GOP senator accuses Dems of ‘character assassination’ on Kavanaugh

GOP senator accuses Dems of ‘character assassination’ on Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonThe FIRST STEP Act will make us safer without the Cotton-Kennedy amendments Senate votes to end debate on criminal justice reform bill The SEC should listen to Sen. Cotton MORE (Ark.) is accusing Democrats of a "character assassination" on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as multiple allegations of sexual misconduct emerge against him. 

Cotton on Monday morning said Democrats are "engaged in a campaign of delay and character assassination against Judge Kavanaugh."

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"It’s time to vote this week," he tweeted.

His remarks come one day after a second woman came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

Deborah Ramirez in a New Yorker article published on Sunday said Kavanaugh exposed himself without her consent during a Yale University gathering in the 1980s, when the two were both students. She said she hopes her account will lend credence to the accusation from Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and attempted to remove her clothing during a high school party in 1982. 

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, and the White House has pushed back particularly hard against the Ramirez story, noting that no other witnesses say they saw the incident and highlighting reporting in The New York Times that Ramirez herself has a hazy recollection of what happened.

Cotton is one of the first GOP senators to speak out regarding the allegation from Ramirez, following Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — What a shutdown would mean for the government Trump, Dems dig in over shutdown GOP lawmakers distance themselves from ObamaCare ruling MORE (R-Texas) who tweeted Sunday night that "only a partisan" would find the emerging allegations "credible." 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate votes to end debate on criminal justice reform bill Five takeaways from the court decision striking down ObamaCare The Year Ahead: Tough tests loom for Trump trade agenda MORE (R-Iowa) in a statement said the panel will "of course ... attempt to evaluate these new claims."

The White House said in a statement that Ramirez's account is part of a "smear campaign" by Democrats, echoing language from Kavanaugh's denial. 

“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen," Kavanaugh said. "The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple." 

Multiple Democrats, including the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats will fail if they portray William Barr as controversial pick Senate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension Senate Intel leaders ask judge not to jail former aide amid leak investigation MORE (D-Calif.), are calling for an FBI investigation into the new allegation from Ramirez.

Kavanaugh and Ford are set to testify publicly on Thursday.