U.S. Supreme Court

New tips surface after Kavanaugh documentary is unveiled at Sundance

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Brett Kavanaugh portrait

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Documentary filmmakers plan to add new information to their film about allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after receiving new tips during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Director Doug Liman said after a screening of the film Friday night his team would reopen filming because of new information received after the festival announced the new addition to the lineup Thursday.

The Salt Lake Tribune, the Washington Post and Slate are among the publications with coverage.

Some of the tipsters said they had submitted information to the FBI before Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but it was not investigated.

The film, called Justice, “is devoid of bombshells,” according to the Slate story by a senior editor who attended the screening.

Although Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford makes a brief appearance in the documentary, the movie tells her story through her 2018 testimony during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Ford had alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were high school students.

The film also includes allegations by Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who claimed that Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his genitals in her face during a drinking party. An interview with Ramirez “forms the movie’s spine” and gives her “the public platform she never got in front of the Senate,” the Washington Post said.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

The film also includes allegations by another Yale classmate, Max Stier, now the president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service.

“If there’s a smoking gun in Liman’s film,” the Washington Post said, “it’s a voice message left on the FBI tip line from Max Stier.”

Stier said he heard others at Yale talking about Kavanaugh’s sexual assault of Ramirez, according to Slate, which doesn’t see his recorded call as “anything close to a smoking gun.”

Stier also said Kavanaugh had pulled his pants down at a second party, while others forced a student to hold Kavanaugh’s penis, according to the Washington Post. That woman’s friends previously told reporters for the New York Times that she doesn’t remember the incident. Stier was not interviewed for the film.

The Washington Post contacted the Supreme Court’s information office for comment but did not hear back. The FBI’s national press office didn’t comment on the documentary when contacted by the Washington Post. But the office said it conducts only fact-finding and background investigations for the nomination process.

“The scope of the background investigation is requested by the White House,” an agency spokeswoman told the Washington Post in a statement. “The FBI does not have the independent authority to expand the scope of a supplemental background investigation outside the requesting agency’s parameters.”

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