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The Kavanaugh Confirmation Process

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?  Well Capitol Hill is broken and it really needs fixing!  As a long-time Hill staffer, what we have seen these past few weeks is worse than anything I witnessed. The issue is the partisan confirmation process over Judge Kavanaugh to be an Associate Supreme Court Justice.

What went wrong? 

First, Dr. Ford lost the confidentiality she requested for her accusation. Her letter to Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) was leaked to the media by either her lawyers or a Congressional staffer.

Second, offers by the Senate Judiciary Committee to meet with her privately -- in Washington or by coming to her -- apparently weren’t shared with her by her attorneys. 

Third, Feinstein delayed sharing Dr. Ford’s letter with Judiciary Committee investigators for two months.  She didn’t even bring the issue up in her private meeting with Judge Kavanaugh.  Instead of confidentially sharing the accusation with the committee early on, she issued the accusation at the last minute.   

Fourth, when committee investigators met with possible witnesses, the Democratic staff refused to participate and at those few meetings they did attend they didn’t ask any questions.

Some have suggested these were a political move to delay the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.  The Hawaii’s Democratic Senator even went so far as to say the nomination should be put off until after the 2020 Presidential election.  In the meantime, some on the committee seemed willing to drag the reputation of Judge Kavanaugh through the mud. 

Dr. Ford’s attorneys even wanted to have the Judge testify first and then their client -- his accuser!  Whatever happened to being innocent until proved guilty?

Now let’s look at the accusation: 

Ford said there were four boys and a girl at the house where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh.  She named three of them.  When the committee investigators talked with these individuals all of them said they were unaware of the party and that they weren’t there.

Ford was fifteen at the time and didn’t drive.  She was unable to remember how she got from the country club to the party and from there to her home – a distance of about six miles.  Additionally she was unable to recount where the event happened or when it happened.

Does this mean she was not sexually assaulted? No, she might have been, but her claims offer no substantiation that Judge Kavanaugh was involved.  The Judge, under penalty of perjury, testified he never sexually assaulted anybody and he also provided calendar-diaries from those years showing where he was during the summer of 1982 and what he was doing.  He also testified that he was a virgin throughout his teenage years and in college.

In the meantime there were others who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misbehavior.  These have all been shown to be false, so much so that even the New York Times (which is not a friend of conservatives) refused to print the stories. 

Now an FBI investigation has been ordered which most likely will confirm what the committee investigators have already determined – that there isn’t corroborating evidence that the Judge did anything like he is being accused of. 

Instead of a continued partisanship we need to return to respecting each other and be able to disagree without being disagreeable. We should have learned this in kindergarten but perhaps some skipped that grade! 

  October 2, 2018
by Bill Sargent