Newly revealed emails show Republican staffers held up the process for investigating allegations by a woman who says Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in college.
GOP senators insisted during Christine Blasey Ford that they had tried in vain to turn up additional information about accusations against Kavanaugh, and conservative outlets published emails that appeared to back those claims -- but the New Yorker reported that the full email chain shows Republicans dragged their feet.
The magazine first reported allegations by Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself at a college party and thrust his penis in her face, which the nominee has denied.
Attorneys for Ramirez corresponded by email with GOP and Democratic staffers from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the full exchange shows one Republican aide slowed the investigation by refusing phone calls and insisting on written evidence from the accuser.
The exchange broke down as Republican and Democratic staffers accused each of stonewalling.
Mike Davis, a senior Republican committee staffer, approached Ramirez’s attorneys shortly after the New Yorker published her allegations Sunday, demanded any additional evidence and asked whether she was willing to testify to the committee's investigators.
Her attorneys said Ramirez did have additional witnesses and other evidence, and they said she was willing to testify but wanted to know the terms and conditions of the inquiry.
Davis then demanded the evidence in written form before he would consider a phone call, and Ramirez's attorneys continued trying to set up a bipartisan call with Democratic staffers -- who were baffled by the GOP majority's actions.
“As you’re aware, Ms. Ramirez’s counsel have repeatedly requested to speak with the Committee, on a bipartisan basis, to determine how to proceed," said Democratic staffer Heather Sawyer. "You refused. I’ve never encountered an instance where the Committee has refused even to speak with an individual or counsel. I am perplexed as to why this is happening here, except that it seems designed to ensure that the Majority can falsely claim that Ms. Ramirez and her lawyers refused to cooperate. That simply is not true.”
Davis repeated his demand for written evidence, and he ignored an offer by Ramirez and her attorneys to cooperate with an FBI investigation.
“I have not refused to speak with anyone," Davis said. "I am simply requesting – for the 7th time now over the last 48 hours – that Ms. Ramirez’s attorneys provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with any evidence that they have before we move to the next steps.”