Senate Democrats are currently looking into a new allegation of sexual misconduct regarding Brett Kavanaugh, this time dating back to his time as a freshman at Yale University in the 1980s, according to a New Yorker report published Sunday.
At least two Democratic offices are reportedly investigating the allegations from Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her during a gathering at Yale.
Kavanaugh has already denied the claims.
Ramirez is accusing Kavanaugh of thrusting his penis in her face, causing her to touch it without her consent, according to the New Yorker.
Ramirez told the magazine that she believes the FBI should investigate the incident.
“I would think an FBI investigation would be warranted,” she said.
But Kavanaugh denied the event ever happened, saying in a statement: "The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple."
"I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name--and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building--against these last-minute allegations," he said.
The White House in a statement expressed unwavering support for Kavanaugh, calling the allegation another part of a "coordinated smear campaign" by Democrats.
“This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man," White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said. "This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”
According to the New Yorker piece, senior GOP staffers knew about the allegation from Ramirez before it became public on Sunday night.
But at least one staffer, the spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), denied this, saying Lee's staff had not heard about it. Lee is on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"If any Republicans on Capitol Hill knew of the New Yorker story prior to today, they most certainly did not tell me or anyone on our staff," Conn Carroll tweeted.
The allegation comes roughly a week after Christine Blasey Ford went public with allegations against Kavanaugh, claiming that he forced himself on her during a high school party in the 1982.
Ramirez said that she struggled over whether she should come forward, but ultimately decided it might lend credence to Ford's allegations.
“I remember a penis being in front of my face,” Ramirez said. “I knew that's not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”
She said other students taunted and mocked her, with one encouraging her to “kiss it.”
Ramirez said she pushed Kavanaugh away, touching his penis by accident.
“I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.”
She said Kavanaugh laughed as he pulled up his pants.
“Brett was laughing,” Ramirez said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants. Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.'"
“It was his full name," she said. "I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
The New Yorker has not confirmed with eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was in attendance at the party, but one classmate said he has known of the story "all along."
“It’s been on my mind all these years when his name came up," he said. "It was a big deal.”
Ramirez said going public with her allegation was not politically motivated. Ramirez told her mother and sister about an "upsetting incident" after it happened, but did not disclose details, according to The New Yorker.
Kavanaugh's former roommate said he found the allegation believable.
“Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie?" James Roche, the former roommate, said. "Yeah, definitely. Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes.”
It is not clear if Ramirez is willing to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She reportedly did not originally intend to go public with the allegation, but Senate aides in her home state of Colorado forwarded her allegation to a lawyer after rumors about the incident spread through the Senate and media outlets, according to the magazine.
“I didn’t want any of this,” she said. “But now I have to speak.”
The New Yorker article also includes a new allegation regarding Mark Judge, who Ford has named as the other man in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her.
Judge's former girlfriend Elizabeth Rasor told the New Yorker that Judge once told her about an incident involving him and other men taking turns having sex with a drunk woman. Judge's attorney said he denies the allegation.
"Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t reveal information that was told in confidence [but] I can’t stand by and watch him lie," Rasor told the magazine.
Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh held her down and groped her over her clothes, at one point putting his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. She says Judge stood at the side, egging him on.
Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify on Thursday.