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Senate Judiciary Committee adviser working on Kavanaugh nomination resigns

Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser to the Senate Judiciary Committee's GOP majority who had been worki...

Posted: Sep 23, 2018 9:24 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2018 9:24 PM

Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser to the Senate Judiciary Committee's GOP majority who had been working on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, resigned on Friday prior to the publication of a report about a past sexual harassment allegation against him. )

Ventry denied the allegation, which was made while he worked in a previous job, but told CNN, "I don't want to be a distraction." )

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Kavanaugh is facing an allegation from a California professor, Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually and physically assaulting her at a party more than three decades ago when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh has denied being at the party and the allegation of sexually and physically assaulting Ford. )

Ventry's resignation came just before NBC News reported on Saturday that Ventry, who had previously worked as a social media adviser in the office of North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell, had been fired from his job in 2017 after facing an accusation of sexual harassment from a female employee of the North Carolina General Assembly and for allegedly embellishing parts of his resume. )

CNN has not independently confirmed the allegation. )

Bell could not be reached immediately by CNN for comment. The North Carolina lawmaker would not discuss the details of the firing with NBC News, but told the news organization: "Mr. Ventry did work in my office and he's no longer there, he moved on." )

A Judiciary Committee spokesman told CNN: "Garrett was one of several temporary staff brought on to assist in the committee's consideration of the Supreme Court nomination, a team that has done outstanding work. While he strongly denies allegations of wrongdoing, he decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee." )

While working for the committee, Ventry was employed by but on leave from CRC Public Relations, a conservative communications firm that has been pushing Kavanaugh's nomination. )

"Garrett was on a leave of absence," a CRC spokesman told CNN. "We were not aware of these allegations, which he denies. As of this morning we have accepted his resignation." )

Politico has reported that CRC was working with GOP activist Ed Whelan, who posted a theory on Twitter on Thursday that a different Georgetown Preparatory School student might have been behind the alleged sexual assault on Ford. Whelan apologized for the post on Friday, saying in a Twitter post, "I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep classmate." )

In a tweet, Ventry told reporters asking about Whelan's social media post, "The Senate Judiciary Committee had no knowledge or involvement." )

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