GOP aide for Brett Kavanaugh nomination resigns amid sexual harassment claims

Kevin Breuninger
The contentious vote on President Donald Trump's nominee is expected the day after a much-anticipated hearing in which a woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault is expected to testify to lawmakers.

A communications adviser working for the Republican majority on Senate Judiciary Committee's nomination of Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh has resigned in the wake of a previous sexual harassment allegation that was uncovered, NBC News reported Saturday.

NBC, citing sources familiar with the situation, reported that 29-year-old Garrett Ventry, was fired in 2017 from his prior job for North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell after just several months. According to the report, "parts of his resume were found to have been embellished, and because he faced an accusation of sexual harassment from a female employee" of the state general assembly's staff.

In a statement to NBC, Ventry denied the allegation of misconduct. However, a spokeswoman for Senate Judiciary Committee GOP Chairman Chuck Grassley told NBC that while Ventry "strongly denies allegations of wrongdoing, he decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee."

However, Republicans close to the situation told NBC that Ventry couldn't be an effective spokesperson for Kavanaugh's nomination, given his own history.

Ventry resignation comes as Kavanaugh, 53, pushes back against an allegation of sexual assault lodged by California professor Christine Blasey Ford , 51, that she claims occurred when they were both teenagers.

Grassley's office has been locked in a standoff with Ford's lawyers over the scheduling and conditions of a possible hearing about Ford's accusations against Kavanaugh.

Ford, in a letter requesting anonymity that was obtained by the Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein in late July, alleged that an intoxicated Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed, covered her mouth with his hand and tried to take her clothes off during a gathering in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump 's second pick nominee to sit on the bench of the high court, categorically denies the allegation and has vowed to testify under oath next week.