For the past week, rumors have swirled about a secret letter — written by a California woman and forwarded to the FBI by Sen. Dianne Feinstein — suggesting that Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed some of kind of sexual offense decades ago. The letter was sent to law enforcement rather than made public, according to Feinstein, because the accuser did not want her name to be made public.
But on Friday morning, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer published details of the allegations in the letter. They appear to amount to nothing less than attempted sexual assault. Here are the details, as described by the New Yorker:
Kavanaugh, in a statement to the magazine, claimed this was all made up. “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have tried to focus on issues of sexual harassment and assault by asking what Kavanaugh knew about the accusations against former federal judge Alex Kozinski, for whom Kavanaugh was a clerk. But the letter is a much more direct, and much worse, allegation.
Many believe Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would be the decisive fifth vote for overturning Roe v. Wade. Several moderate female senators who support abortion rights represent key swing votes in the Senate, so Republicans have gone out of their way to downplay the risk to abortion rights posed by the Kavanaugh nomination.
If they find the accusation credible, the idea that a man who is accused of trying to hold someone down and force himself on her would have the power to decide on abortion rights for all American women may prove too much for some of these senators to bear.