During his opening statement for testimony related to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault of a woman in high school, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) used his time to blast the lawyers of two other alleged victims.
Grassley, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, which presides over the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, claimed during Thursday’s hearing with Christine Blasey Ford that lawyers for alleged victims Julie Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez had not cooperated with Senate staff. But the attorneys for Ramirez, who made letters to the FBI and Senate public, said they had made numerous attempts to speak to committee members, only to be largely ignored.
“I understand that there are two other public allegations,” Grassley said. “Today’s hearing was scheduled in close consultation with Dr. Ford’s attorney’s, and her testimony will be the subject of this hearing. We’ve been trying to investigate other allegations. At this time, we have not had cooperation from attorneys representing other clients.”
But Ramirez’s lawyers wrote that their client “repeatedly has asked the Committee to speak with her about a process by which she can be heard by Committee members. But the majority of staff thus far has refused even to speak with Ms. Ramirez’s counsel.”
Blasey was the first of three women to come forward and publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. During a high school gathering, she said, he held her down, covered her mouth and attempted to forcibly remove her clothing.
Ramirez said that at a college party, Kavanaugh exposed his penis and thrust it in her face.
And Swetnick said she was the “victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present” at a party in approximately 1982.
Thursday’s testimony will influence whether Kavanaugh is elevated to the highest court in the nation.
In the same breath that Grassley claimed to have not had cooperation from attorneys for the other alleged victims, he said he had been in close contact with Blasey’s attorneys. Their reactions were telling: