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article imageWho's who in the fight over Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination

By AFP     Sep 25, 2018 in World

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh fights to salvage his nomination to the US Supreme Court a diverse cast of characters has emerged in the process.

They include an acquaintance from high school who accuses him of sexual assault, a former teenage drinking buddy, an ex-classmate from Yale University and even the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels.

- Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee -

Brett Kavanaugh, 53, is President Donald Trump's pick to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, a conservative judicial thinker whose appointment would solidify the rightward tilt of the nation's highest court.

Kavanaugh was introduced as an irreproachable family man, a devout Catholic and coach to his daughter's basketball team.

But his nomination process has been clouded by charges of sexual abuse that allegedly took place decades ago and an image that has emerged of a heavy drinking youth.

US Capitol Police prepare to arrest demonstrators as they protest against the nomination of Judge Br...
US Capitol Police prepare to arrest demonstrators as they protest against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice outside of the office of Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Kavanaugh, who is married and has two daughters, attended Georgetown Prep, an exclusive Catholic high school in Maryland, and prestigious Yale University,

He began his career as a clerk to Anthony Kennedy, the justice whose Supreme Court seat he is seeking to fill.

In the 1990s, he led an investigation into the suicide of Bill Clinton aide Vince Foster, who was linked to the Whitewater controversy that began as a probe into the presidential couple's real estate investments.

Kavanaugh later contributed to prosecutor Kenneth Starr's report into Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and went on to become part of George W. Bush's legal team working on the 2000 Florida recount, which resulted in Bush winning the presidency.

After Bush moved into the White House in 2001, he recruited Kavanaugh as legal counsel before naming him in 2003 to the federal appeals court in Washington.

- Christine Blasey Ford, the first accuser -

Christine Blasey Ford, 51, is a professor of psychology and statistics who has taught at Stanford University and Palo Alto University.

In a July letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Blasey Ford recounted how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh while a teenager.

Demonstrators protest against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice ...
Demonstrators protest against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice outside the US Supreme Court in Washington

Blasey Ford said the attack occurred at a party in the early 1980s and that a friend of Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, was also present.

"They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state," Blasey Ford said.

Blasey Ford, who was a student at a private girls school, said she managed to escape and did not report the assault at the time.

Blasey Ford is a published author in her field. Her Palo University biography describes her as a "biostatistician who specializes in the design and analysis of clinical trials."

She is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday along with Kavanaugh.

- Deborah Ramirez, the second accuser -

Deborah Ramirez, 53, is a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale University. They were both freshman at the New Haven, Connecticut, university during the 1983-84 academic year.

Ramirez claims that Kavanaugh exposed himself and put his penis near her face during a drinking game in a dormitory and the incident left her "embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated."

She told The New Yorker she had not come forward earlier because she had been drinking that evening and she had "significant gaps" in her memory.

According to The New Yorker, Ramirez studied sociology and psychology at Yale and went on to work for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. She now lives in Colorado.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation along with that of Blasey Ford.

- Mark Judge, the elusive high school friend -

Mark Judge, 54, was a classmate of Kavanaugh at Georgetown Prep.

Blasey Ford alleges that Judge was in the room when she was assaulted by Kavanaugh. Judge has said he has "no memory" of the incident.

Judge is a freelance writer and author who has written for a variety of publications, most recently right-wing outlets such as the Daily Caller and the American Spectator.

He has authored several books including one, "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk," which recounts his struggles with alcohol and the debauchery of his teenaged years.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Judge was holed up at a friend's house in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Judge declined to speak to a Post reporter who tracked him down but his lawyer, Barbara VanGelder, told the newspaper she had told him to leave the area because he was being "hounded."

"He is a recovering alcoholic and is under unbelievable stress," VanGelder said. "He needed for his own health to get out of this toxic environment and take care of himself."

- Michael Avenatti, the porn star's lawyer -

Michael Avenatti, 47, is the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump over a decade ago.

Avenatti has represented Daniels as she sought to invalidate a "hush agreement" she signed shortly before the November 2016 presidential election in which she agreed not to discuss the sexual liaison.

Avenatti has claimed in recent days to represent a woman who has "credible information" regarding Kavanaugh and Judge and wants to be heard out by the Senate Judiciary Committee examining his nomination.

Avenatti has yet to reveal the identity of the woman or her story, but has said he expects do so before Thursday's Senate hearing.

- The Republican senators in the background -

Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee which is staging the hearings for Kavanaugh and will hold the initial vote on his nomination.

Republicans hold a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the Senate and three Republican senators are being closely watched as potential opponents of Kavanaugh's nomination.

They are Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

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