A coalition of women from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) on Tuesday urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to suspend any confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until an investigation is completed into claims of sexual misconduct.
The Mormon Women for Ethical Government, which identified itself as a nonpartisan group comprising about 6,000 members, directed its message at every member of the judiciary panel but specifically called on the four Mormons on the committee, Sens. Orin Hatch (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho.)
The official statement said: “Given the seriousness of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh, we call upon the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to immediately suspend the confirmation proceedings until a thorough independent investigation can be conducted.
We very specifically urge the four members of the committee who share our faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–Senator Hatch, Senator Lee, Senator Flake, and Senator Crapo–to ensure that these charges be taken seriously and that every attempt be made to ascertain the truth of the situation. Our mutual faith teaches that any sexual abuse or assault in any context is contemptible and worthy of the most severe condemnation.
If these accusations are proved false, an investigation will prevent harm to the court’s legitimacy. If they are true, then Judge Kavanaugh must not be confirmed.
As we have stated previously, sexual assault must not be normalized or condoned in any way or by anyone, especially those charged with political leadership. We boldly condemn any attempts to justify such inexcusable and reprehensible behavior and demand that our elected leaders set a morally sound example.”
Earlier this month, Christine Blasey Ford accused the nominee of pinning her to bed and trying to remove her clothes when they were both at a party during their high school years. A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, came forward Sunday and alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face at a party when they both attended Yale University. Both have asked for an FBI investigation into their claims.
A new claim, more lurid than the others, was revealed on Twitter by Michael Avenatti. His client Julie Swetnick claims in the statement that Kavanaugh and a friend were “present” when she became a “victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes” in 1982. swetnickstatement
Blasey is expected to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and the all-male contingent of GOP lawmakers has hired a female sex crimes prosecutor to question Blasey. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination for the following day at 9:30 a.m.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations.