At the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing last Thursday, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was asked by Senator Orrin Hatch when he became aware of allegations of sexual assault made against him by his former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez. He answered that it was after the publication of a New Yorker article about those allegations. The exchange ran as follows:
HATCH: When did you first hear of Ms. Ramirez’s allegations against you?
KAVANAUGH: In the last — in the period since then, the New Yorker story.
On Monday afternoon, NBC News reported they had acquired text messages from two friends of Kavanaugh, Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, indicating that the jurist and his legal team were working to refute the Ramirez allegations before The New Yorker article was published.
According to NBC News:
The texts between Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, both friends of Kavanaugh, suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public. In one message, Yarasavage said Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record in his defense. Two other messages show communication between Kavanaugh’s team and former classmates in advance of the story.
If accurate, NBC News report bolsters an argument gaining steam among Kavanaugh’s critics: that his nomination should be rejected because he plays too loose with the truth.