Kavanaugh opening statement: 'Effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out'

In his prepared opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a day before Thursday's expected dramatic showdown with one of his accusers, Brett Kavanaugh says "this effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out."

The Republican-controlled committee sent out Kavanaugh's statement as new allegations against Kavanaugh rocked the nation's capital and raised new questions about the fate of his nomination.

"I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many," Kavanaugh says. "In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that's not why we are here today. What I've been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes."

Read his entire opening statement below:

Prepared Written Testimony of Judge Brett M. KavanaughNomination Hearing to Serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme CourtSeptember 27, 2018 (submitted September 26, 2018)

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of the Committee:Eleven days ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing a serious wrong morethan 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegationimmediately, unequivocally, and categorically. The next day, I told this Committeethat I wanted to testify as soon as possible, under oath, to clear my name.

Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have beenaired. There has been a frenzy to come up with something-anything, no matterhow far-fetched or odious-that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last-minutesmears, pure and simple. They debase our public discourse. And theconsequences extend beyond any one nomination. Such grotesque and obviouscharacter assassination-if allowed to succeed-will dissuade competent and goodpeople of all political persuasions from serving our country.

As I told this Committee the last time I appeared before you, a federal judgemust be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind ofjudge I am and will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from thisprocess. This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threatsof violence against my family will not drive me out. I am here this morning toanswer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have neversexually assaulted anyone-not in high school, not in college, not ever.

Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary tomy religious faith. And it contradicts the core promise of this Nation that all peopleare created equal and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Allegations ofsexual assault must be taken seriously. Those who make allegations deserve to beheard. The subject of allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is afoundation of the American rule of law.

Dr. Ford's allegation dates back more than 36 years, to a party that she saysoccurred during our time in high school. I spent most of my time in high schoolfocused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in thosedays, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually onweekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in highschool that make me cringe now. But that's not why we are here today. What I've been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anythingremotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.

The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of mylife. The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day,shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women.

I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford.I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I am notquestioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in someplace at some time. But I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocentof this charge.
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