Senator alerted FBI to new Kavanaugh allegation

click to enlarge Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. - ERIN SCHAFF/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Erin Schaff/The New York Times
Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg
The New York Times Company


WASHINGTON — As the FBI began looking into allegations of sexual assault against then-Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year, a Democratic senator wrote to the director of the FBI saying he had “information relevant” to the inquiry, but the bureau apparently failed to follow up.

The letter, sent early last October by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., to Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, has come to light after a book by two New York Times reporters surfaced a new allegation of sexual impropriety by Kavanaugh. The events have reopened the bitter partisan debate over the confirmation of Kavanaugh, just as he is coming up on his anniversary on the Supreme Court.


In the letter, Coons told Wray that several people had come to him with information about the future justice. In particular, he asked Wray for “appropriate follow-up” with a former Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s, who had information that might have buttressed a claim by another classmate, Deborah Ramirez, that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken dormitory party in 1983, their freshman year.

In a copy of the letter obtained by The New York Times, the classmate’s name is redacted, but a spokesman for Coons, Sean Coit, confirmed that the classmate was Max Stier, who runs the Partnership for Public Service, a Washington nonprofit. Stier was first identified in a forthcoming book about the confirmation.

The new book about Kavanaugh and his confirmation process by the two Times reporters says that Stier saw Kavanaugh expose himself to another female student at a different alcohol-soaked party, where friends pushed his penis into the woman’s hand. Stier reported the incident to the FBI and to senators, according to an excerpt published in Sunday editions of The Times.

The authors reported that the female student declined to be interviewed, and that friends said she did not recall the episode. But the account echoes the one Ramirez described.


News of Stier’s story has prompted calls from some Democrats for a reopening of the Kavanaugh inquiry.

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