous false claims have been repeated to undermine the credibility of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” Ford’s lawyers said in a statement.
“Whatever the outcome, Senators deserve to know the truth: An FBI investigation that did not include interviews of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh is not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word,” the statement said.
Ford’s lawyers also released a letter from Keith Koegler, who they described as a friend of Ford’s and a corroborating witness who was not interviewed by the FBI.
“We believe Christine Blasey Ford and we fully support her,” the statement concluded. “Senators claiming to want a dignified debate should not repeat lies constructed by the Judiciary Committee that were cynically designed to win support for Judge Kavanaugh.”
Deborah Ramirez, who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a college party, also released a statement through her lawyers. She said that the experience of watching Senators debate Kavanaugh’s nomination greatly affected her, but said she would “not be silenced.”
“Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh. As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way,” she said in her statement on Saturday. “Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior. This is how victims are isolated and silenced.”
She, too, mentioned other witnesses that she wished had been able to speak with the FBI during its investigation of the allegations against Kavanaugh.
“But I do have corroborating witnesses speaking for me, although they were not allowed to speak to the FBI, and I feel extremely grateful for them and for the overwhelming amount of support that I have received and continue to receive during this extremely difficult and painful time,” Ramirez said in the statement. “There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors. This is truly a collective moment of survivors and allies standing together.”
“Thank you for hearing me, seeing me and believing me. I am grateful for each and every one of you. We will not be silenced,” she added. “We stand in truth and light.”
A third woman, Julie Swetnick, also accused Kavanaugh of misconduct, though her allegations were not included in the FBI investigation. She had said Kavanaugh was present at parties where she and other women were gang raped—an allegation that many Senators said they did not believe, particularly when she was represented by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who also represents adult film star Stormy Daniels and has clashed with President Donald Trump.
While Swetnick’s claims were not investigated as part of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, Avenatti hit back at those doubting her in his own statement on Saturday ahead of the final vote on Kavanaugh.
“People that are attacking Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick for coming forward should be ashamed. They claim these women should have “shut up” and stayed quiet,” he tweeted. “Apparently assault victims are to blame for the vote. This line of thinking is disgusting & offensive to all survivors.”
Read the full statement from Ford’s lawyers, Debra S. Katz, Lisa J Banks, and Michael R. Bromwich, below.
With reporting from Alana Abramson/Washington