Emails Show Republican Staffers Blocked Investigation Of 2nd Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez: Report
The New Yorker reports that emails by Republican staffers show an concerted effort to block an investigation into the second woman, Deborah Ramirez, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual abuse.
Ramirez told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent during a dormitory party at Yale.
Ramirez’s attorney John Clune told Mike Davis, chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, that Ramirez was seeking an FBI investigation and said “on appropriate terms, she would also agree to be interviewed in person,” notes The New Yorker:
But when Clune proposed a phone call several times, Davis repeatedly insisted that Clune answer two questions: Did Ramirez possess evidence in addition to what was in the New Yorker article? And was she willing to provide testimony to the committee’s investigators?
Clune answered the Republican staffer’s questions, suggesting that Ramirez did, in fact, have additional witnesses and other evidence. And, he said, of Ramirez’s willingness to testify to the committee’s investigators, “We couldn’t answer without learning more from you about the details of whatever process you are contemplating. After hearing more, we would advise the client accordingly.”
Davis then requested that Ramirez’s team provide evidence in the form of a letter, e-mail, or statement to the committee’s investigators before he would consider a call.
Clune continued to try to schedule a call with a Democratic staffer on the e-mail thread, but Davis wrote back to him, saying that, “before we discuss a phone call or any other next steps, again, we need to have the following information,” and reiterated the two questions.
At that point, Heather Sawyer, the Democratic staffer who was copied on the e-mails in accordance with committee policy, wrote to Davis, “As you’re aware, Ms. Ramirez’s counsel have repeatedly requested to speak with the Committee, on a bipartisan basis, to determine how to proceed. You refused. I’ve never encountered an instance where the Committee has refused even to speak with an individual or counsel. I am perplexed as to why this is happening here, except that it seems designed to ensure that the Majority can falsely claim that Ms. Ramirez and her lawyers refused to cooperate. That simply is not true.”
Davis responded, “I have not refused to speak with anyone. I am simply requesting – for the 7th time now over the last 48 hours – that Ms. Ramirez’s attorneys provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with any evidence that they have before we move to the next steps.”
Davis refused to comment to The New Yorker, but a second Republican staffer parroted Davis’ claim:
Our staff asked on seven separate occasions over the course of 48 hours for any evidence or statement Ms. Ramirez would be willing to provide. Unfortunately, her counsels have not provided the committee with any such material to review.
Clune disputed that claim:
Almost immediately in our correspondence, they became less interested in hearing from her and more interested in discovering what witnesses we could bring forward.
Since it was only the majority staff that made these demands, as the minority staff questioned those demands as unprecedented, we became suspicious that any disclosures we might file would be shared inappropriately with Judge Kavanaugh or others to prepare and attack Debbie’s account.
Since Debbie’s interest was in an F.B.I. investigation where Judge Kavanaugh could be questioned under oath, we didn’t feel comfortable releasing this information without their assurances.
We continued to attempt to negotiate in good faith by submitting a lengthier letter providing more information as well as Debbie’s request for investigation. Other than replying ‘received’ on Thursday morning, the committee has not responded.
It is remarkable that the committee admits they had enough information to question Judge Kavanaugh under oath on Debbie’s statements in The New Yorker, yet that very same information was insufficient for Debbie’s counsel to earn even a phone call.