Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh on Friday “categorically” denied an allegation of potential sexual misconduct when he was in high school that has roiled the final days of an already contentious confirmation fight in the Senate.
The statement from Kavanaugh was his first response to news reports about a potential episode of sexual misconduct when he was in high school.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” Kavanaugh, now 53, said Friday in a statement distributed through the White House. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said the senator had no comment for now. Late Friday morning, his office released a letter from 65 women who say they knew Kavanaugh when he attended high school from 1979 to 1983 at Georgetown Prep, an all-boys high school in Rockville.
“Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity,” the women wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.”
A spokesman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday morning. The senator had released a statement Thursday disclosing that she had received “information” about Kavanaugh that she had referred to federal authorities.
That information came via a letter that was first sent to Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), and subsequently passed onto Feinstein, people familiar with the matter said. Other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee first learned about the contents of the letter at a last-minute meeting on Wednesday evening.