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Schumer calls on Kavanaugh to withdraw from Supreme Court confirmation process

His statement comes in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations from a third woman.

Senate Lawmakers Address The Media After Their Weekly Policy Luncheons
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer discusses the Kavanaugh nomination.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer thinks it’s time for Brett Kavanaugh to withdraw from the Supreme Court confirmation process. If he won’t, Schumer called for Republicans to press pause on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination in the wake of explosive new allegations of sexual misconduct that emerged against him on Wednesday.

“I strongly believe Judge Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration. If he will not, at the very least, the hearing and vote should be postponed while the FBI investigates all of these allegations,” said Schumer in a statement released on Wednesday. “If our Republican colleagues proceed without an investigation, it would be a travesty for the honor of the Supreme Court and our country.”

It’s a call that all ten Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have now echoed as well. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris and Richard Blumenthal are among those who have signed onto a letter urging Trump to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Michael Avenatti — an attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels who’s been teasing new sexual misconduct allegations all week — dropped a sworn affidavit on Wednesday from Julie Swetnick, who alleges that Kavanaugh helped target women with alcohol and drugs so that a “train” of men could “gang rape” them at house parties in the early 1980s. Swetnick says that she was a victim of one of these gang rapes. She notes that Judge and Kavanaugh were “present” when she was raped but does not directly accuse them of participating.

Swetnick was a student at Gaithersburg High School, and notes that she ran in the same social circles as Kavanaugh in high school. She emphasizes that there are other witnesses who could corroborate her allegations — pushing back against a key line of attack that Republicans have used against Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez.

Swetnick’s allegations come just one day before Kavanaugh and Ford — a Palo Alto University professor who’s accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down and trying to force himself on her while they were in high school — are scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied allegations from all three women.

The White House on Wednesday released a statement from Kavanaugh in which he called Swetnick’s allegations “ridiculous” and “from the Twilight Zone.” “I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” he said.

Democrats have argued that the FBI should reopen Kavanaugh’s background check since the accusations surfaced from Ford, who was the first to come forward. They argue that an impartial law enforcement body needs to review the evidence in all three cases in order to determine what the facts of the case actually look like.

Up until this point, Senate Republicans have shown very little interest in taking any steps that could slow down Kavanaugh’s nomination — something they’ve been eager to press through by October 1, the start of the Supreme Court’s fall term. Currently, there’s a committee vote set for his confirmation this Friday, September 28.

It remains to be seen whether the new allegations will change that.

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