Chad Ludington is a former classmate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He has accused Kavanaugh of lying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his drinking habits while a student at Yale University.
Ludington told the New York Times that he would share his memories of Kavanaugh with the FBI.
Heavy has reached out to Chad Ludington as well as faculty members at North Carolina State University, where he is a professor, for additional comment. A member of the university’s communications staff described the situation as a “personal matter not involving the university.”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Chad Ludington Accuses Kavanaugh of Lying to Congress & Claims Kavanaugh Often Became ‘Belligerent & Aggressive’ While Drinking
During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, Kavanaugh was asked if he had ever blacked out from drinking. He responded that he had not. His former Yale classmate Chad Ludington claims this was a lie.
Ludington told the New York Times that he and Kavanaugh saw each other often in social settings while in college, especially during their freshman and sophomore years. He said they used to drink together and described Kavanaugh as someone who often became “belligerent and aggressive” when he had had too much alcohol. Ludington claimed that Kavanaugh had downplayed how often and how much he drank while in college. Ludington says it was common to see Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption.”
Ludington explained why he chose to come forward: “I do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18- or even 21-year-old should condemn a person for the rest of his life. I would be a hypocrite to think so… If he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences. It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges.”
Ludington also reached out to the Washington Post about Kavanaugh’s drinking. He described a situation in September 1985 in which he said Kavanaugh started a physical fight. “On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.” According to the New Haven Police report, a man identified as Dom Cozzolino accused Kavanaugh of throwing ice at him during the exchange, rather than beer. No charges were filed.
Ludington was not the first person to claim that Kavanaugh had lied about his past drinking habits. Former classmates Lynne Brookes and Elizabeth Swisher have both described Kavanaugh as being an excessive drinker in college. Swisher told the Washington Post, “I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling.”
2. Ludington Reached Out to the FBI About Sharing Details About His Memories of Kavanaugh
On September 28, the Judiciary Committee approved Judge Kavanaugh and the confirmation battle now moves to the full Senate. But Republican Senator Jeff Flake called for the FBI to reopen their investigation before a final vote could be cast on the floor of the Senate. The FBI’s new probe was scheduled to last one week, but it wrapped up sooner than that, on October 3.
The FBI initially interviewed four people in the probe. Three of them were allegedly at the high school party with Christine Blasey Ford: Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth and Leland Keyser. The FBI also interviewed Deborah Ramirez, who accused Brett Kavanaugh of putting his penis in her face during a party their freshman year of college.
The FBI interviewed five additional people before finishing the investigation. Those names were not revealed publicly. Chad Ludington said he wanted to add his statements to the record. He told the New York Times that the Washington, D.C. FBI office instructed him to contact the bureau in Raleigh, North Carolina about submitting a statement. Ludington said he did so on Monday, October 1.
3. Ludington Played Varsity Basketball at Yale & Says Brett Kavanaugh Enjoyed Socializing With Athletes; Meanwhile, Former Teammate Chris Dudley Refutes Ludington’s Account
Chad Ludington played basketball for Yale between 1983 and 1987. According to a summary of his stats, the 6’8″ Ludington played in 62 games during his college career. His sophomore season appears to have been his most successful.
In a statement to the New York Times, Ludington said he knew Brett Kavanaugh at college because “Brett enjoyed socializing with athletes. Indeed, athletes formed the core of Brett’s social circle.”
One of Ludington’s teammates at Yale was former NBA player Chris Dudley. Dudley has refuted Ludington’s account about Kavanaugh’s drinking habits. He has claimed that he “never, ever saw Brett Kavanaugh black out” due to having too much alcohol. Dudley added that he “never, ever saw him act inappropriately toward any woman in the 35 years that I’ve known him.” You can read more about Dudley and what he has had to say about Kavanaugh here.
For more information on Ludington’s background after leaving college: he briefly played professional basketball in Europe. He was on a team in Paris for one year, before being traded to Spain. But in a 2015 interview, Ludington explained that his chief desire was to move back to Paris. “I decided I wanted to stay around in Paris because I loved [it] so much.”
He ended up doing some personal traveling. After visiting friends in China, Ludington briefly moved back to the United States and worked as a chef in Connecticut. Next, he had an opportunity to return to Europe to do research on a family’s ancestry. It was during that time period that he was able to live in Paris again. Soon after that, he went back to school to get his master’s degree from Columbia.
4. New York Times Reported That Ludington Made Small Political Donations to Democrats, but Have Since Removed That Line From Their Report
The New York Times initially reported that Ludington had contributed small amounts to Democratic candidates in the past. But that information has since been removed.
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan organization that tracks money in politics, especially campaign contributions. But a search for Charles or Chad Ludington does not reveal the man who is accusing Kavanaugh of lying. According to his employer, Ludington’s middle name is Cameron.
A search for “Charles Ludington” reveals six monetary gifts to three separate Democratic candidates by Charles Townsend Ludington from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Chad Ludington’s father. The elder Ludington also attended Yale, and taught English literature and American studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
A search of the Federal Election Commission database reveals the same information: contributions by Charles Townsend Ludington to political campaigns, but none from Chad.
5. Ludington is a Professor at North Carolina State University
Dr. Charles Cameron Ludington is an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University. He has been teaching there since 2004.
According to his bio on the university’s website, Ludington specializes in northern European history. He has taught Early Modern and Modern British history, European history, European intellectual history, and food history. His awards include Lecturer of the Year in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Ludington also spent time in Ireland as a Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow at University College Cork, and in France at the Universite de Bordeaux-Michel Montaigne.
Ludington earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale in 1987. According to his LinkedIn page, he became a Doctor of Philosophy and History in 2003. He obtained his doctorate from Columbia University.
Chad Ludington has penned three books. The first was published in 2013, called The Politics of Wine in Britain: A New Cultural History. The cover of the book is the profile image on Ludington’s LinkedIn page.
Ludington’s second book was published in 2016. A Long Shadow: The Story of an Ulster-Irish Family describes the Protestant Reformation in Europe from the viewpoint of one family.
He has a third book that is soon to be released. He has been working on Food Fights: How the Past Matters in Contemporary Food Debates alongside editor Matthew Booker, a fellow associate professor at North Carolina State University.
His university bio also lists several historical research essays published in various journals.
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