Kavanaugh confirmation imperiled: Darcy cartoon
Kavanaugh confirmation imperiled: Darcy cartoon
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The seemingly inevitable confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh is now imperiled as Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are set to testify in a public hearing about her sexual assault claim.
Dr. Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old Palo Alto University professor, claims a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a summer party in the early 1980′s when they were in high school.
At the time of the alleged incident, Blasey was a 15-year-old student at the all-girl Holton-Arms school. Kavanaugh was a 17-year-old student at the all-boy Georgetown Prep.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said after the allegation was first made public.
Kavanaugh issued a new denial Monday morning as Blasey Ford’s lawyer said her client was willing to testify in a hearing.
“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone. Because this has never happened. I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I’m willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
Kavanaugh also told Sen. Orrin Hatch he wasn’t even at the party where the alleged sexual assault and attempted rape occurred.
Sixty five women who have known Kavanaugh in high school, college and his professional and personal life, signed a letter vouching for his character.
Alumni of Dr. Blasey Ford’s high school have also come out in support of her.
The allegation and Monday hearing recall the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas allegations and hearings, but there are some significant differences between both the Hill and Me Too allegations, and the Kavanaugh case.
Professor Anita Hill had accused then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Thomas of prolonged sexual harassment when both were adult, working professionals.
The high-profile Me Too cases involved multiple women accusing a single predator, like Harvey Weinstein, of sexual harassment and assault.
So far, Kavanaugh has a single accuser making a 36-year-old claim against a “stumbling drunk” 17-year-old.
Democrats, who are doubling-down on their efforts to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation following the allegation, nominated,elected and defended Bill Clinton, despite credible accounts of Clinton’s sexual misconduct as an adult elected official, from multiple women.
Restrained Trump open to hearing.
An uncharacteristically presidential and restrained President Trump signaled he was okay with a delay for a hearing on the accusation.
“I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner, but with all that being said, we want to go through the process...and hear everybody out. If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay.”
Dr. Blasey Ford had first sent a letter to her Congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo, detailing the allegation, back in July. The letter made its way to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, also in July. Feinstein eventually passed the letter to the FBI.
The delay in Rep. Eshoo and Sen. Feinstein making the allegation known to their fellow members of Congress and the public, opened the Democrats to charges of playing politics, which in turn, led some to question the veracity and true motivations of the claim.
Dr. Blasey Ford took and passed a lie detector test conducted by a retired FBI agent, knowing her credibility would be questioned, said her lawyer Debra Katz, who she hired, anticipating her name would become public. A therapist also has notes of Blasey Ford recounting the incident.
You can expect Democrats will ask Kavanaugh if he too is willing to take a lie detector test.
Anita Hill’s allegations of repeated sexual harassment from Clarence Thomas didn’t prevent his confirmation, but this isn’t 1991.
Senators who had sat on the committee that questioned Hill, like Joe Biden, have since apologized and expressed regret with how she was treated.
The White House seems well aware that this is the post Anita Hill, Me Too era and are handling the Kavanaugh development accordingly.
If it wasn’t for the approaching midterms, The White House might have already withdrawn the Kavanaugh nomination. But they will continue to push for his confirmation as gingerly as they can, because Trump voters elected him to reshape the court, and this may be their last best chance to get a true conservative added if Democrats regain control of the House and even the Senate.
You would have had to been in the room at the party to know for certain if Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh are telling the truth. But it is certain that Republicans want to rush through the Kavanaugh confirmation and Democrats want to delay and stop it by any means possible.
Democrats even want the Monday hearing delayed for a full FBI investigation of the allegation. Yet a Department of Justice spokesperson said the claim “does not involve any potential federal crime.”
It is only just that the Senate Judicial Committee conducts a hearing on the allegation from Dr. Baily Ford to judge the credibility of her claim and Kavanaugh’s denial, as best they can.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation may come down to the vote of Republican Susan Collins, who said Monday, “Obviously if Judge Kavanaugh has lied about what happened, that would be disqualifying.”