Mark Judge, the high school friend of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, wrote in a letter Thursday that he does “not recall the events” described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes,” he wrote.
Judge directed the letter, “under penalty of felony,” to Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Diane Feinstein, through his attorney Barbara Van Gelder.
“I did not ask to be involved in this matter nor did anyone ask me to be involved,” the letter said, and referred to his previous letter sent on Sept. 18.
The letter was released hours before members of the Judiciary Committee were set to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. The actual vote is expected at about 10:30 a.m. ET. A successful committee vote is not essential to send a nomination to the floor.
Judge’s letter told the committee that he does not want to comment about the events publicly.
“As a recovering alcoholic and a cancer survivor, I have struggled with depression and anxiety,” his letter said. “As a result, I avoid public speaking.”
Van Gelder told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Judge needs to avoid the spotlight for his health.
“I told him to leave town. He is being hounded. He is a recovering alcoholic and is under unbelievable stress,” Judge’s attorney told the paper. “He needed for his own health to get out of this toxic environment and take care of himself.”
Judge also said in the letter that he and Kavanaugh were friends in high school but have not spoken directly in several years.
Ford claimed Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed during a party in Maryland, attempted to remove her clothes and put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. She said he and Judge had also turned the music up to a loud volume.
Ford claimed she was able to escape to a bathroom and then outside of the house when Judge jumped into the fray and sent everyone in the room “tumbling.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked Kavanaugh during the hearing if he was one of the characters, Bart O’Kavanaugh, in Judge’s book called “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” which was written in 1997. Kavanaugh said the book is a work of fiction and Leahy would “have to ask him [Judge].”
Judge has become an author, filmmaker and journalist who has written for conservative outlets including The Daily Caller and The Weekly Standard, according to reports.
Following the explosive and, at times, highly emotional day of testimony, all eyes turned to several key swing-vote senators who remained outwardly undecided on Kavanaugh’s fate late Thursday.
After the hearing, moderate Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowksi, R-Alaska, as well as Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., huddled to discuss the nomination, Fox News confirmed.
They talked for approximately 30 minutes before a GOP conference meeting Thursday evening ahead of Friday’s planned Judiciary Committee vote on whether to recommend Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate.
Fox News’ Gregg Re, Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.