Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser to the Senate Judiciary Committee, has abruptly resigned after NBC News inquired about a past sexual harassment allegation against him.
He had been assisting the committee, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), after a woman came forward to accuse President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the 1980s.
According to NBC News, a female Republican staffer working for the North Carolina General Assembly said Ventry sexually harassed her in 2017 when Ventry was working for North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell. Sources told the outlet that he was dismissed over that incident and because parts of his resume were found to be embellished.
Ventry denies the harassment accusation. He submitted his resignation Friday night, he told The Washington Post.
Taylor Foy, a Senate Judiciary Committee spokesman, said in a statement that Ventry simply resigned “to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee.”
He had been brought on temporarily to assist the committee with Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a committee spokesperson told the Post.
The now-former adviser appeared on Fox News this week to defend Grassley’s response to the allegation against Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently negotiating with lawyers for Christine Blasey, the California professor who says the nominee once pinned her on a bed and covered her mouth to muffle her screams. Grassley wants to settle on conditions for the committee to hear her testimony.
Ventry told Fox’s Shannon Bream that Grassley has been accommodating in his effort to address Blasey’s accusation, although Blasey’s attorneys say the committee’s Republicans have bullied her with tight deadlines.
Bizarrely, Ventry also reportedly has ties to CRC, the firm that reportedly led conservative activist Ed Whelan to stoke a theory about Kavanaugh’s accuser that would exonerate the nominee himself. Whelan shared the theory ― which involved a Kavanaugh doppelgänger ― over Twitter and was immediately met with criticism and mockery.
While both Politico and NBC News reported that Ventry once worked at CRC, neither could confirm whether he is still employed there. HuffPost has reached out to CRC for comment.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated Taylor Foy is a woman.