Indignant though he was, unequivocal though his denials were, there were big gaps in Brett Kavanaugh’s story as told to the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
The core question is not whether he forcefully asserts that he never assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, but whether that assertion is believable in light of other evidence and her compelling, detailed, nothing-to-gain account.
He did not, would not explain the extent of his high-school drunkenness, and whether he may at times have been so inebriated, he did things he later forgot, which is consistent with the picture painted by many others. Rather, he transparently dodged such questions, turning them into semantic debates about whether he was ever “blacked out” — even at one point defensively turning the question back on Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
He did not, would not endorse a reopening of an FBI investigation into the facts of Ford’s claims, even though that could easily be conducted within a week, and the results returned to the Senate in time for a vote. That refusal speaks volumes.
He did not, would not assent to the questioning under oath of then-close friend Mark Judge, who was allegedly in the room at the time of the assault. In committee vote Friday morning, Republican senators refused to subpoena Judge — even though his testimony could shine decisive light on the matter at hand. Ford says she saw Judge working at Safeway six to eight weeks after the attack; that timeline is validated by his autobiographical novel in which he speaks of a frequently drunk “Bart O’Kavanaugh.”
Nor was Kavanaugh properly pressed on a question that screams from the very calendar he volunteered from the summer of 1982: that on July 1, he went to “Timmy’s for Skis w/ Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie and Squi.”
Skis means brewskis, or beers. Squi refers to a young man named Chris Garrett, who Ford was going out with over that same summer. Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth, two other names mentioned, are also in Ford’s story.
It beggars belief that a sane, smart woman without ulterior motives would fabricate a gathering with a collection of people who happened to be in each other’s orbit that summer.
Kavanaugh may be a good man, good father and accomplished judge, but his statements and omissions don’t add up.
Despite serious disagreements with his judicial philosophy, last year we supported Neil Gorsuch — and took serious heat from liberals, still miffed about how terribly Merrick Garland was wronged, for doing so — on the ground that he was an accomplished, honest judge.
Kavanaugh is different. His evasions on Thursday, plus partisan games played with thousands of still-concealed documents, plus other evidence he misled the committee under oath — about his role in accessing stolen documents, about his knowledge of warrantless wiretapping and other matters — create character questions more than sufficient to block the judge’s ascent to a seat on the nation’s highest court.