Senate

Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn’t contact Senate panel

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who oversaw Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing, said on Monday that a former classmate accusing the justice of sexual misconduct didn’t contact the Senate Judiciary Committee last year. 
 
“That person, Mr. Stier, didn’t reach out or provide information to the committee majority. … My office never received anything from Mr. Stier or his unnamed friends,” Grassley said during a Senate floor speech.
 
{mosads}Grassley served as Judiciary Committee chairman during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing before the panel last year. His staff also conducted its own investigations into allegations made against the then-Supreme Court nominee. 
 
Grassley argued on Monday that if his staff had received an allegation like the one detailed by The New York Times over the weekend, it would have been investigated. 
 
The newspaper reported that Max Stier, Kavanaugh’s classmate at Yale University, alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a party and that other students pushed Kavanaugh’s genitals into the hand of a female student, apparently without her consent.
 
The Times subsequently added a correction to its piece, noting that friends of the woman allegedly involved in the incident said she does not recall it.
 
“Had my staff received substantive allegations or had he approached me or my staff, we would have attempted to take a statement and interview him,” Grassley said on Monday.
 
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, reportedly sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray last year asking that he follow up with Stier. Grassley, who was then the chairman of the committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, were copied on the letter. 
 
Asked what she did when she got the letter, Feinstein deferred to an aide, who told reporters that the letter was sent to the FBI, with the Democratic senator copied on it, and that “the request was for them [the FBI] to investigate.”
 
“They did not,” the aide added. 
 
Republicans have rushed to defend Kavanaugh in the wake of the report. Kavanaugh faced allegations of sexual assault and misconduct before he was narrowly confirmed by the Senate last year but denied wrongdoing. 
 
Grassley also knocked The New York Times during his floor speech, asking, “Who will watch the watchmen?” 
 
“This week’s report includes some embarrassing, irresponsible missteps,” he said. “This is not an allegation. It’s barely a third-hand rumor.”
Tags Brett Kavanaugh Chris Coons Christopher Wray Chuck Grassley Dianne Feinstein

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