Colorado accuser in standoff with GOP over Kavanaugh testimony

Posted at 10:20 AM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 13:11:39-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys for Deborah Ramirez are arguing with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee over how to bring forward her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were Yale students.

Ramirez lawyer John Clune said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Republican staff members were a no-show on a scheduled conference call Tuesday night to discuss her allegations. He said the "only way to get at the truth of what happened" is for them to interview his client.

Clune said Ramirez would be willing to testify before the committee if asked, but that he was unsure whether she would do it without an FBI investigation first.

Republicans for the committee led by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said they have repeatedly sought evidence from Ramirez to back up her claims and none was provided.

"I have not refused to speak with anyone," wrote Mike Davis, the committee's top GOP counsel, in an email to Ramirez's attorneys late Tuesday night obtained by The Associated Press.

"I am simply requesting — for the 7th time now over the last 48 hours — that Ms. Ramirez's attorneys provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with any evidence that they have before we move to the next steps."

The two sides have been engaged in an escalating war of letters ever since The New Yorker first made public the allegations from Ramirez, 53, who lives in Colorado.

Ramirez told the magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were both students at Yale. She has acknowledged consuming alcohol at the time, which clouded some of her memories.

The committee was scheduled to hear from Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, on Thursday. She says he assaulted her at a party in high school in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denies both allegations.

On Sunday night, after the magazine story came out, Davis reached out to Ramirez's attorneys seeking more information about the account.

"Please let us know when Ms. Ramirez is available for an interview," Davis wrote attorney Stan Garnett late Sunday.

"We are determined to take Ms. Ramirez's statement and investigate further as necessary as quickly as possible."

Garnett responded and another lawyer from Ramirez's team, John Clune, suggested a call.

Clune told Davis that Ramirez wants an FBI investigation and would agree to be interviewed by the committee "on appropriate terms." Davis, the Republican aide, in response reiterated that he needed more evidence from her.

On Tuesday night, Clune told CNN that Republicans kept changing conditions of the call.

"There's a lot of game playing that's going on with the majority party," he said.

Late Tuesday, Grassley told the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, that he saw no reason to delay Thursday's hearing with Kavanaugh and Ford amid the new allegations.

Grassley said in the letter to Feinstein that if Ramirez "submits testimony and evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Committee investigators have requested, we can decide how to proceed."


Associated Press writers Colleen Long in Washington and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.