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article imageKavanaugh condemns 'last minute smears' ahead of crunch hearing

By AFP     Sep 26, 2018 in World

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh condemned as "ridiculous" Wednesday the latest allegation that he was involved in sexual abuse as a teen, saying he did not know the accuser.

"This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don't know who this is and this never happened," he said in a statement issued by the White House.

The statement came after Julie Swetnick released a sworn statement saying she witnessed abusive behavior by Kavanaugh at parties in the early 1980s.

She also said she had been gang-raped at a party around 1982 that Kavanaugh attended.

In a separate statement prepared for a crunch Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday, Kavanaugh again denied a previous allegation by California professor Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

"Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired," he said. "These are last minute smears, pure and simple."

Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale classmate, has also accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a party in the 1980s.

The three accusations raised fresh doubts over whether Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court will survive.

The Washington federal appeals court judge, 53, had been expected to easily win confirmation until 10 days ago when Blasey Ford went public with her story.

Blasey Ford was expected to testify on her allegations at Thursday's hearing, which will be televised live.

Neither of the other two women have been invited to testify, leading to Democratic calls for a halt to the hearing while the women's accusations are thoroughly investigated.

"Republicans need to immediately suspend the proceedings related to Judge Kavanaugh's nomination," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday after Swetnick's declaration was released.

"I strongly believe Judge Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration. If he will not, at the very least, the hearing and vote should be postponed while the FBI investigates all of these allegations."

In his prepared statement, Kavanaugh admitted he drank alcohol as an under-age student, but never did anything like what he is accused of.

"I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now," he said.

However, he added, "What I've been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes."

"The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women."

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