Sixty-five women who knew Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in high school have testified to his good character in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, in light of recently surfaced allegations that he tried to force himself on a girl during his time at Georgetown Preparatory School, an all-boys school in Bethesda, Maryland.
According to the allegations, detailed to congressional Democrats and reported by the New Yorker, Kavanaugh held down a girl at a high school party in the 1980s and attempted to force himself on her, covering her mouth to quiet her protests. Kavanaugh denied the allegations in a statement to the New Yorker, as did a classmate who was reportedly involved in the incident.
On Friday, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a letter written by 65 women who mostly attended all-girls high schools around Georgetown Prep and have known Kavanaugh for more than three decades, in defense of his character. The women write:
We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time.
They went on to say that Kavanaugh “has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect,” and that many of them have remained friends with the judge over the past 35 years.
“The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views,” the women said. “Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person.”
The woman who made the allegations, who has yet to be identified, reportedly shared her experience with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) in July, after Trump nominated Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. That information was passed on to California senator and top-ranking Senate Judiciary Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who then referred the allegations to federal investigators. The letter containing the allegations has not yet been made public and was first reported in the Intercept and a subsequent report from BuzzFeed.
Feinstein, who had heard about the allegations in July, did not involve Senate Democratic colleagues in the matter, reportedly finding the allegations to be too far in the past to warrant national conversation, according to the New Yorker.
Kavanaugh was asked about sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings and often focused on how he has worked to prioritize women clerks. Kavanaugh’s character as a father and a good friend and neighbor was among Republicans’ biggest talking points during the confirmation hearings.