September 17, 2019
Was the “fix” in during one of the most contentious confirmation fights in recent history? Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice in a bitterly partisan process that culminated on October 6, 2o18. The close vote (50-48) took place after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during which Christine Blasey Ford came forward to allege that the judge had sexually assaulted her in high school allegations—a claim that Kavanaugh staunchly denied.
However, what the American public didn’t know—but has been revealed in a new book—is that Kavanaugh also was accused of other sexual misconduct, which was not investigated during the hearings, The Washington Post reported on September 16.
According to the Post, Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-Delaware) wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Oct. 2, 2018–prior to the confirmation vote—requesting an “appropriate follow up” with one individual who had come to Coons with information about Kavanaugh.
Although the person’s name was redacted in the one-page letter, a spokesman for Coons confirmed Monday that the individual was Max Stier, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University who now leads a prominent nonpartisan group, the Partnership for Public Service, based in Washington,D.C..
In the letter obtained by The Washington Post, Coons said “several individuals” contacted his office who had wanted to share information with federal authorities but said they had “difficulty reaching anyone who will collect their information.”
“I cannot speak to the relevance or veracity of the information that many of these individuals seek to provide, and I have encouraged them to use the FBI tip portal or contact a regional FBI field office,” Coons wrote to Wray. But the Stier allegation, Coons said, “was one individual whom I would like to specifically refer to you for appropriate follow up.”
The two top senators on the Judiciary Committee at the time—Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat an Dianne Feinstein (California)—were copied on Coons’s letter to the FBI.
Aides told the Post that Coons wrote the letter because he wanted to get relevant information about credible allegations as quickly as possible to the FBI. When Coons wrote the letter Oct. 2, FBI officials were in the middle of conducting a new, supplemental background check on Kavanaugh—who was facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct—ahead of his confirmation vote.
Stier had also requested to remain confidential, aides said, so Coons wanted to send the information directly to the FBI so sensitive details would not become public.
The new allegation against Kavanaugh was made public Saturday night in a New York Times report—which was an excerpt from a forthcoming book about the justice from two of its reporters. Stier said he saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at a party, where friends pushed Kavanaugh’s penis into a young woman’s hand, according to the Times.
According to the book, The Education of Brett M. Kavanaugh: An Investigation, written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, the woman involved in the alleged incident has told friends she does not recall it.
Stier was one of several people who went to Yale at the same time as Kavanaugh who reached out to the FBI last year seeking to provide information, but they were not interviewed, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Coons connection was first reported by Jackie Calmes of the Los Angeles Times, who also is writing a book on Kavanaugh.
Research contact: @washingtonpost