U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Monday he “absolutely supports” a Senate committee’s investigation into a Boulder woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when the two were college students.
Deborah Ramirez, 53, told The New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself, pushing his penis in her face and causing her to touch it as she pushed him away while at a drunken dormitory party during the 1983-84 academic year, when both were in their firsts undergraduate years at Yale University.
The news emerged just hours after Senate Judiciary Committee negotiators reached an agreement with Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at an alcohol-fueled party when they were teenagers, to schedule a hearing on her allegations Thursday.
A spokesman for Gardner, Republican of Colorado, spokesman said the panel’s Republican investigators asked Ramirez’s attorney for more information about her allegations as soon as the New Yorker story posted.
“Senator Gardner was first made aware of these allegations when the New Yorker story was published Sunday evening,” Gardner’s press secretary, Casey Contres, wrote in an email Monday morning.
“Investigators from Chairman Grassley’s staff immediately contacted Ms. Ramirez’s attorney to gather more information about what allegedly occurred. Senator Gardner absolutely supports efforts by the Senate Judiciary Committee to gather more information and investigate these claims.”
Gardner said last week that Ford “deserves to be heard” by the committee on her allegations.
Before any of the sexual-misconduct allegations emerged regarding Kavanaugh, Gardner praised the Supreme Court nominee, saying he would make “an incredible Supreme Court justice.”
The chairman of the judiciary committee, Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, said the panel would “attempt to evaluate these new claims” but he didn’t respond to a call by the committee’s ranking Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to halt confirmation proceedings until the FBI can investigate the women’s claims.
Gardner’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message asking if the senator wants the FBI to investigate the new claims.
Kavanaugh denied the latest allegation, just as he denied Ford’s allegations last week.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” Kavanaugh said in a statement distributed by the White House shortly after the Ramirez allegations emerged. “The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple.”
President Donald Trump launched a vehement attack on the latest revelations Monday morning, calling the accusations unfair and unsubstantiated and charging the accusers had come “out of the woodwork.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report