WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump again defended Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, assailing a news report over the weekend that prompted calls for a renewed investigation and even impeachment of the jurist.
"The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh," Trump tweeted. "Assaulted by lies and Fake News! This is all about the LameStream Media working with their partner, the Dems."
Citing a report on the morning program "Fox & Friends," Trump tweeted, "'The New York Times walks back report on Kavanaugh assault claim.'"
The Times clarified a part of a story about a new book, what the newspaper called "an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party."
In an editor's note attached to the story, the Times said, "The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article."
The article, an essay adapted from a forthcoming book called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh," dealt with allegations from Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.
The authors said there is more corroboration for Ramirez's story than there was at the time of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings last year.
"During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been 'the talk of campus,' " authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly wrote.
"Our reporting suggests that it was," they said. "At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge."
Some Democrats, including presidential candidates, said they believe Kavanaugh lied at his confirmation hearings, and they called for impeachment proceedings.
"I sat through those hearings," tweeted Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., one of the presidential candidates. "Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached."
Aides to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who chaired the Kavanaugh hearings, said Ramirez's allegations were investigated and found to be wanting.
"The committee's review found no verifiable evidence to support the claims," said a tweet from Grassley's staff.
Trump said Sunday that the man he nominated to the nation's highest court should sue for libel, a suggestion he repeated Monday.
"DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WILL DO OR SAY," Trump tweeted. "They are looking to destroy, and influence his opinions – but played the game badly. They should be sued!"
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump defends Brett Kavanaugh; attacks new impeachment calls