GOP moves Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination one step closer, but FBI probe not out of the picture

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, and his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, hold hands as they arrive for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. | Associated Press photo by Carolyn Kaster, St. George News

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — After a flurry of last-minute negotiations, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which includes Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, voted along party lines Friday to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor.

The 11-10 vote Friday came just one day after Republicans heard testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, the deciding vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, had been on the fence about the vote but ultimately decided Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full floor vote. However, he said that the Senate vote on Kavanaugh should be delayed for up to a week to allow time for the investigation of Ford’s claims.

On Friday morning, Flake had announced that he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination. Shortly after, he was confronted in an elevator by two women who, through tears, implored him to change his mind.

After huddling privately with his colleagues when the time came for the vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Flake announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the FBI were to investigate the allegations against the Supreme Court nominee.

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Photo by Michael Reynolds/Pool Image via The Associated Press, St. George News

Democrats have been calling for such an investigation, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it’s unnecessary.

In testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford claimed she was locked in a bedroom as a 15-year-old by two drunk boys whom she identified as Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge. She said Kavanaugh groped her, tried to take off her clothes and covered her mouth to keep her from screaming.

Kavanaugh denied the accusation.

On Friday afternoon, the Offices of Sen. Hatch released the following statement regarding the events of the day:

While I personally believe it is appropriate to proceed with Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation at this time, I recognize that some members feel that additional investigation could be useful. I support the decision for an investigation limited in length and scope as described today. This will address the concerns raised by Senator Flake and others while also being fair to the Kavanaugh family.

President Donald Trump, who has accused the Democrats of obstruction and delay and has opposed the FBI probing the allegations against his nominee, says he’ll leave it to the Senate to determine when it will vote on his Supreme Court nominee, but he expressed optimism, saying: “I’m sure it will all be very good.”

Trump told reporters Friday during a meeting with the President of Chile that undecided Republican senators “have to do what they think is right” and “be comfortable with themselves” on the Kavanaugh vote.

But he said he hadn’t thought at all about a replacement, “Not even a little bit.”

Updated Sept. 28, 3:15 p.m., with statement from the Offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Written by The Associated Press.

St. George News contributed to this report.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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46 Comments

  • comments September 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Yeah, I listened to some of it. The clown kept talking about “calanders” and “drinkin’ beer”. Muh CALANDERS! Muh BEERS! On and on, with some fake tears thrown in with all his whining. If he was getting black out drunk at 15 I have no doubt he’s guilty of what he was accused of. But our beloved president has been going around grabbing p*****s for decades and no one has seemed to mind, so what’s the big deal, right?

  • Not_So_Much September 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    What a waste of FBI resources.

    • Chris September 28, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      So, you think it is a waste to try to determine if a lifetime appointment to the court might be going to a liar. Dr. Ford submitted to and passed a polygraph test regarding her accusations. Brett Kavanaugh did not and will not. That ought to be a good indicator of who is telling the truth.

      • Kilroywashere September 28, 2018 at 3:47 pm

        You learn in psychology 101 lie detector tests don’t work. That is why they are inadmissible in court. MI5/CIA tip of the day. Twist your big toe over 2nd toe until you feel pain. Keep holding during questioning. Lie detector tests work on people who think they work, then you challenge them verbally and they admit guilt hopefully. See post Jerry Springer TV knock off shows like Maury Povich… I watched too, and I think she is stretching the truth. Lots of micro expressions and other tells were kind of odd to me. But hey, I don’t want the local ME TOO movement to come down on me for questioning. 37+ years is a long time and memories change, even traumatic ones.

        • Chris September 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm

          Apparently, your psych 101 course was not very rigorous. Moreover, you contradict yourself by admitting that polygraphs do “work on people who think they work.” The reality is that the polygraph is very useful when utilized under carefully controlled conditions. That is why they are used universally for pre-employment screenings at the CIA, NSA, FBI and any police or fire department. In light of his previous posts in sensitive roles within the Bush administration, it is a certainty that Brett Kavanaugh has had polygraph examinations administered to him in the past. Regardless, you miss the point. It is the refusal to submit to the test that is significant in this case, rather than the test’s results. We already know that he lied by claiming that his alcohol consumption in high school was legal because the Maryland drinking age in the year he was a senior was 21. Kavanaugh is clearly hiding something and is fearful that it will be revealed. Any good poker player can see that, and I can tell that you are someone we would love to have in our local game.

          • Kilroywashere September 28, 2018 at 8:20 pm

            Oh forgot to mention don’t forget intelligence agencies often administer drugs with their exams. Sodium pentathal (spelled right?) is old school nowadays. But even with drugs the truth can be fleeting. Sincerely Jack Bauer

        • iceplant September 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm

          Dr. Killjoy up here with his Psych 101 evals. You gotta be kidding with this rubbish.
          “I think she is stretching the truth.”
          Wow. Just, wow.

          • Kilroywashere September 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm

            I had Dr Frazier for psych 101. Dr Zimbardo from Stanford came down for a guest lecture in our class as well. Both were close friends. In regards to polygraphs, a zen Roshi will come up blank as well. If you want to get into minutia there are peer reviewed journals that will support my stance. The interpretation of polygraph charts boils down to the bias of the examiner. Do you know how they work? I Do. Now there is new technology that relies on monotoring a part of the brain that does likely work. Been out for for decade or so but it is fairly invasive and requires a medical facility and MD to administer. And as far as Poker, I would loooooooove to find a game in this town. Serious on that count. Don’t tease me. IM THERE. shhhhh. SGPD could be reading this.

  • Happy Commenter September 28, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Sheep will be sheep, if you can’t see it for what it is, you’re a sheep!

    • Chris September 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      LOL, so then you are admitting to belonging to the genus Ovis?

    • iceplant September 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Takes a sheep to know his kind. Eh, Johnny boy?

  • bikeandfish September 28, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    The FBI investigation was the only option to maintain credibility for him and the SCOTUS. He was already going to change the character of thr Supreme Court given his critical role in the Kenneth Star investigation and then questionable relationship with the ultralegal Bush Administration policies. Voting on him without bringing forth third party investigations for these allegations would have been untenable for his inevitable tenure of the SCOTUS.

    Will he be voted into the court? Most likely unless Judge’s interaction with the FBI yields credible evidence. He’s the only wild card in this right now.

    • Kilroywashere September 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Now that’s the bike & Fish we all love. I may disagree etc, but a firm logical argument. And little I can disagree with. And on that note, baah baah baah, happy commenter and I are going to sleep of boredom counting sheep as more rants preach. His zen approach to commenting is admirable. And frozen veggie, I knew the me too movement would come after me. Now I will say your favorite word: ta ta ta tra truuu true truuum trump. Ok. Damn B&F nice to see you coming out of the woodwork. Great weather for hiking again.

  • Happy Commenter September 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    If you don’t see it for what it really is you are severely deceived. I’ll just leave that there for you who refuse to think for yourselves. Frozen veggie, you’re thawing and getting a little soggy!

  • Kilroywashere September 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Ok , I want to sincerely apologize to all the women out there, especially those that have been subjected to sexual abuse and not believed. Honestly. Ok. I have stood up many times in social media regarding the sad state of affairs towards the treatment of female rape victims in Utah. SEE SG Independent JW will confirm. But I did not believe the testimony I witnessed. Sorry. As a PHD from Stanford she came across as if she was acting. I am being honest. Feel free to put me in a firing squad. Maybe something happened, but she fits a profile for me that few would know or understand unless you are around Academia and PHD psychologists. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But on the other side of the equation do you believe that Cavanaugh, a fricking law student, was a serial rapist drugging women in College and gang ba… I went to College in the 80s, and to be honest it just wasn’t that way. Ok ME Too , come and get me. You can burn me at the stake. Being honest.

    • Happy Commenter September 28, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Only the psychologically programmed progressives believe a story with no witnesses, no evidence. anti-woman and clear disingenuous motive behind the whole thing. Getting the FBI to investigate looking for a crime that did not occur should be a crime in itself, just as filing a false police report is. The democrats destroyed Dr Ford for political fraud. If they were really interested in sexual / women abuse, why are they not looking into keith elison’s documented case of abuse against his former partner Karen Monahan? Then of course there is the fiasco that is the clinton’s. The democrats do not care about women. All they care about is power and they will attempt to use any means possible to get it. But unfortunately some can not see the forest through the trees and those are the ones the democrats are depending on for votes.

    • bikeandfish September 28, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      And if we emailed the Independent’s publisher who would be asking to credential?

      Do I believe her testimony? Yes. Like many I found it convincing and credible. And what does she have to gain by coming forward against such a prominent figure? I can’t think of anything worth the risk of what she’s experienced so far.

      Do I think its possible that a privileged, upper American class teenager in the 80s had the ability to sexually assault multiple women while under the influence? Yes, and multiple people in his life agree. One of his good buddies wrote memoirs explaining that lifestyle. Do I trust the attorney Avenneti to exaggerate and make grandiose claims? Yes. And the gangbang claims I have seen are that he was present at such parties but the details are hard to track.

      Is there benefit to Kavanaugh lying? Yes, his entire career at this point is contingent on it if the stories are true. Is there any benefit to admitting to such a crime if he did it? None as I doubt such a person has a true moral compass to believe in integrity.

      Its a hot mess. But the RNC appears to have known all of this at least during the week of the initial hearing, if not sooner. They are hooked to this runaway train despite plenty of other quality conservative judges.

      • Kilroywashere September 29, 2018 at 12:32 am

        J.W. stands for Josh Warburton. I am a man of my word. And I know Jason the editor, and I am sure he could verify my postings. I have multiple times stood up for rape victims in Utah, especially after the chief of police is SLC apologized for not examining several years backlog of rape kits. So B&F, you owe me an apology. Contact the Independent and mention one name : Fulcanelli. If not get a hold of Dallas Hyland and ask him who stood up for Varlo Davenport since day one. I DO NOT LIE. good luck. Shame on you

      • Happy Commenter September 29, 2018 at 1:30 am

        Only the psychologically programmed progressives believe a story with no witnesses and no evidence.

    • iceplant September 29, 2018 at 5:01 am

      It amazes me how misogynists justify their positions. The number of circles you run must be exhausting. Take a break.

  • Kilroywashere September 29, 2018 at 12:42 am

    I will add one more fact. Once I commented WITHIN THE LAST 2 MONTHS on a skateboarder who was injured recently. I mentioned in my response I had 400 + skateboards in my garage. It was an error, I restatated 300+ skateboards in my garage in the following comment. . Sounds far out huh? Come on over and count. I DO NOT LIE. Damn, I’m disappointed in you.

  • Kilroywashere September 29, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Let’s go further, I grew up in the 80s. I went to College with lots of frats and sororities. I can tell you this such events were rare and unheard of. Sorry. Yes there were things that came out absolutely. But they came out at the time. Regardless this is a political hit job promoted by CNN and MSNBC amongst others. 37 years, think back and be honest B&F. What do you or can you remember? HONEST. Or are you even honest anymore. On that note please contact Mr. WARBURTTON at the Independent. And he will confirm everything in regards to my postings. I HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO SAY. Let’s make a joke of it. Once again shame on you. Go attack somebody else, you chose the wrong guy. Willing to meet in person as well.

    • iceplant September 29, 2018 at 9:25 am

      “I HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO SAY.” – 12:58 am

      And then you make another comment at 1:17 am. And yet another at 1:48 am.
      You added nothing constructive to the discussion and you somehow manage to ramble into tangents that nobody even cares about. What’s keeping you up so late at night?
      I was tucked comfortably into bed at those hours. Dreaming of a better country. Trump’s island of broken toys must be haunting your dreams. Tick tock tick tock… only a matter of time.

    • bikeandfish September 29, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Sincerely confused. You seemed to imply we should know you I clearly don’t. I assume people who post anonymously do so on purpose so I found a reference to the Independent odd.

      Never made a claim about your support of rape victims. Sorry if my question was misunderstood. I find you interesting and have no need to insult you.

    • bikeandfish September 29, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      To clarify, my one question was about your identity as it would be needed to verify your claims with the Independent.

      No inference about your integrity or claims were written into the question.

      Just wasn’t sure if you were doxing yourself or not.

  • Kilroywashere September 29, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Dear Mr Dahl. I am taking leave for awhile. Good luck. A man’s word is worthless in this day and age. I’ll be back. (Terminator voice) until then God bless the tortoises in the Red Cliffs reserve. Keep the faith and if I can say anything that means anything, never forget a post and the name thereof is an actual human being. Not a piece of cardboard . Words only count if people listen. God bless the SG news, it is one of the last threads of Democracy that exists in these parts. Treat it kindly, and dont kill the golden goose. It is precious. Take care.

  • Kilroywashere September 29, 2018 at 1:48 am

    I will go further B&F in the entire history of the SG Independent no one has posted more than I , on behalf of sexual abuse victims in Utah. Now I could be wrong, by a matter of degrees, but if you are a man of your word, I am sure you will be able to confirm I am in the ballpark if not 100% accurate. On that note Google “deconstructive driving” and “awakened driving”. I am not anonymous, and on that note P. O. K. E . R. Is a fun game.

  • ladybugavenger September 29, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Hes guilty of being a 15yr old drunk, outside his mind, violent groper. And he wont be the last 15 yr old violent drunk.

    What was she doing hanging around people drinking? You want me to believe she didnt have a drink at 15?

    Did he continue this behavior? Did he become an adult rapist (like Cosby?)

    Is her timing of coming forward suspicious? I think so.

    I couldnt care any less about Kavanaugh. Dont really know anything about him. Dont really care.

    I’ll go make some popcorn and wait to watch the next assaulter in politics or Hollywood get accused. I wonder who it will be?

    • Happy Commenter September 29, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Hate to break your bubble, but, where’s the proof? If you have some, bring it out because none whatsoever was presented at the hearing. The burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused and her case was as made up as a Little Golden Books fairy tale! The timing of this is suspicious because the democrats were losing their game of delaying and they really don’t care about women, they care about keeping their power which they are losing as their swamp is being drained. #WALKAWAY Bug…Look at the reality, the democrats are the actual enemy.

      • iceplant September 29, 2018 at 10:48 am

        Walk away? Nice try with that failure of a hashtag. People are walking away alright. Walking away from Trump and his mindless minions. Not hard to do either.

        Look at the things you say, John: “her case was made up”
        Do you think anyone in their right mind takes you seriously? Ever? Do you have daughters? If you do, what would you do if one of them confronted you and told you that SHE was a victim of a sexual assault decades ago? Would you ask her to shoulder the burden of proof? Would you subject her to humiliating herself in front of you? When you simply dismiss people’s claims as “Little Golden Books” fairy tales, you aren’t doing anyone any favors. Least of all yourself.

        Blaming the victim is pathetic, John. Very pathetic.

        • ladybugavenger September 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

          Shes not a victim and I dont feel sorry for her.

        • Happy Commenter September 29, 2018 at 5:28 pm

          Her case is made up, if you believe it you are a fake as she is..And who is this john you are obsessed with?

      • ladybugavenger September 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm

        My bubble isnt broken. I dont really care what happened to her at 15. She had plenty of time to crush him. I believe that he did it, that’s all. I also believe she put herself in a bad place at 15. I mean really, 15 yr olds are stupid

        • Happy Commenter September 29, 2018 at 3:53 pm

          So are democrats

          • iceplant September 29, 2018 at 4:13 pm

            “So are democrats”
            So childish. Thank you for refusing to answer a single question, John. It speaks volumes.
            I guess integrity just isn’t your bag.

          • Happy Commenter September 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm

            Her case is made up, if you believe it you are a fake as she is..And who is this john you are obsessed with? I’ll just say this, corey booker, maxine waters, nancy pelosi, bill clinton, ted kennedy blumenthal, schumer and a slew more. All examples of the high (hahahaha!) standards the democrats keep!

  • Anejo September 30, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Whatever happened to due process? As moved as I was by Ford’s testimony it offered no evidence beyond an accusation.

    It’s also quite telling that Sen. Feinstein knew about these allegations very early on and chose to wait until the 11th hour until taking them public. From where I’m sat it looks like the Dem’s motivation was purely political as opposed to seeking justice for the alleged victim and the Republican’s attitude towards sexual violence hasn’t changed in the slightest.

    How anyone can look at the behavior of the big two parties in the last decade and think this is worthy of support is frankly baffling. However, it does bolster the infamous comment that “We Get The Government We Deserve.”

    How do we change this? How do we move forward in a way which is beneficial to Americans as a whole?

    • bikeandfish September 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      To be fair, due process is an issue of legal recourse which isn’t pertinent in a senate hearing for a SCOTUS appointment. This is a job interview, plain and simple. And has been said, what other job in the world hires a person accussed of such heinous behavior? Where else would his petulant behavior be acceptable for a job interview?

      Also of note, a plaintiff’s testimony is evidence in a legal case. Its the principle evidence for most cases of sexual assault. It just helped prosecute Cosby. The question is of there is any corroborating evidence from others. That is what the FBI investigation is about.

      It doesn’t look good for the democrates for the way this was instigated. I 100% agree there. If this was leaked intentionally despite Ford’s request than that is a major ethical violation. Hopefully we’ll find out the truth. But Ford didn’t want this to go public which is why it was stalled in the first place.

      Both parties are tearing this country apart. And I have no clue how we get out of this mess. It seems people want to tear each other apart instead of find solutions.

  • Redbud September 30, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Until someone can prove his guilt, this is just a silly game brought on by the democrats. And yes, Trump did say “grab em by the p****”, but so what? Every guy has said inappropriate things. Everyone has said something in their life that they regret saying, but you can’t completely judge a person’s character by one thing they said a long time ago.

  • Anejo October 1, 2018 at 10:34 am

    bikeandfish: To be fair, due process is an issue of legal recourse which isn’t pertinent in a senate hearing for a SCOTUS appointment. This is a job interview, plain and simple. And has been said, what other job in the world hires a person accussed of such heinous behavior? Where else would his petulant behavior be acceptable for a job interview?

    I can agree with that and I understand that in this case, it wasn’t a criminal investigation but isn’t innocent until proven guilty one of the cornerstones of the republic? I can also agree where allegations of this nature would bar people from certain positions but they’re still just accusations based on he said/she said scenario. I’ll interject here that I’m no fan of BK. His unconstitutional positions on warrantless searches, infinite detainment, bulk data harvesting and his stance on a sitting president being above the law are a matter of public record and I have grave concerns that this alone would be an issue for a lifetime SCOTUS position. While simply being accused of an alleged crime has been a well-worn tool used by both parties in politics its kind of ironic that sexual misconduct is almost a political requisite. 😀

    bikeandfish: Also of note, a plaintiff’s testimony is evidence in a legal case. Its the principle evidence for most cases of sexual assault. It just helped prosecute Cosby. The question is of there is any corroborating evidence from others. That is what the FBI investigation is about.

    Agreed and while I found Ford’s testimony compelling it shouldn’t be grounds to bar BK alone when there are far more public record noted incidences of his unconstitutional leaning. Actual quantifiable record of his attitude to aspects of the nations core document. Cosby’s accusers amounted in the dozens which were certainly enough to warrant a criminal investigation. I’d be happier if Kavanaugh was subjected to the same scrutiny before guilt or innocence was ascertained rather than the current puppet show that’s blown up the comments section of every major publication in the union.

    bikeandfish: It doesn’t look good for the democrates for the way this was instigated. I 100% agree there. If this was leaked intentionally despite Ford’s request than that is a major ethical violation. Hopefully we’ll find out the truth. But Ford didn’t want this to go public which is why it was stalled in the first place.

    Totally agree with you here. The way Sen. Feinstein, on behalf of the Dems, has handled this information is frankly unforgivable. There doesn’t appear to be any concern here for the alleged victim only a weaponised allegation to coerce the political process. Shame on them using this a political football. Despite everything it was pretty clear that Dr Ford didn’t want to be a household name in this manner.

    bikeandfish: Both parties are tearing this country apart. And I have no clue how we get out of this mess. It seems people want to tear each other apart instead of find solutions.

    This I fully agree on. Politics has gone from the illusion of being right or wrong to being almost a sporting contest of win or lose. It has its own arenas and its own diehard fans that lock themselves away from reason because their team has to be supported no matter what. It’s become a multi-trillion dollar entertainment franchise.

    The only remedy I can see from this is to embrace political independence and vote accordingly. To stop following partisan lines and to simply think about the policies being put into the public conscience. In the information era despite access to instant real-time quality news we still can’t get the basics straight and we’re stuck in an almost unbreakable pattern of believing that one’s team can never get it wrong.

    This kind of solution has to start at the grassroots where people of opposing positions agree to discuss the issues rather than fling insults. We’re all guilty to a point but being able to calmly and rationally discuss pertinent issues with all opinions has to be nurtured and encouraged. If we can’t persuade people by our arguments then we are in no position to use any kind of force and we need to rethink those arguments on that basis. This is what I believe we need to do to start to fix the problems facing the United States today. Constructive dialog.

    • bikeandfish October 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Per innocent until proven guilty…..

      We are asked to constantly play in the grey in life outside of actual legal repurcussions implemented by the state. This is especially true when judging character. So in these cases, when multiple women come forward about allegations of sexual assault and his response is so belligerent than I think its plenty fair to err on the side of refusing to promote him to such a prestigious position. Its one of the highest honors our nation has and if wr have doubts than we should act accordingly.

      I also agree on his judicial record being of concern which is a variable in my conclusions.

      We have to remember this is not a position he has inherently earned. Its something we bestow on him and its a representation of our country’s highest ideals.

      More people who know him are coming forward and it doesn’t paint a positive picture of him.

      • Anejo October 1, 2018 at 4:04 pm

        [ bikeandfish: We are asked to constantly play in the grey in life outside of actual legal repurcussions implemented by the state. This is especially true when judging character. So in these cases, when multiple women come forward about allegations of sexual assault and his response is so belligerent than I think its plenty fair to err on the side of refusing to promote him to such a prestigious position. Its one of the highest honors our nation has and if wr have doubts than we should act accordingly. ]

        I can agree with that and this is an emotively charged subject as the comments in the other BK article show! 😀

        [ bikeandfish: I also agree on his judicial record being of concern which is a variable in my conclusions. ]

        This alone should be enough to warrant a debate on whether to bar him from the position. His stance is public record. The support of the Patriot Act. The alleged Torture Memos. Legal definitions of enemy combatants, etc. Denial of the latter under oath would increase suspicion as allegations of perjury emerge. Again this is a quantifiable record of information that should question the nomination to such a position.

        [ bikeandfish: We have to remember this is not a position he has inherently earned. Its something we bestow on him and its a representation of our country’s highest ideals. ]

        Agreed as above.

        [ bikeandfish: More people who know him are coming forward and it doesn’t paint a positive picture of him. ]

        I understand that and given the spotlight, I still have erred on the side of hearsay and conjecture. At least up to this point and that isn’t to say that as deck becomes increasingly stacked against him I wouldn’t alter that position. Whether he committed the alleged assault I honestly don’t know at this stage but there are plenty of reasons to not allow to the position before we even mention the events in the above article.

        • bikeandfish October 1, 2018 at 8:17 pm

          I can understand your stance.

          The deck is getting noticeably stacked. A police report from his Yale years was released today. I think there was a reason he deflected the question about being a blackout drunk.

  • bikeandfish October 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    I think the following ABA rule going highlights my concerns:

    “A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence,* integrity,* and impartiality* of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.”

    • Happy Commenter October 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Christine Blasey Ford’s case against Brett Kavanaugh
      by Philip Klein
      | October 01, 2018 12:29 PM

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      During last Thursday’s hearing, Republicans took a lot of heat for their decision to hire outside counsel, Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, to question Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. At the time, Mitchell’s slow and methodical line of questioning, interrupted in five minute intervals to turn over time to Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, looked like a mistake. Whether it was or not will long be debated, but the byproduct of Mitchell’s questioning is a detailed nine-page memo that is quite damaging to Ford’s case against Kavanaugh.

      [Click here for complete Kavanaugh coverage]

      Why this is significant is that ever since Ford’s allegations become public, there have been dozens of “fact checks” about the allegations. But as shown by this roundup from Poynter, those checks have been nearly exclusively an attempt to call Kavanaugh’s honesty into question or to debunk claims about Ford. These checks have been extremely flawed, often inaccurately paraphrasing what Kavanaugh said, to set up a fact check contradicting him.

      For instance, a New York Times fact check includes a section on “excessive drinking.” It reads, “Judge Kavanaugh portrayed himself in his testimony as enjoying a beer or two as a high school and college student, but not as someone who often drank to excess during those years. ‘I drank beer with my friends,’ he said. ‘Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out,’ he said.” But the paraphrase, which sets up a “fact check” citing college classmates describing him as a heavy drinker, is not supported by the quote. Kavanaugh is not denying that he drank to the point of excess, he’s denying he ever blacked out, or woke up having forgotten what had happened. People digest alcohol in different ways, and “blacking out” is not a synonym for “drinking excessively.” Some people can get drunk on a regular basis, throwing up or falling asleep from consuming too much alcohol, without forgetting the previous evening’s events.

      What Mitchell provides in her memo is something that has been entirely missing from media coverage — a fact-based document looking at some of the holes in Ford’s account.

      Mitchell details that:
      “Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened,” describing how it has varied from “mid 1980s” to “early 1980s” to the summer of 1982. Mitchell also notes, “Her August 7 statement to the polygrapher said that it happened one ‘high school summer in early 80’s,’ but she crossed out the word “early” for reasons she did not explain.”
      “Dr. Ford has struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh as the assailant by name” — noting that it took over 30 years, at best, if true that she told her husband his name several years ago.
      “Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question — details that could help corroborate her account.” Mitchell notes that she doesn’t know the time or place of the incident; she doesn’t remember how she got to the party or how she got home. The latter point is significant, given that by Ford’s account she was driven home and that the country club that was apparently near the house is a 20 minute drive away. “Given that this all took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy,” Mitchell wrote. “Indeed, she stated that she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or that she called anyone else thereafter.”
      “Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended — including her lifelong friend.”
      “Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault” — among other things, her accounts about the number of people at the party and whether she could hear conversations varied.
      “Dr. Ford has struggled to recall important recent events relating to her allegations, and her testimony regarding recent events raises further questions about her memory.” This is, perhaps, the most damning of all. Her patchy memory from 36 years ago could be chalked up to the odd way that trauma affects individuals, allowing her to recall certain details with confidence while forgetting others. But her failure to recall significant details of interactions that happened over the past few weeks or months is damning. For instance, “Dr. Ford could not remember if she showed a full or partial set of therapy notes to the Washington Post reporter.” She also “does not remember if she actually had a copy of the notes” when she texted the Washington Post. The notes, which are touted as the single piece of documentary evidence of her previously describing the assault, were not turned over to the committee. She also could not recall whether the polygraph occurred on the day of her grandmother’s funeral.
      In addition, “She claimed originally that she wished for her story to remain confidential, but the person operating the tipline at the Washington Post was the first person other than her therapist or husband to whom she disclosed the identity of her alleged attacker. She testified that she had a ‘sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president.’ She did not contact the Senate, however, because she claims she ‘did not know how to do that.’ She does not explain why she knew how to contact her congresswoman but not her senator.”
      Mitchell also provides a detailed timeline of how she made the allegations, displaying that “The activities of congressional Democrats and Dr. Ford’s attorneys likely affected Dr. Ford’s account.”
      Mitchell concluded that, from a legal standpoint, “A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”

      ” Preponderance of the evidence” is the lower threshold required in civil cases, which means that more than 50 percent of the evidence points in one direction.

      Now, as has been pointed out numerous times, this is not a standard legal proceeding. Assuming they would otherwise have supported Kavanaugh based on his qualifications, senators will have to make a decision on whether to confirm him based on their sense of whether there’s a high enough likelihood that the event happened, not based on whether it could be proven in a court of law.

      It must be said that though Mitchell’s memo undermines Ford’s case, it does not disprove it. No bit of exculpatory evidence has emerged — something along the lines of the Kavanaugh having been out of the country or at summer camp at the time Ford claims she was attacked — that would have made her story impossible.

      Ultimately, once the FBI has concluded its updated background check, senators will have to consider whether the theoretically possibility that this could have happened and he lied under oath about it is enough to vote Kavanaugh down, or whether the totality of the evidence (or the thinness of it) raises too many doubts.

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