Democrats alerted the FBI on Thursday to decades-old sexual-misconduct allegations against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to reports and a person familiar with the matter.
The potentially damning claims, which come as the Senate prepares to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the highest court in the land, were made in a letter obtained by Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein.
Two officials briefed on the letter’s contents told the New York Times the allegations relate to possible sexual misconduct between Kavanaugh and an unidentified woman when they were both in high school.
The specific nature of the allegations was not immediately known. Kavanaugh, 53, graduated from Georgetown Preparatory, an all-boys Jesuit high school in North Bethesda, Md.
“We have no knowledge regarding any accusation,” school spokesman Patrick Coyle said in an email.
Feinstein (D-Calif.) informed her fellow committee Democrats about the letter late Wednesday, the sources said. Several of the Democrats advised her to contact the FBI.
An FBI official told The News there was no open criminal investigation into the matter as of Thursday evening. The letter was included in Kavanaugh’s background check file on Wednesday night, the official added.
The Democratic source said the letter was recently given to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who in turn handed it over to Feinstein.
Feinstein (D-Calif.) acknowledged in a statement that an individual who “strongly requested confidentiality” flagged information about Kavanaugh that she found concerning enough to contact “federal investigative authorities.”
A spokesman for Eshoo did not return a request for comment.
White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec did not outright deny the allegations against Kavanaugh but blasted Democrats for introducing them so late in the process.
“Throughout his confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators — including with Senator Feinstein — sat through over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and additional questions in a confidential session,” Kupec said in a statement. “Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him.”