In his fiery testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh described his drinking habits while denying that he has ever committed sexual assault.
Kavanaugh, whose hearing centers around Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her, said in his opening testimony, “I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone.”
Kavanaugh, 53, continued, “There is a bright line between drinking beer, which I gladly do and which I fully embrace, and sexually assaulting someone, which is a violent crime. If every American who drinks beer or every American who drank beer in high school is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, it will be an ugly new place in this country. I never committed sexual assault.”
Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s, where he allegedly pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh denied the allegations.
When Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona who was hired by Senate Republicans as outside counsel, asked more about his taste for beer, Kavanaugh replied, “Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I, boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer.”
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He continued, “The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal. Senior year in high school, people were legal to drink. Yeah, we drank beer. And I said, sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers. We drank beer. We liked beer.”
Mitchell asked, “What do you consider to be too many beers?”
“I don’t know,” Kavanaugh replied. “Whatever the chart says. Blood alcohol chart.”
Mitchell asked whether Kavanaugh has ever passed out from drinking.
“Passed out would be no, but I’ve gone to sleep,” Kavanaugh said. “But I’ve never blacked out. That’s the allegation? And that’s wrong.”
After Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse asked about entries in Kavanaugh’s yearbook, he said, “I like beer. I don’t know if you do. Do you like beer, Senator, or no? What do you like to drink? Senator, what do you like to drink?”
A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of committing sexual misconduct when they were freshmen at Yale. Ramirez, 53, said that Kavanaugh “exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” The New Yorker reported on Sunday.
A third accuser, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct on Wednesday.
Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations. “This is ridiculous and from The Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” he said in response to Swetnick’s assertion, according to CNBC.
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).