She could not remember with certainty when it took place or in whose house but said she believed it happened in the summer of 1982 when he was 17 and she was 15. The three other people she identified being in the house at the time, including one who was in the room at the time, have all said they do not recall any such incident and never saw Judge Kavanaugh mistreat women.
“I have never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever,” Judge Kavanaugh said in the Fox interview, joined by his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh. He added, “I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect.”
No one has come forward to say they witnessed the incident that Ms. Ramirez described, but a former college roommate of Judge Kavanaugh, James Roche, has said that he considers her “unusually honest” and that “based on my time with Brett, I believe that he and his social circle were capable of the actions that Debbie described.”
Republicans were trying to keep all of their members on board as the Thursday hearing approached. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of the Republicans on the fence, said her colleagues should not prejudge the allegations.
“We are now in a place where it’s not about whether or not Judge Kavanaugh is qualified,” Ms. Murkowski said in an extended interview with The New York Times in the Capitol on Monday night. “It is about whether or not a woman who has been a victim at some point in her life is to be believed.”
On the other hand, Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, said he was not persuaded by Ms. Ramirez’s story.
“I read the New Yorker article. It’s pretty thin. No one else remembered any of it,” he told reporters. “This is really getting kind of carried away, it’s feeling more like a circus. But again, I did feel like this first accuser should be heard.”
Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and a Judiciary Committee member who has expressed doubt about the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, suggested that his confirmation could be voted on by this weekend. “He’s going to get confirmed,” Mr. Hatch predicted, according to CNN.