Defying expectations that he would fold amid the barrage of last minute accusations lobbed at him by what as of this morning are three women, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh harshly criticized "last-minute smears" in prepared testimony for Thursday's Senate hearing on the alleged sexual assault when he was a high school student.
"Such grotesque and obvious character assassination -- if allowed to succeed -- will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country," Kavanaugh said in a statement released ahead of Thursday’s planned Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (full statement below). He also said that "This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don't know who this is and this never happened."
Kavanaugh has been accused by California college professor Christine Blasey Ford of holding her down and trying to take her clothes off when they were in high school.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford," Kavanaugh said, adding that "I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge."
"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. I am here this morning to answer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone—not in high school, not in college, not ever."
"The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of my life. The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women."
In the latest twist of the Kavanaugh drama, earlier on Wednesday, Washington resident Julie Swetnick raised a new round of allegations of sexual misconduct in a sworn statement released by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Kavanaugh’s statement did not reference to her accusations or an allegation by another woman who claims he exposed himself to her at a drunken party at Yale University.
In response, president Trump also chimed in, tweeting that "Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships - a total low-life!"
Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships - a total low-life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2018
And while that may be many quickly pointed out that Michael Cohen did, in fact, plead guilty.
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley says the Thursday Kavanaugh hearing will go forward as planned tomorrow, and added that his committee staff is reaching out to the new accuser. All that may change if Ford gets cold feet again and changes her mind in the last minute as a result of the new developments.
Kavanaugh's full statement is below (pdf link).