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Senate Judiciary Committee asked Kavanaugh about latest claims of sexual assault

Trump on Kavanaugh

Investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about two previously undisclosed accusations of sexual misconduct during a phone call Tuesday, according to a transcript of the call released Wednesday night. Both new claims stem from complaints sent to senators and describe separate incidents that allegedly occurred in 1998 and 1985.

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations to investigators on the call, one of which has already been recanted. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by three other women and has also denied those allegations. He will face lawmakers on Thursday morning following testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who will testify that Kavanaugh assaulted her in the early 1980s.

One of the new claims, first reported by NBC News, stems from an anonymous letter sent to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. The author wrote that in 1998 her daughter occasionally socialized with Kavanaugh, who was dating the daughter's friend while he was an attorney working on independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation into the Clinton White House. 

The writer states that her daughter was out at a bar in Washington with three other people, including Kavanaugh and her friend. When the group left, the author writes that an inebriated Kavanaugh physically assaulted his date, pushing her up against a wall "aggressively and sexually." The writer said the alleged incident was seen by "at least four witnesses including my daughter."

Investigators read from the letter during Tuesday's call with Kavanaugh. He responded that "we're dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend. It's ridiculous. Total twilight zone. And no, I've never done anything like that."

"I think this is this is crazy town," he added. "It's a smear campaign. I've been in the public eye for 24 years, really public at various points. Certainly 1998, when I was in the Starr investigation, that was a very public year."

Gardner said in a statement Wednesday evening that his Denver office received the letter on Monday, and it "contained no names, no address, and no contact info."

Taylor Foy, a spokesman for the Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday evening that "we have no reason to assign the letter credibility, and even if we did, we'd have no way to investigate the allegation as it was made anonymously and cannot be corroborated."

A second claim involving a call made by a man in Rhode Island to the office of his senator, Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Judiciary Committee was recanted by the accuser shortly after being publicized. 

Investigators read from a report from Whitehouse's office, which stated that "early on a Sunday morning in August of 1985, a close acquaintance of the constituent was sexually assaulted by two heavily inebriated men she referred to at the time as Brett and Mark."

In addition to the claims, Kavanaugh has publicly been accused of sexual misconduct by Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. Ford and Kavanaugh are testifying before the committee on Thursday. Kavanaugh has denied all allegations.

Unlike the other allegations against Kavanaugh, the alleged incident in 1998 occurred when he was an adult. Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college.

President Trump said on Wednesday that he would be willing to withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination if he believed these allegations were true, but called them "false."