You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

A woman alleges Brett Kavanaugh held her down and attempted to sexually assault her

Vox.com logo Vox.com 14/09/2018 Zack Beauchamp
a man wearing a suit and tie: Brett Kavanaugh, Trump Supreme Court nominee, at the September 6 hearing. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Brett Kavanaugh, Trump Supreme Court nominee, at the September 6 hearing.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein forwarded a letter detailing the alleged incident, which happened in high school, to the FBI.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, for the second day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) © Catalyst Images Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, for the second day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) For the past week, rumors have swirled about a secret letter — written by a California woman and forwarded to the FBI by Sen. Dianne Feinstein — suggesting that Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed some of kind of sexual offense decades ago. The letter was sent to law enforcement rather than made public, according to Feinstein, because the accuser did not want her name to be made public.

Download the all-new Microsoft News app – available now on iOS and Android

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski © Catalyst Images Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski But on Friday morning, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer published details of the allegations in the letter. They appear to amount to nothing less than attempted sexual assault. Here are the details, as described by the New Yorker:

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, first approached Democratic lawmakers in July, shortly after Trump nominated Kavanaugh. The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her.

She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaks as President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) © Catalyst Images Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaks as President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Kavanaugh, in a statement to the magazine, claimed this was all made up. “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13:  Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (L) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (R) participate in a markup hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee September 13, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A request during the hearing by the Democrats to subpoena documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's job as staff secretary in the George W. Bush administration was rejected by the Republicans. Chairman Grassley announced that the committee will hold its final vote on the nomination on September 20, 2018.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) © Catalyst Images WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (L) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (R) participate in a markup hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee September 13, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A request during the hearing by the Democrats to subpoena documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's job as staff secretary in the George W. Bush administration was rejected by the Republicans. Chairman Grassley announced that the committee will hold its final vote on the nomination on September 20, 2018. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have tried to focus on issues of sexual harassment and assault by asking what Kavanaugh knew about the accusations against former federal judge Alex Kozinski, for whom Kavanaugh was a clerk. But the letter is a much more direct, and much worse, allegation.

Many believe Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would be the decisive fifth vote for overturning Roe v. Wade. Several moderate female senators who support abortion rights represent key swing votes in the Senate, so Republicans have gone out of their way to downplay the risk to abortion rights posed by the Kavanaugh nomination.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, accompanied by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member, center, speaks with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington. The committee will vote next week on whether to recommend President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation. Republicans hope to confirm him to the court by Oct. 1.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) © Catalyst Images Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, accompanied by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member, center, speaks with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington. The committee will vote next week on whether to recommend President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation. Republicans hope to confirm him to the court by Oct. 1.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) If they find the accusation credible, the idea that a man who is accused of trying to hold someone down and force himself on her would have the power to decide on abortion rights for all American women may prove too much for some of these senators to bear.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Vox.com

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon