Unfortunately, I have to spend another evening writing about last week’s Supreme Court shoo-in and this week’s accused pussy grabber, Brett Kavanaugh.
On Monday evening, I wrote about why Republicans should probably abandon Kavanaugh’s nomination following news that the Senate Judiciary Committee will delay a vote on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee in order to hold a public hearing next week featuring both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford, a California-based research psychologist who teaches at Palo Alto University and trains graduate students in clinical psychology, claims Kavanaugh assaulted her in the presence of another man, Mark Judge, when the two were high school students.
Judge, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Preparatory School, has since written voluminously about his high school days and in a 1997 memoir, he talks about a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” who had a penchant for vomiting in vehicles and passing out drunk. You can read more about Mark and his musings here.
The reference to “Bart O’Kavanaugh” is obviously not great from an optics perspective and neither is this clip which surfaced on Tuesday:
Got that? “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep”, and “that’s been a good thing” for everyone who ever attended the institution.
The problem for Bret (or “Bart”), is that in the case of Christine Blasey Ford, what allegedly happened during Kavanaugh’s prep school days didn’t stay locked away in the sordid past.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge insisted that he doesn’t want to speak publicly about this situation. The letter, sent via his lawyer, says he has “no memory of this alleged incident”, a contention that, based on his extensive accounts of heavy drinking, may actually be some semblance of true.
Well, on Tuesday evening, things took a decisive turn for the worst for Kavanaugh, when Ford, through her own attorneys (plural), demanded an FBI investigation prior to her testimony. Here’s what her lawyers said in a letter to lawmakers:
A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions.
Cur Mr. Bill…
The letter also claims Ford has received death threats since going public. To wit:
In the 36 hours since her name became public, Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online.
Suffice to say Republicans are keen on pushing things forward anyway and Democrats are just as keen (if not more so) on stalling the nomination in lieu of the FBI probe that Ford wants prior to agreeing to speak publicly.
The GOP accuses Dianne Feinstein of waiting too long to raise this issue, while Feinstein is now basically calling the whole thing a sham.
While Kavanaugh has a letter signed by 65 women who knew him in high school and are apparently prepared to testify (figuratively) to his impeccable character, Ford now has her own letter signed by 600 high school classmates who say they believe her account of the alleged incident and support her decision to come forward. One of those classmates is none other than Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
I was class of ‘79 & signed this letter. https://t.co/5ssttu9uzT
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) September 17, 2018
It’s going to be hard to out-celebrity that endorsement, now isn’t it?
Meanwhile, the White House is scrambling around trying to prepare Kavanaugh for what could easily devolve into a spectacle for the ages. Here’s the Washington Post’s account:
White House officials engaged in a two-hour practice session, known as a murder board, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Kavanaugh, where he answered questions on his past, his partying, his dating and the accuser’s account. Participants included McGahn, deputy chief of staff Bill Shine, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Raj Shah, who is leading communications.
I guess they figure if Brett can survive a grilling from Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her infamous side-eye, he can survive anything.
Among the many risks here for Republicans is the possibility that something goes wrong and Kavanaugh comes across as untruthful or worse, that lawmakers end up being too hard on his accuser, potentially setting the stage for a backlash from women voters ahead of the midterms.
Of course all of that assumes Ford even attends the hearing at all pending the FBI investigation she’s now demanding.
I think it goes without saying that even if Republicans manage to cram “Bart” through, this nomination will live in infamy, potentially undermining Kavanaugh’s credibility and, worse, the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
This is truly a train wreck befitting of a Donald Trump SCOTUS nominee.
Full letter from Ford’s lawyers