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The Education of Deborah Ramirez


It was promoted by the Times with a world-historically bad tweet, but this story reported by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly is very important:

During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.


But while we found Dr. Ford’s allegations credible during a 10-month investigation, Ms. Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated. During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.

At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.

We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)

The Republican Party being what it is I doubt it would have kept Kavanaugh off the Court anyway, but Ramirez’s story would have gotten a fairer hearing had grifting shitbag Michael Avenatti not decided to try to get in on the action with an accusation much less credible than the first two. (One can also argue that the New Yorker story was premature given what we now know, but in fairness there were real time pressures there and I can see why they went forward with what they had.)

Anyway, Pogrebin and Kelley have a book coming out, and Jill Filipovic reviews it here. Amy Chua’s daughters and/or protegees will be doing fine.

...good thread about the Times’s past coverage of Ramirez and the strange framing of this story. Also worth noting that this blockbuster scoop, produced by months and months of reporting, is for some reason buried in the Sunday Review section rather than being on A1, but then it’s not like they found some immaterial emails on a laptop or something.

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