A senior Republican aide tasked with helping craft the Senate Judiciary Committee’s media response to attempted rape allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been forced to resign amid reports that he was fired from an earlier job over sexual harassment allegations.
NBC News reported on Saturday that Garrett Ventry, 29, stepped down from his positions on the Judiciary Committee and at a public relations company after the broadcaster inquired about his employment history and the circumstance of his firing.
“While (Ventry) strongly denies allegations of wrongdoing, he decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee,” committee spokesman Taylor Foy told NBC in a statement.
The NBC report said Republicans working to get the Supreme Court nomination of the embattled Judge Kavanaugh across the finish line worried that controversy over Ventry’s background would only hamper their efforts.
Ventry’s departure comes as the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee negotiates with the Ford’s over her appearing before the panel next week. Republicans are trying to get Kavanaugh confirmed to his lifelong Supreme Court position ahead of November’s midterm elections.
That effort has been temporarily derailed, however, by the sexual assault allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, who has been given an arbitrary deadline of 2:30 p.m. Saturday to tell committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) whether she plans to appear before the panel. Ford alleges that Kavanaugh attempted rape her at a party both attended when they were teenagers.
NBC wrote that Ventry worked as a social media adviser in 2017 in the office of North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell (R), who fired him after several months, after allegations of sexual assault and résumé embellishment. “Mr. Ventry did work in my office and he’s no longer there, he moved on,” Bell told NBC, refusing to disclose the reason for the dismissal.
For his part, Ventry did not answer questions about the circumstances of his departure, telling NBC “I deny allegations of misconduct.”
NBC said it has attempted to contact the woman whom Ventry allegedly harassed, but she has not replied.