Kavanaugh said under oath that he didn't learn of Deborah Ramirez's accusations until he read about them in the media. But newly revealed text messages suggest otherwise.
Newly revealed text messages suggest that Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and members of his team secretly reached out to friends and classmates from college to enlist them in an effort to refute his second accuser's claims before they became public.
If he did indeed know about the sexual assault allegations brought forth by Deborah Ramirez before they were made public, that would contradict his own sworn testimony from Thursday, when he told senators that he first learned of the allegations by reading about them in The New Yorker.
According to NBC News, text messages between Kavanaugh and former Yale classmates Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage indicate that the Supreme Court nominee personally reached out to Yarasavage before the accusations became public and asked her to "go on the record in his defense."
Yarasavage said in one message that she had communicated with "Brett's guy," as well as "Brett," who wanted her to publicly refute Ramirez's claims.
Two other messages show members of Kavanaugh’s team communicating with his former classmates "in advance" of the article's publication in The New Yorker, according to the NBC report.
Berchem told NBC News in a statement that she believes the text messages "merit investigation by the FBI and the Senate."
She reportedly approached Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) about the messages last week after trying unsuccessfully to reach the FBI, prompting Blumenthal to submit a report to the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, a spokesperson for Blumenthal's office said Republicans had not turned the report over to the FBI and "had no intention" of doing so.
Berchem then reached out again to the FBI with the text messages but has not yet received a response after two attempts to contact the bureau, NBC reported.
Other texts between Berchem and Yarasavage suggest that Ramirez was uncomfortable being around Kavanaugh when they ran into each other at a 1997 wedding. Berchem wrote that Ramirez "clung" to her, and "never went near" Kavanaugh and his friends during the event.
Kavanaugh apparently sought out and obtained a photo in order to "show himself smiling alongside Ramirez" at the wedding, where Kavanaugh was a groomsman and Ramirez was a bridesmaid. In one text message, Yarasavage told Berchem that she turned over a copy of the wedding party photo to Kavanaugh, writing, "I had to send it to Brett’s team too."
Ramirez has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party while they were students at Yale. Her allegations were made public Sept. 23 in The New Yorker.
During his sworn testimony on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he had first heard about Ramirez’s allegations when he read The New Yorker article. But the new text messages appear to contradict this claim, and Berchem said Kavanaugh may have known for months that Ramirez was planning to come forward.
According to NBC News, Berchem wrote in a memo to the FBI that "Kavanaugh 'and/or' his friends 'may have initiated an anticipatory narrative' as early as July to 'conceal or discredit' Ramirez."
When asked about the newly revealed messages, a spokesman for GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told NBC that the texts "do not appear relevant or contradictory" to Kavanaugh's testimony — despite the fact that they seem to directly contradict the timeline given by Kavanaugh.
Grassley's office called the texts "another last-ditch effort to derail the nomination with baseless innuendo."
Kavanaugh's nomination was approved by the all white, all male GOP-led Judiciary Committee on Friday in a party-line vote. The vote came just a day after Kavanaugh's first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testified in front of the committee about Kavanaugh allegedly attempting to rape her in high school.
He is also accused of waiting in line to gang rape girls in high school.
And now, it appears as though he may have participated in an effort to cover up or discredit the allegations against him — and potentially perjured himself in the process.
Published with permission of The American Independent