WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has denied allegations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford. Ford wrote a letter accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when the two were high-school students.

The accusations first surfaced last week, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announced she was in possession of the letter but would not release the name of the accuser due to privacy concerns. Ford came forward in a Sept. 16 interview with The Washington Post.

Feinstein had been in possession of the letter since July, but did not question Kavanaugh about its contents before or during his appearances before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, the senator forwarded the letter to the FBI late last week. The FBI have said it will not be investigating the matter.

Ford alleges that when she was in high school, a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh pinned her down in a bedroom at a house party, groped her over her clothing and attempted to remove her clothes. She says that Kavanaugh covered her mouth when she attempted to cry out. The encounter ended when another man, named as Mike Judge, jumped on the two of them, and she was able to leave the bedroom.

Ford says she was afraid Kavanaugh could have accidentally killed her.

Judge has said the incident never happened.

Kavanaugh has also denied the allegations, both before and after Ford came forward publicly. On Sept. 17, Kavanaugh released a statement in which he called it a “completely false allegation” and that he had “never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone.”

“Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday,” he said.

Kavanaugh also said that he is willing to defend himself in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee “in any way the committee deems appropriate.”

On Monday afternoon, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, tweeted that she believed both Kavanaugh and Ford should testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Collins is considered to be a potential swing vote in the Senate and has not yet said if she intends to support Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently scheduled to vote Sept. 20 on whether to recommend Kavanaugh for confirmation to the Supreme Court. If the majority-Republican committee votes in Kavanaugh’s favor, his nomination will then be put to a vote of the whole Senate.

If either President Trump or Kavanaugh himself were to withdraw his nomination, it is unlikely that a new nominee would be confirmed before November’s midterm elections.

The next session of the Supreme Court opens Oct. 1.