Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is denying allegations of sexual misconduct and says he will not withdraw his name from consideration for the top court.
Appearing Monday on Fox News for his first television interview on the allegations, Kavanaugh said, “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school. Not ever.”
He said he is not going to let false accusations drive him out of the nomination process. “I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
An emotional Kavanaugh called for a “fair process, where I can defend my integrity and clear my name.”
The Supreme Court nominee is expected to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary committee, along with Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both high school teenagers in 1982.
Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, who sat alongside her husband during the Monday interview, said the nomination process has been “incredibly difficult” for her family. She said, “At the end of the day, our faith is strong. We know we are on the right path.”
Kavanaugh’s television appearance comes one day after new allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him.
The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday that two U.S. senators are investigating a charge Kavanaugh exposed himself at a Yale University dormitory party during the 1983-1984 academic year.
Deborah Ramirez described the incident in an interview after being contacted by the magazine. She admitted she had been drinking and has gaps in her memories. But after consulting a lawyer, Ramirez said she felt confident in her recollection.
Speaking in New York on Monday, President Donald Trump labeled the new charges “totally political.”
The new allegations have prompted a key senator to call for “an immediate postponement” of any further proceedings by the committee, which is considering Kavanaugh’s nomination.
California’s Diane Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat, sent a letter Sunday to Republican committee chairman Chuck Grassley, urging him to refer the new allegations to the FBI in order to ensure “a fair, independent process that will gather all the facts.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed Monday that the chamber will vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, promising the vote will come “in the near future.”
McConnell, who was visibly angry, accused Democrats of attempting to destroy an honorable jurist on the basis of “decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said if Republicans believe in Kavanaugh, then they, too, should want the accusations investigated by the FBI.
“Leader McConnell is afraid of what might come out (about Kavanaugh), what the truth is,” Schumer said.
Kavanaugh, a judicial conservative and Trump’s second Supreme Court pick, was nominated to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.
His confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate had seemed all but assured until allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced last week.
Capitol Hill correspondent Michael Bowman contributed to this report.