In an op-ed for the Times, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly said they learned of the alleged misconduct during a 10-month investigation of Kavanaugh’s life at prep school and Yale, including the assault accusations, for their upcoming book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”
According to Pogrebin and Kelly, Max Stier, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, told senators and the FBI that he once saw Kavanaugh with his pants down while his friends pushed his penis into the hands of a female student during a dorm party.
The FBI didn’t investigate Stier’s account, and Stier “has declined to discuss it publicly,” according to the Times. However, Pogrebin and Kelly said they “corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated” with Stier.
What Stier said he witnessed is similar to an allegation lodged against Kavanaugh by his former classmate Deborah Ramirez, which was first reported by The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow last September.
Ramirez said that she was at a dorm room party with Kavanaugh and several others playing a drinking game when Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her. She pushed him away, she told The New Yorker last year, causing her to touch his penis.
Ramirez came forward with her accusations last September after Christine Blasey Ford publicly accused the then-Supreme Court nominee of drunkenly pinning her to a bed and trying to take off her clothes until she broke free and left while they were in high school.
Pogrebin and Kelly looked into both Ramirez’s and Ford’s claims for their upcoming book, which takes a deeper look into Kavanaugh’s prep school and Ivy League days in an attempt to piece together who he is, according to a summary.
In their investigation, the Times reporters said they talked to at least seven people who heard of Ramirez’s account “long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge,” including two former Yale students who learned of it days after it allegedly occurred.
While promoting Pogrebin and Kelly’s work, The New York Times’ opinion section posted a tweet that was meant to promote Pogrebin and Kelly’s work but instead appeared dismissive of sexual harassment.
The tweet suggested that “having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun.”
The Times deleted the tweet after people pointed out that sexual harassment should never be described as “harmless” or “fun.”
“We have deleted an earlier tweet to this article that was poorly phrased,” the paper’s social media retraction said.
Clarification: Language has been amended to indicate that Stier reported his account of Kavanaugh at a Yale dorm party directly to lawmakers and the FBI, but declined to talk about it publicly.