The F.B.I. Probe Ignored Testimonies from Former Classmates of Kavanaugh

During his first year at Yale, Appold lived in the basement of Lawrance Hall, one of the university’s freshman dormitories. He was in the same suite of bedrooms as Kavanaugh, sharing a common room. Appold said of Kavanaugh, “We didn’t hang out together, but there was no animosity between us either.” He said he believes that “there were two sides to Brett.” Those who have described the judge as studious and somewhat reserved or shy are correct, he said. He added, “That was true part of the time, but so are the other things that have been said about him. He drank a lot, and when he was drinking he could be aggressive, and belligerent. He wasn’t beating people up, but there was an edge and an obnoxiousness that I could see at the hearings. When I saw clips”—of Kavanaugh’s Senate testimony—“I remembered it immediately.”

.. Appold said that he learned about the alleged incident with Ramirez during thewinter of the 1983-84 school year. He recalled being told that, during a party in a first-floor common room in Lawrance Hall, Kavanaugh went over to Ramirez, who had been participating in a drinking game, “and opened his pants, and pulled out his penis, and tried to put it in her face.” But she waved him away. Appold recalled hearing that Ramirez said something like “It’s not a real penis.” He said that the remark made no sense to him at the time, and he understood it only after reading Ramirez’s allegation in The New Yorker and learning that people had been playing pranks with a fake plastic penis at the party.

In an interview with The New Yorker last month, Ramirez said, “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” and that “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and that other students were laughing at her confusion and taunting her; one encouraged her to “kiss it.”

Appold recalled being “shocked” when he was told of Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior. “The person who saw it was taken aback by what he had seen,” too, he said. Appold added, “It was a disturbing thing. I think everyone recognized that a line had been crossed here.”

Looking back, Appold said, “The thing I ask myself is, why didn’t anybody do anything about it? Why didn’t anybody report it?” But, he added, “The times were different then. Today I’m an educator, and if something like this happened, I’d know exactly where to go to the Title IX people. But back then there was no place to report these uncomfortable things—we tried to forget about them.” Kavanaugh has argued that, if he had behaved as Ramirez described, the whole campus would have talked about it, but Appold said that, to the contrary, “It was more, like, ‘Don’t talk about it.’ ”

.. After seeing Kavanaugh’s blanket denials of Ford and Ramirez’s allegations, and his assertions of his rectitude during his high-school and college years, Appold said, “I had concerns that there was a good chance he wasn’t telling the truth.” He was certain, he said, that “what he said about drinking was not accurate.”

.. Ramirez said that her main concern, after her F.B.I. interview, was that the agents who interviewed her might not be the same ones talking to people who could corroborate her account—she felt that continuity was important. But she had not anticipated that people she believed had relevant information wouldn’t even be interviewed. “Being told that these people haven’t even been contacted,” Ramirez said, “it’s very troubling to me.”

.. In addition to Appold, several other former Yale classmates said that they had reached out to the F.B.I. about Kavanaugh, but had not received a response. Stephen Kantrowitz, a former Yale classmate, said in a text message, “No one who lived in Lawrance Hall (so far as I know) has been contacted by the FBI What a charade.”

.. he described Kavanaugh as part of a clique of high-school athletes, most of whom were on the football team, who “routinely picked on” less physically fit or popular students. He said that he never witnessed Kavanaugh physically attacking another student, but he recalled him doing “nothing to stop the physical and verbal abuse.” Instead, he said, Kavanaugh “stood by and laughed at the victims.” Both Ford and Ramirez have said that they remembered Kavanaugh laughing during their ordeals. “It was so wrenching for me when I heard Dr. Ford mention how they were laughing,” the Georgetown Prep classmate said, in a phone interview. “That really, really struck a chord. I can hear him laughing when someone was picked on right now.”

.. In his statement, the classmate also said that he recalled, “on multiple occasions, Brett Kavanaugh counting on his fingers how many kegs they had over the weekend.” The amount that he heard Kavanaugh describe, he said in the statement, “seemed to be an extreme amount of beer drinking for someone to consume at any age, let alone someone in high school.” He said that he also recalled Kavanaugh participating in general conversations “where the football players were bragging about their sexual conquests over the prior weekend.”

.. His statement also challenges Kavanaugh’s assertion in last week’s hearing that he never denigrated a female student named Renate Schroeder

.. Kavanaugh and thirteen other Georgetown Prep boys described themselves in their high-school yearbook as “Renate Alumnius,” which other classmates have told the Times was a crude sexual boast. During his Senate hearing, Kavanaugh said that the reference was an endearment, saying, “She was a great friend of ours. We—a bunch of us went to dances with her. She hung out with us as a group.”

.. But the classmate who submitted the statement said that he heard Kavanaugh “talk about Renate many times,” and that “the impression I formed at the time from listening to these conversations where Brett Kavanaugh was present was that Renate was the girl that everyone passed around for sex.” The classmate said that “Brett Kavanaugh had made up a rhyme using the REE NATE pronunciation of Renate’s name” and sang it in the hallways on the way to class. He recalled the rhyme going, “REE NATE, REE NATE, if you want a date, can’t get one until late, and you wanna get laid, you can make it with REE NATE.” He said that while he might not be remembering the rhyme word for word, “the substance is 100 percent accurate.” He added, “I thought that this was sickening at the time I heard it, and it left an indelible mark in my memory.”

.. “I did nothing to deserve this. There is nothing affectionate or respectful in bragging about making sexual conquests that never happened. I am not a political person, but my reputation matters to me and to my family. I would not have signed the letter if I had known about the yearbook references and this affidavit. It is heartbreaking if these guys who acted like my friends in high school were saying these nasty, false things about me behind my back.”

.. Angela Walker, who was in Dolphin’s class at Stone Ridge, also submitted a declaration to the F.B.I. .. “It’s a terrible betrayal.” She noted, too, that the depiction of Dolphin reported in the classmate’s statement “is not the Renate that I knew—it’s not possible.” Walker’s declaration described attending a large house party with Georgetown Prep boys, where, she wrote, “A friend from Prep warned me not to go upstairs, where the bedrooms were, cautioning me that it could be dangerous.”

 

We were Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking buddies. We don’t think he should be confirmed.

We were college classmates and drinking buddies with Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. In the past week, all three of us decided separately to respond to questions from the media regarding Brett’s honesty, or lack thereof. In each of our cases, it was his public statements during a Fox News TV interview and his sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that prompted us to speak out.

We each asserted that Brett lied to the Senate by stating, under oath, that he never drank to the point of forgetting what he was doing. We said, unequivocally, that each of us, on numerous occasions, had seen Brett stumbling drunk to the point that it would be impossible for him to state with any degree of certainty that he remembered everything that he did when drunk.

.. none of us condemned Brett for his frequent drunkenness. We drank too much in college as well. It is true that Brett acknowledged he sometimes drank “too many beers.” But he also stated that he never drank to the point of blacking out.

.. we felt it our civic duty to speak the truth and say that Brett lied under oath while seeking to become a Supreme Court justice. That is our one and only message, but it is a significant one.

.. No one should be able to lie their way onto the Supreme Court. Honesty is the glue that holds together a society of laws. Lies are the solvent that dissolves those bonds.

.. All of us went to Yale, whose motto is “Lux et Veritas” (Light and Truth). Brett also belonged to a Yale senior secret society called Truth and Courage. We believe that Brett neither tells the former nor embodies the latter. For this reason, we believe that Brett Kavanaugh should not sit on the nation’s highest court.

Chad Ludington’s Statement on Kavanaugh’s Drinking and Senate Testimony

Chad Ludington, a Yale classmate of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s who said he often drank with him, issued a statement on Sunday saying the Supreme Court nominee was not truthful about his drinking in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

I knew Brett at Yale because I was a classmate and a varsity basketball player and Brett enjoyed socializing with athletes. Indeed, athletes formed the core of Brett’s social circle.

In recent days I have become deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale. When I watched Brett and his wife being interviewed on Fox News on Monday, and when I watched Brett deliver his testimony under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, I cringed. For the fact is, at Yale, and I can speak to no other times, Brett was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker. I know, because, especially in our first two years of college, I often drank with him. On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.

.. I have direct and repeated knowledge about his drinking and his disposition while drunk. And I do believe that Brett’s actions as a 53-year-old federal judge matter. If he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences.

.. the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges.

I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.

Kavanaugh’s 1983 Letter Offers Inside Look at High School Clique

The beachfront property was rented, the guests were invited and an ever-organized Brett M. Kavanaugh had some advice for the seven Georgetown Preparatory School classmates who would be joining him for the weeklong escapade.

In a 1983 letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, the young Judge Kavanaugh warned his friends of the danger of eviction from an Ocean City, Md., condo. In a neatly written postscript, he added: Whoever arrived first at the condo should “warn the neighbors that we’re loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us. Advise them to go about 30 miles…”

.. The judge has said that he attended high school parties. “Sometimes I had too many beers,” he testified, adding that he has “cringed” at some of his behavior back then. But his public statements don’t fully capture the binge-drinking culture in which classmates say he was a core participant.

Parties, in the backyards of classmates’ suburban homes when their parents were away, would often attract hundreds of students from nearby private schools, his classmates recall. Five or 10 kegs would be procured and, if all went as planned, drained by the end of the night.

One night during his senior year, according to classmates who witnessed it, Judge Kavanaugh triumphantly hoisted an empty beer keg above his head, in recognition that he and his friends were well on their way to reaching their goal of polishing off 100 kegs during the academic year — an achievement they later boasted about in their yearbook.

Four Georgetown Prep classmates said they saw Judge Kavanaugh and his friends partake in binge-drinking rituals many weekends in which other partygoers saw them inebriated, even having difficulty standing. Three of those classmates signed a July letter, along with more than 150 other alumni, that endorsed him for the Supreme Court.

.. Judge Kavanaugh — nicknamed “Bart” after a Georgetown Prep teacher garbled “Brett” — sometimes acted as a restraining influence. One night, a friend named Sean Feeley was out of control. Judge Kavanaugh pulled him aside and whispered three words: “Come on, Sean.” Mr. Feeley today credits Judge Kavanaugh with knowing how to calm classmates without them losing face.

.. Mr. Judge was widely perceived as a goofball with a big mouth. “He was a clown,” said Richard Holtz, a classmate and friend of Mr. Judge’s and Judge Kavanaugh’s. Once, before a home football game, Mr. Judge and some classmates chugged beers and then dressed up in blue-and-white cheerleader skirts and pranced around the field, a moment that was captured in the school’s yearbook.