Brett Kavanaugh documentary reveals new witness testimony of alleged sexual assault

The new revelation is featured in the documentary Justice, which debuted on Friday at the Sundance Film Festival

Andrea Blanco,Peony Hirwani
Sunday 22 January 2023 06:48 GMT
Sundance: Surprise Doug Liman-Directed Brett Kavanaugh FBI Investigation Doc Added to the Fest | THR News

A former Yale classmate of Brett Kavanaugh claimed to have witnessed an incident of sexual misconduct involving the Supreme Court justice in a newly surfaced audio.

The new revelation is featured in the documentary Justice, which debuted on Friday at the Sundance Film Festival. The film delves into the FBI investigation over allegations that Mr Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted at least three women — made after he was appointed to the highest court by Donald Trump in 2018.

In the shocking audio, Max Stier, who works for the nonpartisan nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and declined to participate in the film, said that he “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,” Rolling Stones reports.

Mr Stier, who said he lived in the same dorm as Mr Kavanaugh, reportedly says in the tape that he made FBI investigators and senators aware of his account, but nobody followed up with him. Mr Stier also claims that he had heard of a separate similar incident in 1983 involving Deborah Ramirez, an alleged victim of Mr Kavanaugh at Yale who is also featured in the documentary.

According to the Daily Beast, director Doug Liman received audio from an anonymous source after the federal probe was reopened in 2018. The film was a last-minute addition to the Sundance festival and aimed to “[pick] up where the FBI investigation fell short,” according to Mr Liman.

Mr Stier’s claims were previously highlighted in the 2019 book The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, by New York Times reporters Robin Pogebrin and Kate Kelly.

His account was also reported in online and print articles by the Times, but the story was revised to add an editor’s note pointing out that the book reported that the alleged victim declined to be interviewed and that her friends had said she doesn’t recall the incident, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court in October 2018, has previously denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. The Independent has reached out to Mr Kavanaugh for comment about the documentary.

Federal agents were called to investigate the misconduct allegations during Mr Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation process. It closed its extended background check after four days.

Through FOIA requests, the filmmakers found that there were some 4,500 tips sent to the tipline that went uninvestigated, the AP reports.

Speaking of the new documentary, Mr Liman said: “It shouldn’t be this hard to have an open and honest conversation about whether or not a Justice on the Supreme Court assaulted numerous women as a young man.”

“Thanks to this fantastic investigative team and the brave souls who trusted us with their stories, Justice picks up where the FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh fell woefully short,” the director’s statement read.

“The film examines our judicial process and the institutions behind it, highlighting bureaucratic missteps and political power grabs that continue to have an outsized impact on our nation today.

“Sundance gave me and countless other independent filmmakers our big breaks, so it’s especially meaningful for me to return with my first documentary.”

Mr Liman said that those who decided to participate in the film felt “terrified,” and that the production had decided to use code names for them during the filming, and asked everyone to sign nondisclosure agreements.

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