A combative Judge Brett Kavanaugh has labeled both his alleged sexual assaults/misconduct as false and uncorroborated "smears," part of what he is calling a "frenzy" to "come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring." He said he is not backing down or bowing out.
The White House has also said it thinks they are part of a campaign by Democrats to kill the nomination.
Kavanaugh's nomination by President Donald Trump was thought to be pretty much assured after three days of Hill testimony earlier this month during which Kavanaugh took some shots but nothing that appeared to be a serious blow. But the sexual assault allegations from two women that have since emerged—one a woman who said he assaulted her in high school and another accusation of him exposing himself while in college—has changed the equation, particularly in the #MeToo era when such allegations are getting heightened scrutiny, and being viewed through a different filter.
Kavanaugh's response in a letter to the Judiciary Committee, came in the wake of the second allegation, this time from a former Yale classmate, that generated new calls for his nomination to be pulled and even for him to be impeached from his current post as a judge on the court primarily overseeing FCC legal challenges.
In the letter, addressed to the chairman (Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member (Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing his nomination, Kavanaugh said such "grotesque and obvious character assassination" if allowed to succeed in blocking his nomination will dissuade competent and good people from public service. A copy of the letter was supplied by Grassley's office.
"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process," he said. "The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.
"I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday."
In a note from initial accuser Christine Blasey (Ford) to Grassley, who released the letter with Blasey's permission, she said she, too, would not be intimidated from providing her story, despite death threats and what she called "disconcerting media intrusion."
"While I am frightened," she told Grassley, "please know, my fear will not hold me back from testifying and you will be provided with answers to all of your questions."
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.