Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein that he will not withdraw. He wrote:

These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.

As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.

The letter comes a day after former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez accused him of sexual assault when they were freshmen.

It’s the second accusation against Kavanaugh. The first came from Christine Blasey Ford from when they were teenagers. She is scheduled to speak in front of the Senate on Thursday.

Kavanaugh addressed the accusations:

Only after that exhaustive process was complete did I learn, through the news media, about a 36-year-old allegation from high school that had been asserted months earlier and withheld from me throughout the hearing process. First it was an anonymous allegation that I categorically and unequivocally denied. Soon after the accuser was identified, I repeated my denial on the record and made clear that I wished to appear before the Committee. I then repeated my denial to Committee investigators—under criminal penalties for false statements. All of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening. I asked to testify before the Committee again under oath as soon as possible, so that both Dr. Ford and I could both be heard. I thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling that hearing for Thursday.

Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring.

The New York Times buried two important details in its article about the Kavanaugh hearing:

The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.

Even The New Yorker article about Ramirez has flimsy evidence. Karol Markowicz from The New York Post has an excellent thread on the article:

Ramirez herself admitted that she has “significant gaps” in her memories and reluctant to name Kavanaugh as the man who shoved his penis in her face. She only came to the conclusion after she met with her attorney and recovered suppressed memories.

Those The New Yorker contacted that should know about the party and the incident denied knowledge of it:

In a statement, two of those male classmates who Ramirez alleged were involved in the incident, the wife of a third male student she said was involved, and three other classmates, Dino Ewing, Louisa Garry, and Dan Murphy, disputed Ramirez’s account of events: “We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place. Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not. The behavior she describes would be completely out of character for Brett. In addition, some of us knew Debbie long after Yale, and she never described this incident until Brett’s Supreme Court nomination was pending. Editors from the New Yorker contacted some of us because we are the people who would know the truth, and we told them that we never saw or heard about this.”

The former friend who was married to the male classmate alleged to be involved, and who signed the statement said of Ramirez, “This is a woman I was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening.” She said she hadn’t spoken with Ramirez for about ten years, but that the two women had been close all through college, and Kavanaugh had remained part of what she called their “larger social circle.” In an initial conversation with The New Yorker, she suggested that Ramirez may have been politically motivated. Later, she said that she did not know if this was the case.

The White House and President Donald Trump have reiterated support for Kavanaugh. From Politico:

“For people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and — never mentioned it, all of a sudden it happens — in my opinion, it’s totally political. It’s totally political,” Trump said. “There’s a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.”

“Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way,” Trump added.

Who knows how Thursday’s hearing will go. Ford’s story has fallen apart as four of the alleged witnesses have denied knowing about the party and allegations against Kavanaugh. One of the witnesses is a lifelong friend of Ford and she said she doesn’t even know Kavanaugh.