A Republican adviser involved in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s response to a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reportedly resigned over a previous sexual harassment allegation against him, the latest fallout in the back and forth during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.
Garrett Ventry, 29, worked as a communications aide to the committee and had been helping to coordinate the Republican party’s messaging regarding the allegations made against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey-Ford. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago at a high school party, a claim which Kavanaugh has denied.
Sources cited by NBC News on Saturday said Ventry was fired from the office of North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell in 2017 after being accused of sexual harassment by a female employee of the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican staff. “The whole thing got turned into a he said, she said, and then Garrett was fired,” the source told NBC News.
Ventry has denied any wrongdoing but “decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee,” Judiciary Committee Spokesman Taylor Foy said in a statement Saturday.
Ventry had reportedly been sent to help the committee with Kavanaugh’s nomination by CRC Public Relations, a conservative firm also believed to be behind a widely panned tweet by legal activist Ed Whelan suggesting Ford had simply mistaken Kavanaugh for a doppleganger.
Ventry also resigned from CRC on Saturday, according to The Washington Post.
News of Ventry's resignation came just hours before Ford was due to decide on Saturday whether she will publicly testify against Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee
After being thrust into the national spotlight with her accusations against Kavanaugh, Ford has received death threats, had her email hacked, been vilified in conservative media, and even been gaslit by the President Trump himself. Now, it has become clear that one of the aides in charge of helping to push through her alleged attacker's nomination has himself faced sexual harassment allegations.
And on Saturday, the The Washington Post reported that Ford once considered fleeing the U.S. to avoid living in a country where Kavanaugh held a post in the highest court of the land.
“She was like, ‘I can’t deal with this. If he becomes the nominee, then I’m moving to another country. I cannot live in this country if he’s in the Supreme Court,’” Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, told The Washington Post, recalling his wife’s panicked reaction to news President Trump had tapped Kavanaugh after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement.
“She wanted out,” he said.