The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Democratic members on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump to withdraw his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court or order an FBI investigation into the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against the judge.
“Judge Kavanaugh is being considered for a promotion,” they wrote in a statement. “He is asking for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court where he will have the opportunity to rule on matters that will impact Americans for decades.”
The statement continued: “The standard of character and fitness for a position on the nation’s highest court must be higher than this. Judge Kavanaugh has staunchly declared his respect for women and issued blanket denials of any possible misconduct, but those declarations are in serious doubt.”
At least three women ― Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick ― have alleged in recent weeks that Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh and Blasey are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
Schumer urged Senate Republicans to “immediately suspend” confirmation proceedings related to Kavanaugh’s nomination due to “multiple, corroborated allegations” against him.
“I strongly believe Judge Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration,” Schumer said in a statement. “If he will not, at the very least, the hearing and the vote should be postponed while the FBI investigates all of these allegations.”
He continued: “If our Republican colleagues proceed without an investigation, it would be a travesty for the honor of the Supreme Court and our country.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday echoed Schumer’s call for Kavanaugh to withdraw.
“A Supreme Court nomination is not worth more than the lives of survivors,” Booker tweeted.
Blasey first identified herself in a Washington Post interview published earlier this month as the author of a confidential letter sent in late July to two members of Congress. She alleges Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes during a small party when they were both high school students.
A week later, The New Yorker reported accusations from Ramirez, who alleges Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face during a drinking party when they were both freshmen at Yale University in the early 1980s.
On Wednesday, Michael Avenatti, best known as the attorney representing former adult film actress Stormy Daniels, released a signed declaration from Swetnick accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Swetnick alleges she witnessed Kavanaugh and one of his friends at several high school parties getting “drunk” and “being overly aggressive with girls.”
“I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s,” Swetnick stated. She alleged she was the victim of a “gang rape” where Kavanaugh was “present” at one party. She did not name the assailants.
Despite the mounting allegations against Kavanaugh and Senate Democrats’ strong rhetoric again him, the White House said Wednesday that Trump was standing by the beleaguered judge.
Trump responded to Swetnick’s allegations by attacking Avenatti on Twitter.
“He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships ― a total low-life!” Trump tweeted.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated that Swetnik alleges Kavanaugh “coordinated” a rape she experienced at a party. In fact, her sworn declaration says he was “present” when she was raped.
This has been updated throughout.