The Indelible Stain on Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Everyone in the country has heard about the donnybrook engulfing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the United States Supreme Court, with another hearing on his job interview to the Supreme Court just around the corner later this week. Perhaps we have all had enough of a headache watching the back and forth, he said-she said, rush to judgment antics of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) not wishing to hear from anyone but Kavanaugh and accuser Dr. Christine Ford. We now see ourselves in the throes of an all-out media blitzkrieg, including TV ads slamming those that oppose his nomination, which goes all the way back to the supposed reason why Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) did not bring forth publicly Dr. Ford’s claims sooner than she did. Words from President Trump effusively praise Judge Kavanaugh, lamenting the horrible time his family has been put through without mentioning the torment of Dr. Ford and her family. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, days before the next committee hearing this week, that Judge Kavanaugh will become the next justice of the Supreme Court. Even an on-air interview with Kavanaugh and his wife the other evening on Trump TV (my nickname for FOX News), wherein Kavanaugh states he has never sexually assaulted any women. The eleven white Republican men on the committee don’t even want to examine the witnesses, preferring to hire an attorney with a sex crimes background to do their bidding. All these participants are trying much too hard, but we know there is a reason for doing this: as with the likes of Trump denying what he did to his women accusers, a Harvey Weinstein, a Charlie Rose, a Bill Cosby, a Les Moonves and their ilk, there is a strong maybe that Kavanaugh could be joining this company in the days to come. Beside the Ford claims, there are multiple reasons for leading to this conclusion.
Another female accuser, Deborah Ramirez, came forward from Kavanaugh’s undergraduate days at Yale University, alleging the Supreme Court nominee exposed himself to her at a social gathering. There is also whispers of a third woman in Montgomery County, Maryland. Even Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing porn performer Stormy Daniels, tells us he has a new client that will wrap Kavanaugh and his Georgetown Prep buddy Mark Judge around each other. This past Monday on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Avenatti said in no uncertain terms that his client’s assertions will be disclosed within 48 hours as a victim and witness of Mr. Judge and Judge Kavanaugh’s school days. Avenatti is not known to bluff. He joins the chorus for an FBI investigation and that Mr. Judge come forth to testify before the Committee.
There have no doubt been countless articles written for, against, and about Kavanaugh’s situation. Pundits mouthing their words on cable and TV news programs clearly match these written words. Most said and written respectfully, some misleading, some filled with falsehoods and even lies, but all are trying to provide meaningful insights for their viewers and readership from differing perspectives. However, the American voter filters them with the prejudice, bias, political leanings and viewpoint use to digest the daily headlines. There is something so very basic as to be inescapable.
We want the truth, but we are told by the tribes surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination that we will be fed the truth by one of two ways:
- Self-promotion, like those TV ads telling us what a great human being Judge Kavanugh is and has always been, and what Trump, McConnell and others tell us (including the Judge himself with his wife beside him on TV)
- An independent investigation, like those of the FBI, that will ferret out unbiased facts that can be verified and presented to a decision-maker, like the Senate Judiciary Committee, before any hearing takes place
We know the latter, along with Republicans in the Senate chamber, only want to hear from Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh with no investigation proceeding and with no other witnesses; even Judge Kavanaugh does not want the FBI to do a basic background check here.
This raises another inescapable point. If any of us were innocent of an accusation, would we fear the results of an impartial investigating body known for its expertise to do that? As the Judge publicly asserts, if he was nowhere near the house party at which Dr. Ford alleges Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her, why not tell Republicans he wants the FBI to investigate rather than chest pounding as he and his supporters are doing? Dr. Ford wants one; she even identified Mr. Judge being present when she was assaulted, but he refuses to testify, saying in a letter through his lawyer that he does not have any memory of Kavanaugh committing the acts asserted by Ford. Of late, he says he will remain silent until the Kavanaugh nomination is over. More likely than not, Mr. Judge knows something he does not want to admit to publicly, and if he were to testify under oath before the Senate Committee but is found to be untruthful, he will have committed a criminal offense. As I wrote earlier this week for Smerconish.com, perhaps Mr. Judge is harboring facts that could tank his buddy during their high school days but is still willing to abide by the Georgetown Prep creed.
“What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep.”
So where does all this leave Judge Kavanaugh, before a political body and its finding justice in our country on our behalf? As the historic New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” That includes recalling how, under oath, Judge Kavanaugh said he was unaware of certain documents stolen from Senator Patrick Leahy’s office, but an email tells us otherwise. Similarly, the National Archives has yet to finish its review of Kavanaugh’s papers during his White House days under Bush.
Even though the Senate Committee hearing is scheduled for later this week, if it proceeds, many questions will still need answers. Assuming the worst for millions of women, and including men, should Kavanaugh be confirmed by the entire Senate to the Supreme Court, the allegations asserted against him will not vanish. This will not mirror the silence on behalf of Justice Thomas after Anita Hill testified in 1991 to his sexual harassment of her. Given the #MeToo movement and what it has created, the days of Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Justice will not foretell the days to come for Brett Kavanaugh. If nothing else, Kavanaugh has to know that, besides assertions against him that will linger for years and being nominated by Trump who himself has multiple claims of sexual misconduct against him, he will be indelibly stained by all that is Trump. Let’s be hopeful that justice prevails, for him, his accusers, and the American people who want to know the truth.