- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2018

The White House slammed liberals’ “smear campaign” against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh Friday over accusations that he may have condoned sexual harassment by a federal judge with whom he worked in 1991.

Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the White House on the confirmation effort, and several other supporters of the nominee said Judge Kavanaugh “had never heard any allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment” by former Judge Alex Kozinski prior to the allegations surfacing late last year.

“As predictable as it is shameful, the left-wing partisan smear campaign against a distinguished, lifelong public servant has begun,” she said. “Everyone who knows Judge Kavanaugh knows he believes all people deserve respect, including at the workplace.”

A liberal feminist group, Ultraviolet, this week called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question whether Judge Kavanaugh, as a clerk to Judge Kozinski in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, knew about Judge Kozinski’s alleged sexual harassment of fellow clerks.

Judge Kozinski retired abruptly in December after several women, including former clerks, accused him of showing them pornography, kissing them forcibly and pressuring them to have sex.

Ultraviolet, part of the “#MeToo” movement, is urging the Judiciary Committee to investigate what Judge Kavanaugh knew about Judge Kozinski’s actions at the time.

Ms. Kupec said Judge Kavanaugh “mentors and supports his law clerks — a majority of whom are women — and has always ensured that all of his employees are treated with respect and dignity.”

The White House also released statements from people who had worked with Judge Kozinski and Judge Kavanaugh, saying they never witnessed anything improper by the nominee.

Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley, who was a summer “extern” in Judge Kozinski’s chambers while Judge Kavanaugh served as a law clerk, said it was “a completely professional environment and I never saw or experienced any harassment, nor did I ever feel uncomfortable.”

“Brett Kavanaugh is, moreover, a consummate gentleman and I cannot imagine he ever knew about or condoned any workplace misconduct by Judge Kozinski or anyone else,” she said.

Susan Engel, a former law clerk for Judge Kozinski and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, called Judge Kavanaugh “a devoted father to two daughters, someone who has mentored and supported the careers of many women lawyers, and someone who has always treated women with respect.”

“At no time during my clerkship, or in the years since, did I see or hear Judge Kozinski sexually harass anyone,” she said. “I was shocked by the allegations that surfaced last year. I would be astonished if Brett Kavanaugh had ever heard anything about this.”

Porter Wilkinson, a law clerk for Judge Kavanaugh in 2007-2008, said prior to the public reports last year of Judge Kozinski’s behavior, “Judge Kavanaugh had never heard any allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment by Judge Kozinski.”

“Judge Kavanaugh knows firsthand from his mother’s personal experience as a trailblazer in the legal world the discrimination that women can face in the workplace,” she said. “As a former law clerk to Judge Kavanaugh, I know — as evidenced by the letter signed by his law clerks — that he treats everyone with respect. He does not tolerate sexual harassment in any workplace.”

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