President Donald Trump says he would be willing to withdraw his Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh if he thought Kavanaugh was guilty of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee has questioned two men who say they, not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, had the disputed encounter with Christine Blasey Ford at a 1982 house party that led to sexual assault allegations.
The revelation was included in a late-night news release by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the committee. The release includes a day-by-day view of the committee’s investigative work over the last two weeks since allegations surfaced targeting Kavanaugh.
Ford was the first to step forward with allegations and claimed Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and attempted to pull off her clothes while both were high school students in 1982. Since then a number of accusations have piled on, including that of a physical assault and several other sexual encounters.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied all the allegations lodged against him.
The committee has interviewed two men who came forward about the disputed assault at a summer house party. Both told the committee they, not Kavanaugh, “had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982 that is the basis of his complaint,” the release states.
The previously unknown interviews could add a new layer to the evolving saga on the eve of a possible explosive hearing between Kavanaugh and Ford, though it’s unknown whether the men’s claims are being taken seriously.
One of the men was interviewed twice by committee staff. He also submitted two written statements, one on Monday and a second, more in-depth statement on Wednesday.
Committee staff spoke to a second man over the phone Wednesday who also said he believed he, not Kavanaugh, had the disputed encounter with Ford. “He explained his recollection of the details of the encounter” to staff, the release states.
Both men were not named. USA TODAY was not able to independently vet the claims.
The committee has said it is investigating all claims made in the Kavanaugh saga, attempting to “make sure no stone was left unturned.”
In this regard, the committee has also questioned Kavanaugh about a series of anonymous allegations, including a physical assault on a woman in the 1990s.
The release also outlines a number of others the committee has interviewed, including friends of Kavanaugh and those who know the women who have lodged accusations against him.
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