In a new twist to the saga over sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington, D.C., federal judge denies she was ever physically or sexually abused by the appeals court judge when the two dated in the late 1990s.
Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in a letter sent Wednesday night to a senior lawyer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, acknowledged she dated Kavanaugh in 1998 but denied the allegations in an anonymous tip sent to a U.S. senator that suggested Kavanaugh had “shove(d)” his ex-girlfriend “against a wall.”
“… I dated Brett Kavanaugh in 1998. To the extent the attached letter is referring to me as the ‘friend [who] was dating him,’ the allegations it makes are both offensive and absurd,” Friedrich wrote in a letter to Mike Davis, a chief counsel for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
“At no time did Brett ever shove me against a wall, including in an ‘aggressive and sexual’ manner. When we dated, Brett always treated me with the utmost respect, and we remain friends to this day,” Friedrich continued.
She added, “I have never observed (nor am I aware of) Brett acting in a physically inappropriate or aggressive manner toward anyone.”
Friedrich, a President Donald Trump appointee, was confirmed to the district court in December. A former federal prosecutor and Senate lawyer, she is overseeing a number of cases related to special counsel Robert Mueller III’s probe, including one brought against Russian troll farm Concord Management.
The district judge also served as associate counsel in the George W. Bush White House from 2003-2006, overlapping with Kavanaugh’s work in the Oval Office. Kavanaugh was a staff secretary and, later, an associate counsel for Bush.
Friedrich found herself drawn into the web of allegations against Kavanaugh a few days after an anonymous Denver tipper penned a letter to Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.
The anonymous constituent wrote that her daughter, also unnamed, was among four witnesses to have seen Kavanaugh shove his then-girlfriend against a wall at a bar. The daughter, the writer of the letter said, was a friend of Kavanaugh’s girlfriend.
The letter did not name the girlfriend, but Friedrich—in her Wednesday evening letter—indicated she dated Kavanaugh the year of the alleged incident.
Davis, the Senate Judiciary lawyer, informed Friedrich of the anonymous letter through a phone call on Wednesday night. He requested she provide an “immediate and written response” to the allegation.
Friedrich’s letter to Davis came hours before Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse him of sexual misconduct, testify before the Senate panel considering Kavanaugh’s nomination. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a booze-fueled summer party when they were high school students during the 1980s.
Kavanaugh has denied that account and has said he has never sexually assaulted anyone.
Read the letter: