Kavanaugh Sends Bold Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee: ‘I Will Not Be Intimidated Into Withdrawing’
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sent a bold letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, taking a defiant stand against the “coordinated effort” of “smears” and “false and uncorroborated accusations”. Kavanaugh vowed he would “not be intimidated into withdrawing” in the face of “vile threats of violence against my family” and “last minute character assassination.”
Judge Kavanaugh and family with President Trump at the announcement of his nomination to the Supreme Court, July 9, 2018, White House photo.
September 24, 2018
The Honorable Charles Grassley, Chairman
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate United States Senate
135 Hart Senate Office Building 331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
When I testified in front of the Senate three weeks ago, I explained my belief that fair process is
foundational to justice and to our democracy.
At that time, I sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 31 hours and answered
questions under oath. I then answered more questions at a confidential session. The following
week, I responded to more than 1,200 written questions, more than have been submitted to all
previous Supreme Court nominees combined.
Only after that exhaustive process was complete did I learn, through the news media, about a 36-
year-old allegation from high school that had been asserted months earlier and withheld from me throughout the hearing process. First it was an anonymous allegation that I categorically and
unequivocally denied. Soon after the accuser was identified, I repeated my denial on the record
and made clear that I wished to appear before the Committee. I then repeated my denial to
Committee investigators—under criminal penalties for false statements. All of the witnesses
identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the
Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening. I asked to testify
before the Committee again under oath as soon as possible, so that both Dr. Ford and I could
both be heard. I thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling that hearing for Thursday.
Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once
again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a
frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my
confirmation from occurring.
These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a
threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious
character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all
political persuasions from service.
As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by
public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.
I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to
promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come
forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to
defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.
Brett M. Kavanaugh