Mr. Grassley replied that he was committed to making sure she was heard. “It’s important to me that you personally know how sincere and thorough this effort has been, including my commitment to make sure committee members and other senators are able to hear directly from you,” he wrote, in a letter his aides released Monday. He added a postscript in his own hand: “P.S. I look forward to your testimony.” He signed the letter, “Chuck.”
On Sunday evening, just hours after lawyers for Dr. Blasey and Senate Judiciary Committee aides finished negotiations on the shape of Thursday’s hearing, new allegations began to surface. First, The New Yorker published an interview with a woman, Deborah Ramirez, who said that Judge Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a drunken dormitory party during their first year at Yale.
The New York Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate Ms. Ramirez’s story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the episode and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.
The New Yorker strongly stood by its article.
Adding to Republican concerns, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress who claims to have had an affair with Mr. Trump before he became president, posted additional salacious allegations on Twitter. A spokesman for Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and the Judiciary Committee chairman, said Republicans are looking into the new allegations, but they intend to continue with Thursday’s hearing as planned.
Republicans find themselves caught between the growing anger of many female voters over the Kavanaugh allegations and the demands of core conservative voters infuriated by what they see as a Democratic plot. Religious conservatives have doubled down on their support for Judge Kavanaugh, arguing that the developments are a last-ditch effort by Democrats to derail the conservative judicial agenda that Mr. Trump promised them in 2016.
And conservative judicial activists are keeping up the pressure on Republicans to plow forward.
“The White House is clearly very strongly behind him,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative advocacy group that is coordinating support for Judge Kavanaugh. “We are very strongly behind him. If anything, I’m seeing conservatives more galvanized by what is going on because it has become such a pattern of unsubstantiated smears and character assassination.”
Judge Kavanaugh’s lawyers, Beth Wilkinson and Alexandra Walsh, assailed The New Yorker article on Monday as unfounded.