The New York Times hit now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with a fresh allegation of sexual misconduct Saturday night, in a story diving further into “Deborah Ramirez’s Yale experience.”
This time, a former classmate, Max Stier, told a pair of Times’ journalists writing a book about Kavanaugh’s accusers (including Ramirez), that he recalled the now-Supreme Court Justice pulling his pants down and exposing himself at a college party. Another classmate, Stier says, grabbed Kavanaugh’s penis and shoved into the hand of an unsuspecting female victim.
The Times’ journalists claim that the FBI knew about the incident during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings but failed to investigate it, even though Stier — and the Times pair — claim there were several witnesses to the incident.
According to the article, the incident supposedly lends credibility to another allegation of sexual assault made against Brett Kavanaugh — that of Deborah Ramirez, who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh while the pair were at Yale, when Kavanaugh allegedly cornered and molested Ramirez at a college party.
The two New York Times reporters who published Saturday night’s expose decided to probe further into Ramirez’s story, since, as an uncorroborated account, it was dismissed out of hand by experienced investigators. The FBI and Senate researchers spoke to Ramirez but found little to go on, and only a single potential witness who denied knowing anything about the incident.
The story caused an uproar at the time, and had Senate bigwigs like Orrin Hatch (R-UT) running to Kavanaugh’s defense. Ramirez’s story ultimately fell apart under scrutiny from the same New York Times that Saturday night used it as an excuse to lob yet a new allegation at Kavanaugh.
There’s problems with Saturday night’s story, too.
According to author Carrie Severino, who wrote a book about the Kavanaugh hearings, the two reporters behind this new Kavanaugh allegation may have left out some key details about Max Stier, including that the “new” allegations aren’t actually new.
Severino wrote on Twitter Sunday morning that unknown activists shopped Stier’s story to Senate Democrats during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, but investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the FBI found no reason to believe the story was credible.
Moreover, Stier’s named victim, a woman by the name of Tracy Harmon, didn’t remember being forced to fondle Brett Kavanaugh.
This is the blockbuster “new allegation” against Kavanaugh. Except it’s not actually new. It was shopped to Senate Democrats at the time and they apparently found it impossible to nail down, so they ignored it – the same Senators who found the “rape boat” allegations plausible. pic.twitter.com/0183DKr0q2
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) September 15, 2019
According to the book, Harmon’s friends say she “doesn’t recall” the incident.
Severino later points out, also on Twitter, that Stier has a history of working with high-level Democrats, and served as a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team during the Monica Lewinsky investigation, though it is important to note that neither the authors nor Severino could establish an ulterior motive (though it’s not clear the authors tried).
Democrats and left-leaning activists are already calling for Kavanaugh to resign from the Supreme Court over the new allegations. Kavanaugh has yet to respond to either the New York Times or calls for him to step down.