The Washington Post and The Associated Press

Trump on Kavanaugh: ‘When does it stop?’ — President Donald Trump vigorously defended Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday following a new allegation of sexual misconduct during the Supreme Court justice’s college years. Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that Kavanaugh should “start suing people, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue.” “The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!” Trump tweeted. On Twitter, Trump blasted “Radical Left Democrats and their Partner, the LameStream Media” for targeting Kavanaugh and “talking loudly of their favorite word, impeachment.” Trump also accused Kavanaugh critics of acting out of unhappiness over high court rulings. Many commentators, however, called the situation another instance of the president seeking to politicize the Justice Department and federal law enforcement by calling on the department to intercede on Kavanaugh’s behalf.

— Bulletin wire reports

Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday demanded that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh be investigated or impeached in response to a new allegation he exposed himself to a female classmate at a drunken dorm party years ago at Yale University.

The allegation surfaced Saturday night in a New York Times report. A classmate, Max Stier, said he saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at the party, where friends pushed Kavanaugh’s penis into the young woman’s hand, the Times reported. Stier notified senators and the FBI before Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but the FBI did not investigate, the Times reported.

The Washington Post last year confirmed that two intermediaries had relayed such a claim to lawmakers and the FBI. The Post did not publish a story, in part because the intermediaries declined to identify the alleged witness and because the woman who was said to be involved declined to comment. The Times article, drawing from reporting for a forthcoming book, is based on interviews with “two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.”

Stier, the chief executive of a nonpartisan group in Washington, declined to comment Sunday. A court spokeswoman said Kavanaugh had no comment. The woman did not return a call seeking comment.

The political fallout from the new allegation suggested the divisions surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination last year will continue to be felt in the 2020 campaign. Republicans denounced the Times report as an effort by the media to smear Kavanaugh. Some seized on the fact that the story — labeled as a news analysis — did not mention that, according to the book, the woman involved in the alleged incident has told friends she does not recall it.

Impeachment calls came from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and former housing and urban development secretary Julian Castro, all presidential candidates.

“He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice,” Harris said in a tweet. “He must be impeached.”

Warren tweeted: “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., called for an investigation of Kavanaugh, citing what he said was “a pattern of sexually demeaning women.”

Kavanaugh’s bitter confirmation hearing captivated and divided the nation in the fall. The hearings were dominated by Christine Blasey Ford’s account that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were high school students in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denied Ford’s claim, calling it an “orchestrated political hit.”

The new claim echoes an allegation made by a different female Yale student, Deborah Ramirez, during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Kavanaugh has denied that allegation.

Shortly before the scheduled vote on his nomination, the Trump administration asked the FBI to investigate those allegations, though the inquiry was restricted in scope. The FBI interviewed fewer than a dozen people — most of them from Kavanaugh’s high school days. They interviewed Ramirez.

As the FBI was wrapping up its investigation, the intermediaries working on behalf of Stier delivered his account to agency officials. The intermediaries told the Post last year they had relayed that a classmate of Kavanaugh had witnessed the incident while taking a study break at Yale’s Lawrance Hall. They declined to give the Post the classmate’s name.

No one from the FBI called the classmate to follow up on the account, they said.

The Post could not independently corroborate the allegation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the witness had not authorized them to use their names. The Times on Saturday identified the witness as Stier. The Times story was based on research for a book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” by two of its reporters. It said that at least two senators on the Judiciary Committee learned of Stier’s allegations.

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