Published 9:53 PM EDT Sep 26, 2018
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was questioned by Congressional leadership staff Tuesday about two additional accusations of misconduct: a sexual assault and physical assault.
Both allegations were raised to members of Congress on the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Thursday hearing to question Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford about her allegation that he sexually assaulted her when both were in high school in the 1980s.
One of the allegations, accusing Kavanaugh of assaulting a woman while drunk in 1998, was made in an anonymous letter. The other was made by a Rhode Island man who says an acquaintance of his was the victim of a sexual assault by Kavanaugh.
The accusations were relayed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which questioned Kavanaugh. USA TODAY has not vetted these claims and it's unclear if they were ever reported to law enforcement or investigated.
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But the two new allegations bring the total to five allegations of assault - all unsubstantiated - that have been lodged against Kavanaugh. He has strongly denied them all.
The letter was sent to Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Co. alleging Kavanaugh shoved a woman against a wall in Washington, D.C. while he was drunk in 1998.
The person who wrote the letter said their daughter socialized with Kavanaugh and was hanging out in a group of four in a Washington bar when the incident happened.
"Her friend was dating him, and they left the bar under the influence of alcohol," the person wrote in the letter. "They were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually."
The letter noted there were at least four witnesses, including the author's daughter. The victim of the incident called the author's daughter and said she was "still traumatized" and decided to report it.
Kavanaugh repeatedly denied the allegations and the others made against him.
"We're dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend," he told the committee leadership on a telephone call. "It's ridiculous. Total twilight zone. And no, I've never done anything like that."
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The incident would have happened while Kavanaugh was involved in Ken Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
"I think this is – this is crazy town," Kavanaugh said. "It's a smear campaign. I've been in the public eye for 24 years, really public at various points. Certainly, 1998, when I was in the Starr investigation, that was a very public year."
Kavanaugh was also questioned about a second allegation from a Rhode Island man, whose name wasn't released. The man called Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, and alleged a close "acquaintance" of his had been raped by two "heavily inebriated men she referred to at the time as Brett and Mark," a transcript of the call shows.
The man said the incident happened in August 1985 on a 36-foot maroon and white boat in Newport, Rhode Island after the woman and the two men met at a local bar.
The caller said when he'd learned about the incident the following morning, he went down to the harbor with another person and got into a physical fight with the pair. He said he realized it was Kavanaugh after seeing his yearbook photo on the news.
"This is just completely made up, or at least not me," Kavanaugh said of the allegations, according to the transcript of his interview with Judiciary Committee staff. "I don't know what they're referring to."
He said he did not know anything about the boat or the incident.
Senate investigators who were questioning Kavanaugh told him about the caller's Twitter account and several posts that heavily criticized President Donald Trump.