Accusing Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee of attempting a "cover-up" after yet another woman came forward late Sunday and accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault—an allegation the GOP has reportedly known about for nearly a week—Democrats demanded the confirmation process be put on hold until federal investigators complete a full probe of the womens' claims while progressive critics went further and called for his impeachment from the judicial seat he currently holds.
"Enough already. A second credible allegation and numerous supporting accounts of Judge Kavanaugh’s behavior in college make it crystal clear that Judge Kavanaugh owes it to our country to withdraw immediately."
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal
"If Republicans have blocked an FBI investigation, bullied Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford, and tried to 'plow right through' and put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court—all while holding onto credible information about a second sexual misconduct claim—then this isn't a confirmation," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter. "It's a cover-up."
Shortly after Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow reported for The New Yorker that Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh's, has accused the judge of sexual assault, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)—the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee—sent a letter to committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (D-Iowa) calling for "an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh."
"I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims," Feinstein added.
Other Democrats went a step further than Feinstein on Sunday, calling the new accusation against Kavanaugh more evidence of a "pattern" of unacceptable conduct and demanding that the judge withdraw his nomination immediately.
The additional information provided by Ms. Ramirez regarding Kavanaugh’s behavior in college presents a pattern of conduct that makes it absolutely clear that he is entirely unsuited to serve on the Supreme Court.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 24, 2018
I call upon Brett Kavanaugh for the good of the country and the integrity of the court to step aside immediately.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 24, 2018
Enough already. A second credible allegation and numerous supporting accounts of Judge Kavanaugh’s behavior in college make it crystal clear that Judge Kavanaugh owes it to our country to withdraw immediately. Being on the highest court of the land is NOT an entitlement. (1/2)
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) September 24, 2018
Democrats' call for Kavanaugh to step aside was echoed by women's rights groups, which organized a national #BelieveSurvivors walkout and moment of solidarity set to take place Monday afternoon.
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"Brett Kavanaugh must withdraw immediately," Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement on Sunday. "We believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and we believe Deborah Ramirez. Brett Kavanaugh was unfit to serve before these latest allegations, now there can be no question that he must not serve on the highest court in the land."
"Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached—not promoted. Unfortunately, Republican Senators are continuing to do everything they can to undermine the women who have come forward and to defend Kavanaugh."
—Heidi Hess, CREDO
"Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached—not promoted," added CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess. "Unfortunately, Republican Senators are continuing to do everything they can to undermine the women who have come forward and to defend Kavanaugh. In fact, they knew about Ramirez's allegations last week, and instead of ensuring a full investigation, did everything they could to rush through his confirmation. This behavior confirms the misogyny at the core of the Republican Party."
Republicans haven't exactly been quiet about their intention to suppress serious sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh and move ahead with his confirmation without a federal probe.
In a speech to the right-wing Values Voter Summit last Friday—after Republicans reportedly learned about the second allegation against Kavanaugh—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told his audience of evangelical Christian conservatives to "keep the faith" and rest assured that the GOP is going to "plow right through" the serious accusations.
Remember: McConnell said he was going to “plow right through it” after being aware of a second alleged assault.
— Dante Atkins (@DanteAtkins) September 24, 2018
Just hours after the second sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh were made public on Sunday, the White House released a statement highlighting Kavanaugh's denial of the new allegation and selectively quoting from The New Yorker's reporting in an effort to discredit Ramirez's account.
President Donald Trump piled on the defense of Kavanaugh on Monday, calling the sexual assault allegations "totally political."
New: White House just sent out a statement reprinting every line in the @NewYorker that could be seen as weakening Debbie Ramirez’s allegation, that Brett Kavanaugh aggressively exposed himself to her at a party during their freshman year at Yale. pic.twitter.com/TP7D2WCSRG
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) September 24, 2018
While Kavanaugh insisted in a statement to The New Yorker that Ramirez's allegation is nothing more than a "smear" and claimed that people who knew him at the time "know that this did not happen," Ronan Farrow defended his reporting in an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, characterizing Kavanaugh's denial as a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.
"It is not accurate to say that those who knew him at the time dispute this," Farrow said. "We talked to a roommate—from the time, that was living with him when this alleged incident took place—who said he was indeed frequently drunk, that he took part in activity that made him unsurprised by this claim, and that he found this woman credible."