The New York Times reported on Sunday that it was unable to corroborate the claims of a second accuser who says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her in college.
Deborah Ramirez alleges that Kavanaugh thrust his penis into her face while she was drunk at a Yale University dormitory party. The New Yorker ran with Ramirez’s allegation on Sunday despite being unable to produce any firsthand witnesses or confirm that Kavanaugh was at the party where the incident was said to have occurred.
The New York Times noted several paragraphs deep in a report that it chose not to report on Ramirez’s allegation because of a lack of corroborating evidence.
“The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge,” the NYT’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos reported. “Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.”
The Times interviewed dozens to corroborate 2nd allegation against Kavanaugh and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ramirez told ex-classmates she couldn’t be certain Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself. @SherylNYT @npfandos https://t.co/lGVc4hJzEU
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) September 24, 2018
NYT also noted, “The New Yorker did not confirm with other eyewitnesses that Judge Kavanaugh was at the party.”
In an interview with CBS’ “This Morning” on Monday, Jane Mayer, a co-author on The New Yorker piece, admitted that they had no firsthand witnesses who could confirm Ramirez’s account.
“Jane, the corroborating witness who … has all of the details including Kavanaugh’s name — where did that witness come from and where did that witness get the information about this from?” CBS’ John Dickerson asked.
“He remembers it from — he was in the same dorm .. and he remembers it clearly,” Mayer replied.
“But did he see it?” Dickerson shot back.
“No. As I’ve said, he heard it from someone who was there,” Mayer said.
Where did the corroborating witness get the information from? –@JDickerson
“He remembers it from–he was in the same dorm .. and he remembers it clearly” –@JaneMayerNYer
But did he see it? –@JDickerson
— Norah O’Donnell (@NorahODonnell) September 24, 2018
Ramirez told The New Yorker that there are significant “gaps” in her memory of the incident and that it took six days of consulting her memory for her to be sure that Kavanaugh was at the alleged party.
“In her initial conversations with ‘The New Yorker,’ she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty,” The New Yorker reported. “After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party.”
Kavanaugh has denied the new allegation.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name.”