With questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking habits surfacing in the investigation of sexual assault allegations against him, a college friend has described him as a “belligerent and aggressive” drinker who once started a fight that led to the jailing of a mutual friend.
Charles Ludington, who knew Kavanaugh at Yale University, told The Washington Post Sunday that he plans to give the FBI a statement on the matter, and he provided a copy of the statement to the paper.
“When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” the statement reads in part. “On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”
“I do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18 or even 21 year old should condemn a person for the rest of his life,” Ludington, who is now a university professor, continued in the statement. “However ... if he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences.”
In last Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Ford sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both in high school, Kavanaugh sidestepped questions about his alcohol consumption. He said he sometimes drank too many beers, but he denied that he ever blacked out while drunk or engaged in the type of behavior described by Ford. There have been three other accusations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, also involving drinking, as well. Some Democrats said Kavanaugh’s statements in the hearing about his drinking and about remarks in his high school yearbook were misleading.
The Judiciary Committee called Friday for a reopening of the FBI background check of Kavanaugh in light of these accusations, and Senate Republican leaders and Donald Trump agreed to it. The committee also voted to send his nomination on to the full Senate for a confirmation vote after allowing a week for the expanded background check to take place.
However, the scope of the investigation remains in question. A source told the Post that Blasey Ford would be interviewed, as would a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, and people who were present when the women said the incidents took place. But the source said there were no plans to interview the third accuser, Julie Swetnick. The fourth accusation came from an anonymous person who claimed to have witnessed Kavanaugh pushing a woman against a wall in a sexually aggressive manner.
Trump at first said there were no limits on the investigation, then tweeted that any number of interviewees “will never be enough” for Democrats. Also, Ford and several others told the Post they had yet to be contacted by the FBI.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, has asked for written confirmation of the investigation’s scope. And two alumni of Kavanaugh’s high school, Georgetown Preparatory School, have issued a statement of solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and called for anyone with information surrounding the accusations to come forward.