Some readers have argued that the latest accusation against Mr. Kavanaugh was too weak to appear in The Times. Given that the woman who was said to be involved in the incident refused to be interviewed, and her friends have said she doesn’t remember what happened, why did you include that accusation in the essay?
DAO: The essay included a previously unreported claim that friends pushed Mr. Kavanaugh’s penis into the hand of a female Yale student during a dorm party with drunken classmates. During the authors’ investigation, they learned that a classmate, Max Stier, witnessed the event and later reported it to senators and to the F.B.I. The authors corroborated his story with two government officials, who said they found it credible. Based on that corroboration, we felt mentioning the claim as one part of a broader essay was warranted.