A Yale classmate and friend of Brett Kavanaugh, the embattled Trump nomination for Anthony Kennedy’s former seat on the Supreme Court, has reportedly delivered text messages to the FBI that were exchanged among Kavanaugh’s friends related to an accusation of assault before the details became public.
If the texts were found to be accurate, they contradict sworn testimony by Kavanaugh.
The classmate, Kerry Berchem, prepared a memo about the text messages and attempted to submit them to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 following Kavanaugh’s testimony and that of Christine Blasey Ford, according to NBC News, which obtained a copy of the memo.
The Republican staff of the committee didn’t forward the memo to the FBI and a spokesperson for Charles Grassley, who chairs the committee, said the texts weren’t relevant. A Democratic senator on the committee, Richard Blumenthal, said he worked with Berchem to submit them to the FBI directly.
Berchem knew both Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez, who said that 35 years ago Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis into her face in a party at a Yale dorm when both were freshmen.
Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 that he had not heard of Ramirez’s allegations before they were made public in a New Yorker story published Sept. 23. However, Berchem said in her memo that she exchanged texts with another classmate, Karen Yarasavage, also a friend of Kavanaugh, ahead of that publication date.
One of the texts reportedly from Yarasavage asked Berchem to go on the record to defend Kavanaugh. Others said that Yarasavage had been in contact with “Brett” and “Brett’s guy,” and that she had sent “Brett’s team” a photo showing Ramirez and Kavanaugh together at a 1997 wedding.
Berchem reportedly text Yarasavage that Ramirez had “clung to me” at the wedding to avoid Kavanaugh and his friends.
Berchem confirmed the memo with NBC News, though provided only a general statement about its contents. She said she’d attempted to provide the texts to the FBI on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 without confirmation before Blumenthal’s staff got involved.
Yarasavage and other classmates mentioned in Berchem’s memo declined to speak with NBC News.