'Serious omissions' found in Senate probe of sexual misconduct allegation against Brett Kavanaugh: report

'Serious omissions' found in Senate probe of sexual misconduct allegation against Brett Kavanaugh: report
Justice Brett Kavanaugh in October 2018 (Creative Commons)

More than four and one-half years have passed since Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the U.S. Supreme Court, where he is now part of a 6-3 Republican-appointed supermajority. Kavanaugh's confirmation by the U.S. Senate was a definite game changer. The retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who Kavanaugh replaced, was a right- Ronald Reagan appointee with libertarian views on abortion and gay rights; Kavanaugh was much more of a social conservative and voted to overturn Roe v. Wade with the High Court's wildly unpopular Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling of 2022.

Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearings of September 2018 were easily the most divisive, tense and polarizing since Justice Clarence Thomas' nomination by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by attorney Anita Hill, but the allegations against Kavanaugh were even more troubling. Psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her back in 1982, and a few other women who knew Kavanaugh during the 1980s accused him of sexual misconduct as well.

One of them was Deborah Ramirez, who knew Kavanaugh from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Despite the allegations — all of which Kavanaugh vehemently denied — he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as a High Court justice on October 6, 2018.

READ MORE: 'Shocking new allegations' in Brett Kavanaugh documentary spark calls for DOJ investigation

Now, in late April 2023, the allegations against Kavanaugh are being scrutinized once again. The Guardian's Stephanie Kirchgaessner, in an article published on April 28, reports that a Senate investigation of those allegations "contained serious omissions."

That 28-page report from September 2018 was released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who headed the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time. The report, Kirchgaessner notes, "prominently included an unfounded and unverified claim" that Ramirez "was 'likely' mistaken when she alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dormitory party because another Yale student was allegedly known for such acts."

"The suggestion that Kavanaugh was the victim of mistaken identity was sent to the (Senate) Judiciary Committee by a Colorado-based attorney named Joseph C. Smith. Jr., according to a non-redacted copy of a 2018 e-mail obtained by the Guardian," Kirchgaessner explains. "Smith was a friend and former colleague of the Judiciary Committee's then-lead counsel Mike Davis.… Smith wrote to Davis in the 29 September, 2018 e-mail that he was in a class behind Kavanaugh and Ramirez, who graduated in the class of 1987, and believed Ramirez was likely mistaken in identifying Kavanaugh."

Kirchgaessner continues, "Instead, Smith said it was a fellow classmate named Jack Maxey, who was a member of Kavanaugh's fraternity, who allegedly had a 'reputation' for exposing himself, and had once done so at a party. To back his claim, Smith also attached a photograph of Maxey exposing himself in his fraternity's 1988 yearbook picture. The allegation that Ramirez was likely mistaken was included in the Senate (Judiciary) Committee's final report even though Maxey — who was described but not named — was not attending Yale at the time of the alleged incident."

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GOP activist Maxey, according to Kirchgaessner, "confirmed" to The Guardian that he was still in high school — not a student at Yale — at the time of the alleged incident.

Maxey told The Guardian, "I was not at Yale. I was a senior in high school at the time. I was not in New Haven…. These people can say what they want, and there are no consequences ever."

READ MORE: Bush-appointed federal judge calls for Supreme Court ethics code

Read The Guardian's full report at this link.

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