Report: Texts Suggest Kavanaugh Asked Pal to Defend Him Before New Yorker Story

Text messages suggest that Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh and members of his team contacted friends from the judge’s college days about Deborah Ramirez’s sexual-misconduct allegations before her story became public in The New Yorker, according to a report from NBC News. The network reports that text messages between Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage indicate that Kavanaugh personally asked Yarasavage to “go on the record in his defense.” Two other messages reportedly show Kavanaugh’s team getting in touch with the nominee’s former classmates “in advance” of The New Yorker story being published. Berchem approached Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) with the texts, and a spokesperson for the senator’s office claimed that the Republicans “had not turned [them] over to the FBI.” Berchem then reportedly approached the FBI directly with the texts, but has yet to receive a response. Texts between Berchem and Yarasavage also suggest that Ramirez was uncomfortable around Kavanaugh when they attended a 1997 wedding. Berchem wrote that Ramirez “clung” to him, and “never went near” Kavanaugh during the event. In The New Yorker piece, Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a Yale University dorm party. During Thursday’s public hearing, Kavanaugh said he had first heard Ramirez’s allegations from The New Yorker.