Published 7:54 a.m. | Updated 11:07 a.m.
Attorneys for Deborah Ramirez are arguing with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee over how to bring forward her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were Yale students.
“We had a phone call scheduled [with] them last night that the majority party blew off,” Ramirez lawyer John Clune told NPR’s Morning Edition. “So, unless we can have a meaningful conversation with them and they’re actually going extend the offer it for her to testify then it’s really a moot point.”
Republicans for the committee led by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said they have repeatedly sought evidence from Ramirez to back up her claims and none was provided.
“I have not refused to speak with anyone,” wrote Mike Davis, the committee’s top GOP counsel, in an email to Ramirez’s attorneys late Tuesday night obtained by The Associated Press.
“I am simply requesting — for the 7th time now over the last 48 hours — that Ms. Ramirez’s attorneys provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with any evidence that they have before we move to the next steps.”
The two sides have been engaged in an escalating war of letters ever since The New Yorker first made public the allegations from Ramirez, 53, who lives in Colorado.
Kavanaugh and the first woman accusing him of misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. Ford said he assaulted her at a party in high school in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denies the accusations.
Ramirez told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were both students at Yale. She has acknowledged consuming alcohol at the time, which clouded some of her memories. Following his remarks at the United Nations, President Donald Trump attacked the second accuser and said that the accusations were a “con game being played by Democrats.”
Trump mocked Ramirez’ account, saying, “She said, ‘Well, it might not be him, and there were gaps,’ and she said she was totally inebriated and she was all messed up and she doesn’t know it was him, but it might have been him.”
“Oh gee, let’s not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that,” the president continued.
Attorney John Clune said on Morning Edition that “it’s pretty disturbing to hear the commander in chief pretty much mocking a person who has reported being a victim of sexual assault.”
The president, Clune said, is making his conclusions based off things he’s getting from the media and that, in itself, is why he should order an investigation into both of the accusations from Ramirez and Ford.
In an earlier interview with Fox News, Brett Kavanaugh said that Ramirez’ allegation was part of a larger smear campaign. For his part, Clune told NPR that if both Kavanaugh and the president are adamant that this is a smear campaign then there should be an FBI investigation.
“Why won’t they order an investigation so that they’re actually questioned under the threat of perjury? Debi Ramirez is willing to do that. Why isn’t Brett Kavanaugh?”
Senate Republicans are beginning to schedule votes aimed at putting Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. GOP leaders set a Senate Judiciary Committee vote for Friday and hoped to confirm Kavanaugh early next week. That’s even as Thursday’s showdown hearing approaches.
Senate Republicans are bringing in a veteran Arizona prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to handle questioning about Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
Mitchell comes from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix. She is the chief of the Special Victims Division, which covers sex crimes and family violence.
A handful of undeclared GOP moderates leave Kavanaugh’s fate uncertain because the party runs the Senate with just a 51-49 advantage. There’s no telling how Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will perform at the hearing.