Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation, saying in a statement: "I did not do this back in high school or at any time". "I did not do this back in high school or at any time", Kavanaugh said in the statement.
In 1991, Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her when she worked with him at the Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The FBI confirmed that it received the information Wednesday evening and included it in Kavanaugh's background file, which is maintained as part of his nomination. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.
"Senator Feinstein was given information about Judge Kavanaugh through a third party. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day", they said. The Senator took these allegations seriously and believed they should be public.
The swift pushback comes after the committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, notified federal investigators about information she received on the nominee.
A White House spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has vetted Kavanaugh "thoroughly and repeatedly" during his career in government and the judiciary.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, is pushing ahead with plans for a committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination next Thursday.
"Throughout his confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators-including with Senator Feinstein-sat through over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and additional questions in a confidential session".
Kavanaugh's nomination has divided the Senate, and the new information complicates the process, especially as key Republican senators, including Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are under enormous pressure from outside groups seeking to sway their votes on grounds that a Justice Kavanaugh might vote to undercut the Roe v. Wade ruling.
A full vote by the Senate is expected by the end of the month.