NBC News: Kavanaugh denies anonymous allegation he physically assaulted a woman in 1998

Republican Senator Cory Gardner has reportedly received an anonymous complaint claiming that Brett Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman in 1998. Republicans asked Kavanaugh about it on a conference call today and he denied it. The allegation involves Kavanaugh shoving a woman against a wall after leaving a bar:

According to an anonymous complaint sent to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman he socialized with in the Washington, D.C., area in 1998 while he was inebriated.

The sender of the complaint described an evening involving her own daughter, Kavanaugh and several friends in 1998.

“When they left the bar (under the influence of alcohol) they were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh, shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually.”

“There were at least four witnesses including my daughter.” The writer of the letter provided no names but said the alleged victim was still traumatized and had decided to remain anonymous herself.

A Democratic source said the minority wasn’t satisfied by the Republicans’ questions about the incident during the call, calling them cursory, and believed it should be investigated more deeply.

The story points out that Democrats were on the conference call with Kavanaugh when this came up but didn’t ask any questions. Clearly NBC spoke to a “Democratic source” but NBC doesn’t actually say who leaked this. Late this afternoon the Judiciary Committee published a transcript of the conference call itself, which includes the question about the anonymous letter.

Questioner: Okay. Judge Kavanaugh, on September 22nd of this year, Senator Gardner received an anonymous letter, apparently sent from Denver, alleging that you engaged in certain conduct in 1998. Have you had an opportunity to review that letter?

Judge Kavanaugh. I did look at that, I believe, yeah.

Questioner: Okay. I’m going to read — read from it. The letter states, “I will remain anonymous, but I feel obligated to inform you of this 1998 incident involving Brett Kavanaugh.” When you were the author of the Starr Report, the author’s daughter from Boulder, Colorado, occasionally socialized with Brett Kavanaugh. She and a group of four, including Kavanaugh, met in a Washington, D.C., bar.

“Her friend was dating him, and they left the bar under the influence of alcohol. They were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually. There were at least four witnesses, including my daughter. Her friend, still traumatized, called my daughter yesterday, September 21, 2018, wondering what to do about it. They decided to remain anonymous.”

Did the events described in the letter occur?

Judge Kavanaugh. No, and we’re dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend. It’s ridiculous. Total twilight zone. And no, I’ve never done anything like that.

This is now the fourth accusation against Kavanaugh involving sexual misconduct and drinking. It’s also the fourth accusations that, as Kavanaugh points out, has no eyewitness support, at least none that can be identified by name. How is the committee supposed to handle an accusation where everyone involved is anonymous and the alleged victim has already decided she won’t talk?

How do we know this isn’t a stunt by a morning zoo host or someone on 4Chan? I’m only half-kidding about that. This could simply be coming from someone who believes (perhaps rightly) that one more accusation that seems to confirm a pattern of behavior would do it. The fact that none of the other accusations have been verified either hardly seems to matter.

This is the Russia collusion playbook all over again. The truth of the allegations are a) mostly assumed without proof and b) used to keep Democratic Senators on television every day talking about it. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh is once again being asked to deny allegations without even knowing who is accusing him.

Maybe some actual witness to the alleged incident will come forward. Anything’s possible and if the story is true, I hope they do speak up. But at this moment this is just anonymous piling on which doesn’t deserve another minute of anyone’s time until there is something to corroborate it beyond ink on paper.