Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Tuesday that questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's credibility have "nothing to do with what he did when he was 15 or 18" but instead are about his present-day statements about his drinking and high school yearbook.
Kavanaugh has denied allegations of sexual misconduct made after his confirmation hearings concluded last month, and Democrats have focused on his testimony last week and what they say are misleading or outright false statements about his past drinking habits and inscriptions in his yearbook, saying he lacks credibility.
Schumer said issues of Kavanaugh's ability to tell the truth keep coming up, although the judge acknowledged drinking as a teenager and sometimes doing so to excess. He has denied he ever blacked out from drinking.
"Given what he said about his drinking, given what he said about his high school yearbook, all of which defy common sense and even defy objective truth, Americans have good reason to doubt this man's credibility, and that has nothing to do with what he did when he was 15 or 18," Schumer said at a press conference. "He's not telling the truth about those things in the opinion of so many people, today."
Schumer made similar remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, suggesting that even if one were to discount how he acted as a teenager, one couldn't discount what he says now.
"Again, even if you want to discount, as some people do, what happened when he was 15 in high school and 18 in college, you cannot discount what he is saying and professing at age 53 when it flies in the face of being truthful," Schumer said.
Schumer said at the outset of Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court that he would oppose his confirmation with all of his strength.
Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh last month of sexually assaulting her at a house party in the early 1980s, and Deborah Ramirez later said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale college party. No corroborating witnesses or direct evidence have emerged to support their charges.
A third woman, Julie Swetnick, came forward to state she saw Kavanaugh act inappropriately with women at high school parties, but she also made the explosive claims that he was involved in spiking girls' drinks and participating in gang rapes at those parties. Kavanaugh said the accusation was outrageous.
Since her original sworn statement, she has made significant walk-backs of her original claims. NBC has also reported Swetnick has credibility issues of her own, including making false allegations against coworkers and engaging in sexual misconduct.