Details have been revealed of the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A woman who says Kavanaugh victimized her described the assault to Democratic members of Congress, who are now releasing the details of the accusation.
The victim, who prefers to remain anonymous, says that during high school, Kavanaugh held her down and covered her mouth to muffle protests while trying to force himself on her and that he turned music in the room up louder to keep others from hearing her complaints.
According to the New Yorker, the young woman was able to escape but described the incident as a source of psychological suffering that had led her to seek treatment.
In a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein, the woman says that the attack took place when both she and Kavanaugh were in high school. Conservative reporters have tried to spin this as evidence that the story is fabricated, with Daily Wire‘s Ryan Saavedra pointing out that Kavanaugh went to an all-boys preparatory school. The letter, sent in July, alleges that the incident happened at a party, negating any relevance of the school’s student demographics.
Kavanaugh and a classmate, both drunk, were in a room with the victim, she says, where they covered the sound of her refusal with music and a hand over her mouth. Both Kavanaugh and the unnamed classmate have denied her claim.
The Intercept reports that Feinstein has been criticized for failing to make the letter public sooner and that she responded in a statement:
I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.
The Washington Post‘s Matt Zapotsky has shared that the FBI isn’t opening an investigation — something else conservative reporters have latched onto as proof that there’s no validity to the allegations. However, as Zapotsky himself explained, if the event occurred as described, it would be for the state or local authorities, not the FBI, to investigate, assuming the statute of limitations hadn’t run out. Instead, the FBI’s role here is to pass the information to the White House, allowing a reasoned decision on whether to continue to support this nomination.
That's not to say whatever happened or whatever was alleged isn't serious and deserving of attention and scrutiny. It's just to say the FBI has given the White House the info it might need for action. Because the White House, not the FBI, determines who it nominates.
— Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) September 13, 2018
The details of the allegation are serious, and while Brett Kavanaugh has denied them, there is no official statement from Donald Trump or the White House in response to the claims.
The victim herself reportedly says she does not want to pursue legal action. However, the Senate, or individual members, could be swayed and refuse to confirm Kavanaugh if they consider the allegations credible and relevant to his placement on the U.S. Supreme Court.