Judge Brett Kavanaugh has hired high-powered Washington, D.C., trial attorney Beth Wilkinson to represent him as he seeks to protect his U.S. Supreme Court nomination after a California professor accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school, CNN reported Monday.
Kavanaugh denies the claim by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of attempting to sexually assault her over three decades ago.
Wilkinson did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Her firm, Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, declined to comment. White House spokesman Raj Shah, who has overseen communications for Kavanaugh’s nomination, also declined to comment.
Wilkinson, who left Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in 2016 to launch her own trial-focused boutique, has represented a number of high-profile clients. One client—former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr.—faced rumors of inappropriate sexual behavior when he was fired from Morgan Stanley, although the bank has said the termination was based on “corporate policy.”
She’s also represented the National Football League in concussion-related litigation and in an antitrust suit challenging its distributor arrangement with DirecTV; the National Collegiate Athletic Association in a class action brought by student-athletes over pay; and Pfizer in a securities class action suit against the pharmaceutical giant.
Wilkinson spoke of her experience as a female trial lawyer, in comments recently published by The Atlantic. She said she felt she was “never in the inner circle. Big Law is a male-dominated place, and it is very hard for women to thrive in an institution built that way.”
Wilkinson steps in amid pressure from outside groups and senators—some Republican—to reopen committee hearings for Kavanaugh.
Christine Blasey Ford is represented by Debra Katz and Lisa Banks of the Washington, D.C., firm Katz, Marshall & Banks.
“My client will do whatever is necessary to make sure that the Senate Judiciary Committee has the full story and the full set of allegations to allow them to make a fully informed decision,” Katz said Monday on CBS “This Morning.”
Kavanaugh denied the claim of sexual assault Monday morning. He called Ford’s accusation a “completely false allegation.”
“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” he said in a statement.