The man identified as a witness to the sexual assault allegedly carried out by Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, has said he has no memory of the incident and does not want to speak publicly.
Mark Judge, said by accuser Christine Blasey Ford to have been present when she claims Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school party three decades ago, told the senate he had no information to provide.
“In fact, I have no memory of this alleged incident,” Mr Judge said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
According to Reuters, he added: “I have no more information to offer the committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr Ford's letter.”
The comments from Mr Judge, who once wrote a memoir saying he spent several of his high school years “completely annihilated” on alcohol and trying to “hook up” with girls, came as Democrats and Republicans continued to exchange insults and barbs over the confirmation of Mr Kavanaugh.
On Monday evening, after it emerged that Ms Ford had accused Mr Trump’s nominee of trying to take her clothes off at a party in Maryland 32 years ago, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley, announced both Ms Ford and Mr Kavanaugh would appear before senators next Monday to provide evidence. As a result, the vote by the committee, due to have been held on Thursday, will be delayed at least several days.
Mr Kavanaugh was at the White House for a second straight day, but again did not meet with Mr Trump. The president said he was “totally supporting” Mr Kavanaugh and rejected calls for the FBI to investigate the accusation.
“I don’t think FBI really should be involved because they don’t want to be involved,” Mr Trump said, according to the Associated Press. As for Mr Kavanaugh, he said: “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you….This is not a man that deserves this.”
Democrats are demanding that the FBI be given time to reopen its background investigation into Mr Kavanaugh so it can check the assertions of Ms Ford, the California-based professor accusing Mr Kavanaugh of assault. They say the hearing should not move forward until that investigation is completed.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said an FBI investigation is essential to prevent the hearing from becoming merely a “he said, she said affair”.
Republicans responded that reopening the investigation is up to the White House and they are sticking with their plans for a Monday hearing, with or without Ford's participation. Mr Grassley said on the Hugh Hewitt Show he had not received confirmation from Ms Ford that she would appear at the hearing, despite several attempts to reach her camp.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman @ChuckGrassley today announced that the Committee will hold a public hearing with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. pic.twitter.com/523miClAVL— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) 17 Σεπτεμβρίου 2018
“So it kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not,” he said.
Friends and allies of Mr Kavanaugh have been rallying to his defence. Kenneth Starr, the former special counsel who led the impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton and whose legal team included Mr Kavanaugh, said he believed his former colleague’s denial.
“I have great confidence about the integrity of Mr Kavanaugh,” he said at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington where he was hiding an event to promote a memoir, Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation.
He said he found the way that Senator Dianne Feinstein had failed to raise the issues brought by Ms Ford was improper. He said: “Procedure counts”.
Meanwhile, those who believe it is essential Ms Ford have a chance to speak, demanded she be treated fairly.
Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democratic member of the committee, said: “I just want to say to the men of this country: just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President Adrienne Kimmell, said:
“Senate Republicans, led by Senator Collins, are responding to Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s serious, credible, and totally disqualifying allegations of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh by putting her, not him, on trial. Republican senators seem far more interested in putting Dr Blasey Ford on trial than finding out the truth about Brett Kavanaugh. It is shameful, but not shocking.”