President Donald Trump fired back at The New York Times and two of its investigative reporters Sunday over the paper’s decision to publish an excerpt from a forthcoming book detailing a new allegation of sexual misconduct against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The president, who stood by Kavanaugh even as Democrats threatened to derail his nomination to the Supreme Court with a handful of specious sexual assault allegations — including accusations that Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when the pair were high school students — even suggested that Kavanaugh should sue the paper or contact the Department of Justice to run interference for him.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable,” Trump tweeted. “False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!”
The president first misspelled the word “libel,” and after a flurry of gotcha responses from leftist opponents, keen to exercise their own “resistance” to his agenda by pointing out his mistake, deleted the error-filled tweet and replaced it.
It’s not clear that either method would be useful to Kavanaugh. He is, after all, a public figure, and it’s not apparent that The New York Times commited any crime in their reporting. But it is clear that years after the Democrats concluded what turned out to be a witch hunt, turning over every stone in Kavanaugh’s past in order to find substantiated claims of misconduct, reporters are still looking to tar the now-Supreme Court justice with allegations of sexual assault.
The two authors of Saturday’s New York Times piece — an excerpt from a forthcoming book, delving into claims a woman named Deborah Ramirez made about Kavanaugh to The New Yorker that were deemed so specious by Congressional researchers and FBI officials that they were never fully investigated — claim a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh, Democratic donor and former Clinton attorney Max Stier told them that Kavanaugh dropped his pants at a college party and that Kavanaugh’s friends forced a woman to hold his penis.
The Times reports the claim as uninvestigated, but it turns out that Senate Democrats heard about the allegation during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. As for the claim itself, investigative reporter Carrie Severino, who wrote a book about the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, noted that the Times’ reporters own book can’t substantiate the allegation, relies solely on Stier for information (and two people who spoke with Stier), and admits that the woman Stier believes fell victim to Kavanaugh’s “advances” says she has no idea what he’s talking about.
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
They claim to have spoken to two of Stier’s associates, but those associates did not corroborate the incident, only that Stier had reported the allegation to the FBI during the course of Kavanaugh’s hearings.
Several Democrats have already called on Kavanaugh to step down or be impeached over the new allegation. Kavanaugh has yet to speak on the issue.