New information obtained by the Guardian reveals severe omissions in a 2018 Senate investigation that concluded there was “no evidence” to support any of the allegations of sexual assault against US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The Republican senator Chuck Grassley, who was at the time the head of the Senate judiciary committee, made the 28-page study public. It prominently featured an unfounded and unproven claim that one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Deborah Ramirez, a fellow Yale graduate, was “likely” mistaken when she claimed that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dorm party because another Yale student was allegedly known for such behavior.
Joseph J. Smith Jr. A Colorado-based attorney According to a 2018 email acquired by the Guardian, Kavanaugh was the victim of mistaken identity before the judiciary committee. Smith appears to have had a professional relationship with Leonard Leo, whom he acknowledged in his book Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State. Smith was also a member of the Federalist Society, which enthusiastically backed Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The Guardian reports Smith wrote to Davis on September 29, 2018 that he was in a class behind Kavanaugh and Ramirez (who graduated in the class of 1987) and believed Ramirez was likely mistaken in identifying Kavanaugh.
Instead, Smith said it was a fellow classmate named Jack Maxey, who was a member of Kavanaugh’s fraternity, who allegedly had a “reputation” for exposing himself and had once done so at a party. To back his claim, Smith also attached a photograph of Maxey exposing himself in his fraternity’s 1988 yearbook picture.
The allegation that Ramirez was likely mistaken was included in the Senate committee’s final report even though Maxey, who was described but not named, was not attending Yale at the time of the alleged incident.
Maxey told the Guardian in an interview that he was still a senior in high school at the time of the alleged incident and that he had never been approached by any Republican staff members who were looking into it.