A petition that was started just a few days ago by two alumni of Brett Kavanaugh’s high school to encourage other graduates to come forward with information about any sexual assaults he committed there has picked up 96 signatures, the petition organizers announced late Tuesday night. The petition, which states that “our silence will serve no one,” describes its signers from the all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School as “standing in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and in solidarity with women everywhere who have endured sexual assault, violence, and harassment.”
“We are alumni of Georgetown Prep standing in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and in solidarity with women everywhere who have endured sexual assault, violence, and harassment.”
Two members of Georgetown Prep’s Class of 1986, Fikri Yucel and Bill Barbot, launched the petition on Saturday. Neither Yucel nor Barbot knew Kavanaugh back then — they were several years behind his Class of 1983 — but after watching the dramatic Senate testimony of both Ford and the Supreme Court nominee last week, they came to believe that Ford was telling the truth. “We believe her,” their petition states. It adds, “Whether it is knowledge of specific events in these allegations, or just background to those events, please do not remain silent, even if speaking out comes at some personal cost.”
The petition, which is posted on Medium, now has 51 named signers, 18 signers who confirmed their support and identities but “have asked to have their names withheld for professional or personal reasons,” according to the petition. An additional 27 Prep alumni submitted their names but are not yet sure whether they want to have their signatures go public. That makes 96, plus the two originators of the petition, which in just a few days has reached more than half the number of alumni who signed a widely circulated letter of support for Kavanaugh on July 9, when his nomination was unveiled.
The rapid emergence of the anti-Kavanaugh Georgetown Prep petition comes as a variety of voices and institutions that had supported the conservative jurist have withdrawn their support in the wake of several sexual assault allegations against him — particularly the one from Ford, who says Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to tear off her clothes as he put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams, and another accusation from Deborah Ramirez, who says that in the 1983-1984 academic year at Yale University, an inebriated Kavanaugh exposed himself and forced her to touch his penis against her will as she was trying to move away.
The American Bar Association withdrew its support for Kavanaugh, as has Yale Law School, which is Kavanaugh’s legal alma mater and had quickly and enthusiastically embraced him when his nomination was announced. Additionally, three former law clerks for Kavanaugh who previously supported him have pulled back, saying they are “deeply troubled” by the allegations against him. And a prominent conservative legal writer, Benjamin Wittes, published an article on Tuesday with the devastating headline, “I Know Brett Kavanaugh, but I Wouldn’t Confirm Him.”