#MeTooCongressCourtsNewsTop Story

Gardner supports investigating Boulder woman’s new allegations against Kavanaugh

Author: Ernest Luning - September 24, 2018 - Updated: 1 hour ago

AP18206751538508-1280x884.jpg
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., questions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, during a hearing on diplomacy and national security. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Monday he “absolutely supports” a Senate committee’s investigation into a Boulder woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when the two were college students.

As Colorado Politics reported Sunday, Deborah Ramirez, 53, told The New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself, pushing his penis in her face and causing her to touch it as she pushed him away while at a drunken dormitory party during the 1983-84 academic year, when both were in their firsts undergraduate years at Yale University.

The news emerged just hours after Senate Judiciary Committee negotiators reached an agreement with Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at an alcohol-fueled party when they were teenagers, to schedule a hearing on her allegations Thursday.

A spokesman for Gardner, Republican of Colorado, spokesman said the panel’s Republican investigators asked Ramirez’s attorney for more information about her allegations as soon as the New Yorker story posted.

“Senator Gardner was first made aware of these allegations when the New Yorker story was published Sunday evening,” Gardner’s press secretary, Casey Contres, wrote in an email Monday morning.

“Investigators from Chairman Grassley’s staff immediately contacted Ms. Ramirez’s attorney to gather more information about what allegedly occurred. Senator Gardner absolutely supports efforts by the Senate Judiciary Committee to gather more information and investigate these claims.”

Gardner said last week that Ford “deserves to be heard” by the committee on her allegations.

Before any of the sexual-misconduct allegations emerged regarding Kavanaugh, Gardner praised the Supreme Court nominee, saying he would make “an incredible Supreme Court justice.”

> RELATED: Trump fires back against Colo. woman’s accusation against Kavanaugh

The chairman of the judiciary committee, Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, said the panel would “attempt to evaluate these new claims” but he didn’t respond to a call by the committee’s ranking Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to halt confirmation proceedings until the FBI can investigate the women’s claims.

Gardner’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message asking if the senator wants the FBI to investigate the new claims.

Kavanaugh denied the latest allegation, just as he denied Ford’s allegations last week.

“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” Kavanaugh said in a statement distributed by the White House shortly after the Ramirez allegations emerged. “The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple.”

President Donald Trump launched a vehement attack on the latest revelations Monday morning, calling the accusations unfair and unsubstantiated and charging the accusers had come “out of the woodwork.”

 

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.