Police report obtained by New York Times says future supreme court nominee threw ice at fellow patron after UB40 concert
The embattled supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was questioned by police more than three decades ago following an altercation at a bar, according to reports.
The incident took place in September 1985 when Kavanaugh was a student at Yale University, according to a police report obtained by the New York Times on Monday. It is being made public at a time when Kavanaugh’s past behavior, particularly his drinking habits, have come under scrutiny amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to the police report, Kavanaugh was accused of throwing ice at a another patron at a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, after attending a UB40 concert with his friends. A Yale classmate who released a statement describing the incident, Charles Ludington, said the group had been staring at the man, believing he looked like the band’s singer; he responded by swearing at them.
A brawl ensued, prompting a call to the police. Kavanaugh was among those questioned in relation to the incident but was not arrested. There was also no indication any charges were filed.
The revelation nonetheless adds to an emerging portrait of Kavanaugh that contradicts the testimony he gave to US lawmakers last week.
The federal judge appeared before the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday after Dr Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist, testified that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when the two were teenagers in the early 1980s.
Ford alleged that Kavanaugh was inebriated at the time; Kavanaugh denied the allegations and downplayed his drinking habits, stating he occasionally had “too many beers” while contesting the notion that he drank aggressively.
The FBI is conducting a weeklong investigation in the aftermath of the hearing. The fate of Kavanaugh’s nomination has meanwhile hung in the balance.
Although the inquiry will focus on Ford’s allegation against Kavanaugh, investigators are also examining claims made by another accuser, Deborah Ramirez, that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dormitory party while the two attended Yale in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh has denied the charge, which first appeared in a New Yorker article last month. According to an NBC News report on Monday, Kavanaugh and his team were aware of the allegation before it went to press and sought to coordinate behind the scenes to refute it.
Citing text messages between Kavanaugh and his friends, the NBC report offered the first indication that the judge and Ramirez were more socially intertwined than was previously known.
According to the messages, Kavanaugh asked at least one friend to go on the record in his defense. The report also suggests Ramirez was uncomfortable in Kavanaugh’s presence at a wedding 10 years after they graduated.
Ramirez has reportedly spoken with the FBI as part of its investigation.
On Monday night, meanwhile, the Harvard Crimson reported Kavanaugh would not return to teach at Harvard Law School. In an email sent to Harvard Law students from the administration and seen by the Guardian, the Law School’s Curriculum Committee announced the decision.
“Today, Judge Kavanaugh indicated he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered,” Catherine Claypoole, associate dean and dean for academic and faculty affairs, wrote. Harvard spokespeople could not be immediately reached for comment.
Kavanaugh was hired to teach at the school in 2009 by the then dean, Elena Kagan, becoming the Samuel Williston lecturer on law. He was planning on teaching a course titled “The Supreme Court since 2005” during the winter session. Many law students have urged the university over the past two weeks to bar Kavanaugh from teaching until an FBI investigation was conducted into sexual assault allegations. An online petition by alumni has circulated and collected over 700 signatures, saying: “HLS must send a clear message that it takes sexual violence seriously.”
The White House tasked the FBI with carrying out a limited investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh last Friday, after the Republican senator Jeff Flake suggested he would not support the supreme court nominee absent a further examination of the allegations against him.
A number of Kavanaugh’s former classmates have said Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate was misleading and omitted the true nature of his drinking habits.
Kavanaugh was described as “belligerent and aggressive” by Ludington, who said he would provide the FBI with information “detailing violent drunken behavior by Kavanaugh in college”.
On Monday, Donald Trump said he supported a “comprehensive” investigation and went on to suggest Kavanaugh had problems with alcohol as a teenager.
“I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer and he’s had a little bit of difficulty,” Trump told reporters at a press conference. “I mean, he talked about things that happened when he drank.”
The president nonetheless continued to defend his supreme court nominee at a rally in Tennessee on Monday, telling supporters Kavanaugh was a “very fine person” being targeted by Democrats.