U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Now that we know who Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser is what does this mean for his confirmation to the Supreme Court?

If this is true, I believe it does disqualify Kavanaugh.

That is a big if and I need to wait for more evidence.

Yes, an accusation that is on the record is more credible than an anonymous one, but there are also other considerations. Aspects to Christine Blasey Ford’s story is more credible than others. 

For instance, her description of the event:

Ford said that on the night of the party, she left the family room to use the bathroom, which was at the top of a narrow stairway. She doesn’t remember whether Kavanaugh and Judge were behind her or already upstairs, but she remembers being pushed into a bedroom and then onto a bed. Rock-and-roll music was playing with the volume turned up high, she said.

She alleges that Kavanaugh — who played football and basketball at Georgetown Prep — held her down with the weight of his body and fumbled with her clothes, seemingly hindered by his intoxication. Judge stood across the room, she said, and both boys were laughing “maniacally.” She said she yelled, hoping that someone downstairs would hear her over the music, and Kavanaugh clapped his hand over her mouth to silence her.

At one point, she said, Judge jumped on top of them, and she tried unsuccessfully to wriggle free. Then Judge jumped on them again, toppling them, and she broke away, she said.

She said she locked herself in the bathroom and listened until she heard the boys “going down the stairs, hitting the walls.” She said that after five or 10 minutes, she unlocked the door and made her way through the living room and outside. She isn’t sure how she got home.

Both Kavanaugh and his friend who is named, Mark Judge, denied the allegation, but they were both, according to Ford, “stumbling drunk.” It’s entirely possible that, from their perspectives, all three are telling the truth. Someone being so drunk one stumbles would also have impaired memory. 

Also, reading this account, it’s measured. If Ford is lying why not say Kavanaugh raped her? Why include a witness who would likely deny it? 

Then again, that could be a calculation as well, but unless either recants we won’t know for sure. That said, none of this is proof.

She also passed a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent, Emma Brown of The Washington Post reports. While that does not hurt her story, it is also not definitive proof either. There is a reason that polygraph results are inadmissible in court, they are unreliable.

Ford, by her admission, did not tell anyone about this alleged event until 2012 when she was in couples therapy, approximately 30 years later. With other allegations we have seen, the accuser told others shortly afterward. 

Her recollection differs from the therapist’s notes. The therapist’s notes provided to The Washington Post notes four boys in the room. Ford says there were only two and that it was an error by her therapist (who at this time is nameless). The therapist’s notes do not mention Kavanaugh, but instead states, “’from an elitist boys’ school’ who went on to become ‘highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.’” 

Ford’s husband told the Post that she named Kavanaugh in the session. However, written records carry more weight than someone’s six-year-old recollection. 

Also, while this does not prove a fabrication, her background as a liberal college professor who donates to Democrat candidates does not exactly lend additional credibility especially in light of how contentious this nomination has been.

What we have is a classic he said/she said situation. (Well, in this case, a he said/he said/she said situation.)

No corroborating evidence has been provided. Ford was unable to discuss the exact date or location, all we know was that it was somewhere in Montgomery County, MD during (possibly) the Summer of 1982. She provided the Post the names of the other two boys in the house, but they have not responded. 

65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school, signed a letter in his defense. He has glowing statements of support from his female law clerks. This kind of behavior generally never occurs just once.

Whether this accusation is true or not it is abundantly clear that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has played politics with this. She had this letter in July. Feinstein could have provided that information to the Trump Administration before Kavanaugh was nominated. She could have questioned Kavanaugh about it during the confirmation hearing. She didn’t. Instead, they are trying to delay a vote.

Democrats want to delay the vote and investigate this matter further. That seems pointless since it is a 36-year-old accusation, besides, I have difficulty believing The Washington Post did not investigate further after receiving a tip from Ford in July. I also have trouble believing Feinstein did not look into this further. She did not have any problem leaking the letter after the confirmation hearing, why did she hold back initially? To protect her identity? Please, then her office would not have leaked it. I’m not convinced there is anything beyond one he said/she said scenario.

Also, he has undergone six FBI background checks, nothing, nada, zip.

Democrats, I’m sure, hope to use this to help drive voters, especially women, to the polls in November. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he plans to go forward with the vote this week.

And they should especially with the lack of any additional evidence. Let the chips fall where they may. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he is confirmed. Feinstein did Senate Democrats and Ford a disservice by withholding this information until such a late date. But, as I said earlier, that was intentional likely because there is nothing else there. If he is not confirmed, then President Trump will have an opportunity to appoint someone else. I think he’d avoid this type of problem with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The goal is to confirm a textualist to the Court whether that is Kavanaugh or someone else.

Update: Robert Costa tweeted statements from two women who dated Kavanaugh. This does not bolster Ford’s claim.

2nd Update: I need to check my inbox while writing. Grassley is offering a public hearing with Ford on Monday, September 24th at 10:00a (ET). So the committee will not vote this week. I don’t think a short delay hurts, but they shouldn’t allow an open-ended one.

“As I said earlier, anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard. My staff has reached out to Dr. Ford to hear her account, and they held a follow-up call with Judge Kavanaugh this afternoon. Unfortunately, committee Democrats have refused to join us in this effort.  However, to provide ample transparency, we will hold a public hearing Monday to give these recent allegations a full airing,” Grassley said.

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