Updated Sept. 23
Several dozen women supporting Brett Kavanaugh held a press conference Friday in Washington to show support for the embattled U.S. Supreme Court nominee, who faces a public showdown next Thursday over claims he sexually assaulted a teenager in the 1980s when they were high school teenagers.
Dozens of women, standing on a platform under a pink #IStandWithBrett banner, gathered in a downtown Washington hotel as the faces of support for Kavanaugh. The judge has denied the claims brought by California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who said a teenage Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a party, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth to stop her from screaming.
The women know Kavanaugh from various stages of his life, from his high school years at the elite Georgetown Preparatory School to his time as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has served since 2006.
Several of the women read statements saying Ford’s claims were inconsistent with what they see as Kavanaugh’s lifelong integrity. During a question-and-answer part of the press blitz, the supporters deflected questions about whether they think Ford’s claims—if true—would disqualify Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court.
Sara Fagen, responding to the question, said Ford’s allegations are not true. Kavanaugh’s female supporters did not say what evidence they had, if any, testing the veracity of Ford’s accusation against Kavanaugh. Earlier Friday, another supporter, Ed Whelan, a prominent conservative voice in Washington on judicial issues, issued an apology for a series of tweets—featuring maps, housing records and yearbook photos—that he used to cast doubt on Ford’s memory.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday featuring Kavanaugh and Ford. “Dr. Ford accepts the Committee’s request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week,” Ford’s lawyers at Katz, Marshall & Banks said in a letter.
Fagen, asked about whether the FBI should be asked to investigate, responded by saying Ford has a chance to speak publicly at any hearing. Fagen said she hopes Ford decides to testify before the judiciary committee.
“We hope she has a chance to be heard,” Fagen said. “The reason we know it’s false is because we know Brett Kavanaugh. We know the man, we know his heart and we know every aspect of his life.”
Several women described Kavanaugh as a good husband and father, a fair boss and a caring friend. “For me this is not political,” said Maura Fitzgerald, a Kavanaugh friend since high school. “My being here does not have to do with politics. … The allegation is inconsistent with everything I have known about him as a person.”
Laura Cox Kaplan, another friend and former colleague of Kavanaugh’s, said she thought Kavanaugh was being treated unfairly. “Anyone can launch an allegation without corroboration or evidence and dismantle a career and the lives of their family members,” Kaplan said. “This is wrong.”