Updated at 3:08 p.m.
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, in a forceful defense of his character and independence, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter Monday that he will not withdraw from the confirmation process, in spite of new allegations of sexual misconduct.
“As I told the committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh wrote.
He added: “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”
The letter may be a boost for Kavanaugh’s supporters and others who have been speculating that the allegations against him would soon spell the end of his nomination and that the hearing planned for Thursday might not happen. He and Christine Blasey Ford will testify separately on Thursday about her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school.
New allegations surfaced Sunday in a New Yorker piece that Kavanaugh vehemently also rejected as untrue. The article said Kavanaugh exposed himself to a female classmate at a party at Yale University during the 1980s. Kavanaugh was an undergraduate at the time; he later attended Yale Law School.
“I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women,” Kavanaugh said Monday. “Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.”
Ford said in a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday: “Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life. I thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates.”
She added: “While I am frightened, please know, my fear will not hold me back from testifying and you will be provided with answers to all of your questions. I ask for fair and respectful treatment.”
More than 2,000 women lawyers have signed a letter backing Ford, a California professor, as she prepares to testify Thursday.
“We have watched with growing concern as questions mount regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s truthfulness, judgment, and character,” the letter said. “As practitioners who interact with the judiciary on a daily basis, we thank you for coming forward to make that bench stronger through critical examination of those nominated to serve as judges.”
Kavanaugh’s letter is posted below:
This report was updated to include a letter Ford sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.