North Carolina State University professor Chad Ludington has joined a handful of other former classmates of Brett Kavanaugh in contradicting the Supreme Court nominee’s claims about his past drinking habits.
Ludington told the New York Times in a statement Sunday that Kavanaugh played down “the degree and frequency” of his drinking to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. He said he often saw Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption.”
Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by three different women, denied in his testimony that there was any possibility he ever drank so much alcohol that he may have lapses in his memory.
Ludington called Kavanaugh’s answers about drinking a “blatant mischaracterization” based on his experiences around the judge when they attended Yale University together. Ludington claimed he often saw Kavanaugh “belligerent and aggressive” while drunk.
“It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges,” Ludington said in a statement to the Times.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 on Friday to recommend Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination advance to a full Senate hearing. Shortly after, the White House agreed to request the FBI to dig into the accusations against Kavanaugh.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked that the FBI investigate Kavanaugh’s old drinking habits, as well as several other statements by the judge that the senator believes may have been lies. Lying to Congress under oath is a federal crime.
On Monday, NBC News reported that the FBI planned to talk with Ludington this week. The FBI declined to comment when asked HuffPost for confirmation.
Ludington’s not the only one countering parts of Kavanaugh’s testimony.
Former Yale classmates Liz Swisher, James Roche and Lynne Brookes have also made public statements about Kavanaugh’s excessive drinking during their youth. Swisher told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday that though she never saw Kavanaugh be sexually aggressive, the judge was a “sloppy drunk.”
“There’s no problem in drinking beer in college, the problem is lying about it,” Swisher told CNN. “He drank heavily, he was a partier, he liked to do beer bongs, he played drinking games, he was sloppy drunk.”
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who goes by Christine Blasey professionally, claims Kavanaugh forced himself on her at a high school party more than 35 years ago. Blasey testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that she was certain Kavanaugh was the one to pin her down, force himself on her, attempt to take off her clothes and then hold a hand over her mouth when she tried to scream when they were teenagers.
Deborah Ramirez alleges Kavanaugh took off his pants and thrust his penis at her face at Yale party during their freshman year. Julie Swetnick wrote in a sworn declaration that Kavanaugh was present at high school parties where boys engaged in raping girls. Swetnick claims she saw Kavanaugh drink excessively at these parties, “press girls against him without their consent” and attempt to remove or shift their clothing.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all allegations against him.
Roche, a roommate of Kavanaugh’s during freshman year, told the New Yorker he found Ramirez’s claims to be credible. Roche added that he saw Kavanaugh “frequently, incoherently drunk.” Another unnamed classmate told the New Yorker Kavanaugh could be “aggressive and even belligerent” when he drank.
Brookes, who also attended Yale, told CNN Thursday that Kavanaugh was “lying” to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his drinking.
“There is no doubt in my mind that while at Yale, he was a big partier, often drank to excess and there had to be a number of nights where he does not remember,” Brookes told CNN.
This article has been updated with new details about the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh.
Hayley Miller contributed reporting.