Kavanaugh's college roommate: He was lying

James Roche, the college roommate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, speaks to CNN's Anderson Cooper about his experience with Kavanaugh at Yale.

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 6:41 PM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 6:50 PM

James Roche, one of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's freshman year roommates at Yale, said Wednesday that Kavanaugh lied under oath about his drinking and about the meaning of his yearbook entries.

In an op-ed for Slate, Roche writes, "Brett Kavanaugh stood up under oath and lied about his drinking and about the meaning of words in his yearbook. He did so baldly, without hesitation or reservation."

"In his words and his behavior, Judge Kavanaugh has shown contempt for the truth, for the process, for the rule of law, and for accountability," Roche added. "His willingness to lie to avoid embarrassment throws doubt on his denials about the larger questions of sexual assault."

Kavanaugh testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he has never been blackout drunk. He was appearing before senators to answer an accusation from California professor Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh denies the allegation and says he has no memory of the party where Ford says the incident happened.

Roche says he believes his friend Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a college dorm party.

He told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night that "there is zero chance that she is making up this story."

Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez's allegation. CNN has reached out to the White House for reaction to Roche's comments.

Roche told CNN, "I saw him both what I would consider blackout drunk and also dealing with the repercussions of that in the morning."

"I didn't socialize with Brett," Roche said. "He would come home and he was incoherent, stumbling, he would sometimes be singing, he occasionally would wear this -- I think it was an old leather football helmet -- and he would throw up, and then in the morning would have a lot of trouble getting out of bed."

Roche added, "I wasn't an angel back then, either. There were times when I did the exact same thing."

He told CNN he has not been contacted by the FBI about Kavanaugh.

Roche writes in the Slate op-ed he is willing to speak to the FBI about his experiences with Kavanaugh and Ramirez. The FBI has been conducting a supplemental background investigation into the nominee after Kavanaugh and Ford testified before the Judiciary Committee.

Roche writes he does not know if Kavanaugh attacked Ford in high school or exposed himself to Ramirez in college, "But I can say that he lied under oath."

In Roche's appearance on "Anderson Cooper 360," he said he was "shocked" when he heard Kavanaugh say "boofing" meant flatulence and "Devil's Triangle" was a drinking game, "because those words were commonly used and they were references to sexual activities. ... I heard them talking about it regularly. I think that contributed to some of my feelings about the fact that these guys treated women in a way that I didn't like."

"We were in a room together -- our beds were 10 feet apart for a couple of months," Roche told Cooper. "And what struck me and made me more interested in speaking out about it is not only did I know that he wasn't telling, you know, the truth, I knew that he knew that he wasn't telling the truth."

Roche told CNN his memory of Kavanaugh is that "he was on the far edge of this -- he was notably heavier in his drinking than other people."

He told Cooper he had gone back and forth on whether to speak out -- "there is very little upside for me and there is considerable downside for me" -- but that "at the end of the day it feels like there are not enough people who are willing and can credibly say" they know Ramirez "and she didn't lie and wouldn't lie. ... And so it felt to me like somebody had to get up and speak for her."

In the Slate op-ed, Roche notes he was raised in a Republican family -- his mother was a Republican state representative in Connecticut and "my father owns a MAGA hat."

"This is not about drinking too much or even encouraging others to drink," Roche writes. "It is not about using coarse language or even about the gray area between testing sexual boundaries with a date and sexual abuse. This is about denial. This is about not facing consequences. This is about lying."

"I was not a choirboy, but—unlike Brett—I'm not going on national television and testifying under oath that I was," Roche continued.

"In Brett's cases, if he is innocent, he should be cleared," Roche writes in the Slate op-ed. "If he is not and he is being untruthful to the nation, that should disqualify him from sitting on the highest court in the land. This just seems fair."

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