Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he knew nothing about the sexual misconduct allegations against a judge who was a friend and mentor.
Kavanaugh said Wednesday that when the allegations against former federal appeals court judge Alex Kozinski became public, they were a “gut punch” for him and for the federal judiciary. Asked whether he knew about the allegations before they became public, Kavanaugh responded: “nothing.” He said he was “shocked and disappointed.”
Asked whether he was on an email list that Kozinski used to send offensive material, Kavanaugh responded: “I don’t remember anything like that.”
Kozinski retired in December after several female former law clerks and colleagues accused him of sexual misconduct.
Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski, and Kozinski introduced him during his 2006 confirmation hearing to be a judge.
Kavanaugh also said in response to pointed questions by Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii that women “need to know who they can call, when they can call.”
He also repeated that he was unaware of the sexual harassment claims that caused Alex Kozinski to retire last year as an appeals court judge. He said victims of sexual harassment need better information about how to come forward.
Kavanaugh also said he was unaware of the domestic violence allegations against Rob Porter, who was President Donald Trump’s staff secretary. Journalist Bob Woodward’s new book about Trump says Kavanaugh recommended Porter for the job. Kavanaugh was staff secretary in the George W. Bush White House