Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah warned Monday of “phony accusations” following a newly surfaced allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and suggested that Democrats are to blame, saying, it’s not unusual “for our friends on the other side to pull that kind of crap.”
“It’s amazing to me that these allegations come out of nowhere at the last minute and that they weren’t brought up earlier in this process, and it’s not untypical for our friends on the other side to pull that kind of crap,” Hatch said when asked by reporters about an accusation against Kavanaugh from a woman named Deborah Ramirez published in The New Yorker on Sunday.
Ramirez said that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party more than three decades ago. CNN has not independently confirmed The New Yorker’s reporting.
Hatch appeared to liken Ramirez’s allegation to “phony accusations.”
“No, I think we can look into that accusation,” Hatch told reporters on Capitol Hill. “You’re going to have these phony accusations come always. It’s always the case when you have a contested situation. We should give due listen to everyone who has a comment here, but we’re down to the rug-cutting time, and we’re going to have this marked-up at the end of the week. So it’s time to get down to business.”
He added of Ford’s allegation, however, “I think she is sincere, at least I hope so, but I think she is sincerely wrong.”
Hatch described himself as frustrated and “angry because I get a little tired of the way some of these people have been treated on our side.”
Kavanaugh has issued a forceful denial of the allegation and has also categorically denied a separate allegation from Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party during their high school years in the early 1980’s.
On Monday, Kavanaugh said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ramirez’s allegation is “false and uncorroborated” and that the accusations he now faces are “smears, pure and simple.”
The New Yorker report mentions that Ramirez is a registered Democrat, but she told the magazine that her decision to go public with her allegation was not politically motivated.
Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify at an opening hearing Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.