Brett Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez Says Confirmation Vote Resurfaces Memory of Sexual Assault

The Senate is expected to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh Saturday afternoon following a supplemental FBI investigation into claims of sexual assault against the nominee.

Deborah Ramirez, one of three women who have publicly alleged sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh from the 1980s and who alleges he personally assaulted her, said in a statement Saturday that the assumed confirmation of the judge made her reflect on her assault at Yale University where “half the room [was] laughing and looking the other way.”

“Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh,” Ramirez said. “As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I'm right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior. This is how victims are isolated and silenced.”

Ramirez was one of six known witnesses the FBI interviewed as part of its brief supplemental background investigation into the validity of the sexual assault allegations levied against Kavanaugh. Her allegation surfaced after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford first  came forward with her allegation that the nominee attempted to rape her at a house party in high school. Ramirez alleged that Kavanaugh drunkenly thrust his penis in her face against her will during a dorm party at Yale University in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh, both in statements and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, has "categorically and unequivocally" denied all of the allegations. 

“At the end of the interview, her lawyers provided the FBI the names and known contact information of additional witnesses (totaling more than 20) who may have corroborating information,” said Ramirez’s attorney, John Clune, adding that they were “not aware of the FBI affirmatively reaching out to any” of those witnesses. “We have great concern that the FBI is not conducting—or not being permitted to conduct—a serious investigation.”

Just hours before the Senate was scheduled to confirm Kavanaugh sometime before 4 p.m., Ramirez's statement, released by Clune, said that she had “corroborating witnesses speaking for me, although they were not allowed to speak to the FBI, and I feel extremely grateful for them and for the overwhelming amount of support that I have received and continue to receive during this extremely difficult and painful time. There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors,” Ramirez added. She previously told the FBI the names of the various witnesses who were familiar with the matter, saying the “collective moment of survivors and allies…will not be silenced.”  

In a statement released Friday evening by Ford and her attorneys, the Stanford University psychology professor pushed back against the FBI’s report and its failure to interview her and Kavanaugh, among dozens of other people whose names were provided to investigators as possible witnesses.

“Senators claiming to want a dignified debate should not repeat lies constructed by the [Senate] Judiciary Committee that were cynically designed to win support for Judge Kavanaugh,” the statement read.    

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