I was not, and am not, a fan of Brett Kavanaugh. For all his lip service to the Constitution, for all that he appears to know about the Second Amendment, he apparently never noticed that mysterious gap between Amendment 3 and Amendment 5 in his personal copy of the Constitution.
In my view, Trump could have made a better pick.
But after watching yesterday’s hearing, I want Kavanaugh confirmed, if just for the excellent chance of seeing Feinstein stroke out.
Christine Blasey Ford
- Allegation, no evidence
- No corroborating witnesses
- Even with map in hand, she can’t locate the house where the attack occurred any better than it being”near” a country club
- In fact, witnesses she named contradict her account
In listening to Ford, I noted three distinct speech patterns. In most of her testimony, her voice displayed the normal nervousness of anyone being grilled by a bunch of senators on national television. When speaking to the physical aspects of her alleged attack, her voice showed signs of intense stress and fear, some quaver. When speaking about who the attacker(s) were, her voice shifted to a third mode: pitched higher, voice quieter, and very “creaky.”
That third mode sounded remarkably like my five year-old nephew when he attempts to lie about something.
Ford’s third mode was displayed several other times: When she was evading questions regarding who chose her counsel, who recommended the polygraph test, who recommended the polygraph examiner, who paid the examiner, how she got to the house in which the attack occurred, how she got home. Third mode was also in use when asked why she chose to approach WaPo, and what she gave their reporter.
I conclude that Ford may well have been victimized by someone, somewhere, sometime; but that she is lying about Kavanaugh’s participation. I believe she is lying about other details in which she used the third speech mode.
- “Witnesses” support his claim that he was never at such a gathering
- One witness, who would normally be considered friendly to Ford, doesn’t even think Ford knew Kavanaugh, and was never at a party with him
- Provided physical documentation to support his position that it would be almost impossible for him to have attended the described gathering
With a couple of exceptions, he answered questions promptly and directly. When pressed for certain details, such as what day something occurred, he paused to think in a manner that struck me as consistent with searching 30-something year-old memories. He was definitely evasive regarding his high school drinking habits.
Kavanaugh was also evasive when pressed to tell Trump to order an FBI investigation. In that, I happen to believe he was correct; it is not the role of the accused to demand an investigation of something that he believes never happened. Procedurally, it is the role of the Senate to demand an investigation if deemed necessary.
I found Kavanaugh’s testimony regarding the specific alleged incident credible. As a former high schooler, and noting evasions, I suspect he drank more heavily than admitted back then; however, since it would have no bearing on the alleged — but unsubstantiated attack — it is not germane.
Democrat Committee Contingent
Sat on Ford’s allegation for weeks, through hearings and meetings without raising the issue until it was time to vote
- Ignored lack of evidence
- Constantly attempted to deflect attention from flaws in Ford’s story to Kavanaugh’s possible high school drinking at events having nothing to do with the alleged incident.
Credibility? None, zero, zip, nada; utter bullshit.
Republican Committee Contingent
Given my general disdain for Republicans, I was pleasantly surprised. Using a professional as a proxy to ask specific, fact-based questions was an excellent move.
Credibility? About as much as I’d ever be willing to allow Republicans. Certainly higher, in this case, than Ford or the Democrat committee members.
The Democrats’ call for an FBI investigation is a stall, and political grandstanding. They could call for a repeat background check into the Ford allegation; they haven’t. They know the FBI is wrong agency for a criminal investigation due to lack of jurisdiction.
The right agency for a criminal investigation is Maryland law enforcement. There is no statute of limitations for felony sexual assault in Maryland. Nor for attempted murder/manslaughter, as Ford has alleged (“I feared he may inadvertently kill me”).
Ford can and — if she really believes Kavanaugh did this — should file a formal report with Maryland authorities so they can open a criminal investigation. Any claim that she won’t, to protect her privacy and avoid public attention, went out the window when she voluntarily outed herself to the press.
If Kavanaugh were the subject of an active criminal investigation of serious crimes, I think Trump would have withdrawn his nomination, even if Kavanaugh did not withdraw himself. Certainly the Senate wouldn’t confirm.
So why isn’t there a Maryland criminal investigation?
Feinstein sat on this allegation for a month and a half. A month and a half during which she could have referred it the FBI, or told Ford to go to Maryland authorities. A month and a half in which she could have hired a discreet private investigator, for that matter.
She didn’t. Why not?
If McConnell and Grassley had balls, Feinstein would be under investigation, and facing serious sanctions. Someone leaked the Ford allegations to the press.
Ford was still asking for anonymity. Why would she leak it?
Feinstein benefitted from this stalling the vote. Is that enough reason to leak it?
Who could have leaked it? According to testimony, Ford, Eshoo*, and Feinstein* were the only ones who had access to Ford’s letter to Feinstein. Feinstein claimed yesterday that the press only had the story, not the letter. That is blatantly false: CNN published it on September 16, 2018.
When asked if she or her staff was the source of the leak, Feinstein said only that she didn’t do it. When pressed on if she or her staff was the source, Feinstein evaded, saying that she didn’t think her staff would do something like that. They have before.
Despite Feinstein’s suggestion that one of Ford’s beach friends could have leaked the story, someone had the letter to give to CNN. Ford, Eshoo, or Feinstein. Who seems mostly likely to have both letter and motive?
So long as sanctions are in play, it’s time for Senate leadership to do something about Senator Spartacus T. Bone, who claims to have violated Senate rules (and is a self-admitted sex offender, by current Democrat anti-Kavanaugh standards).
Durbin should be sanctioned as well, but if the confirmation goes through, he’ll probably blow a gasket simultaneously with Feinstein.
* In this matter of leaks, I include their staffs.