WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she is disheartened by an allegation of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“It’s very sad,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in response to a question at a news conference on Friday.
The allegation became public six days after Kavanaugh’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee ended. The committee was scheduled to vote on the nomination on Thursday.
Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) rescheduled the vote to Sep. 20 after Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced on Thursday that she had received a letter referencing an allegation against Kavanaugh.
Feinstein said she gave the letter to the FBI and asked that they investigate the matter.
Feinstein reportedly received the letter in July but did not act out of concern for the woman’s privacy.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) reportedly received a letter about the same allegation from a female constituent who asked to remain anonymous, according to the New Yorker article. It is not clear if the woman sent letters to both Eshoo and Feinstein, or if Eshoo passed her letter on to Feinstein.
The White House dismissed the letter as a last-minute attempt to stall the nomination.
The New Yorker reported Friday that the allegation dates back more than three decades to when Kavanaugh was a high school student at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md.
Ronan Farrow and Jane Meyer reported that in the letter the woman alleges that at a party in the mid-1980s, Kavanaugh “held her down” and “attempted to force himself on her,” they wrote.
The woman alleges that a classmate of Kavanaugh’s “turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests” and that Kavanaugh “covered her mouth with his hand,” according to The New Yorker.
The woman said she escaped without further harm, according to the New Yorker.
In a statement to the New Yorker, Kavanaugh denied the allegation.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said.
The classmate told the New Yorker that he does not recall the incident.
At Friday’s news conference, Pelosi said that she has not seen the letter and that she had not yet read the New Yorker piece.
Prior to the New Yorker report, other media outlets reported that the allegation against Kavanaugh was related to sexual misconduct but they provided few details.
It is unclear if the allegation will have any effect on the nomination.