The Committee Playing Games with Perjury Referrals Swears They Can Make Mark Judge Tell the Truth without Testifying

Chuck Grassley and the other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are still trying to push Christine Blasey Ford testimony through in time to vote Kavanaugh out of the committee next week. As part of that, a Grassley Counsel who asserted, “Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” is also boasting about his tough questioning in lieu of a formal investigation. As part of that, SJC Republicans are asserting that they “obtained a statement under penalty of perjury” from Mark Judge, who really doesn’t want to testify, in part because he has written extensively about his own misogyny and alcohol abuse.


This is the committee, remember that referred Christopher Steele to the FBI for lying to the FBI, but that refuses to make Don Jr testify a second time to clarify problems with his testimony, much less refer him to FBI for lying about a second meeting at which he accepted election assistance from a foreign government (actually two: the Saudis and the Emirates).

Chuck Grassley has already demonstrated his view of lying to the committee: He’s perfectly okay with it, so long as helps Republicans.

So that statement from Mark Judge, without public testimony, is absolutely worthless.

114 replies
    • Rayne says:

      Hi dearmaizie, welcome to emptywheel. Your comment is a bit cryptic, not certain if it was in reply to someone else’s comment or about the post…?

  1. Geoff says:

    I’m reading “obtained a statement under penalty of felony” when I click that second link. (The first link also says felony, and indicates that the felony is for lying, but with a friendly attorney, not sure how this is enforced.)

    Then again, how does one actually believe such a thing is under penalty of perjury if not in court? I mean, I thought you would have to attest in court to fall under perjury. Then again IANAL, obviously.

    I mean, perjury is a felony Id assume, but they could be talking about some other felony, that is not perjury. And then say, well, you get off with probation.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lying to Congress is a felony – as is lying to any of various federal officers – separate from lying under penalty of perjury.  It could also be obstruction.

      Statements on federal and state forms can also be made under penalty of perjury.  For example, federal tax returns and California state employment disclosure forms.

      The Senate might require, say, Mark Judge to testify under oath – which would make his testimony subject to perjury.  The Senate might not require him to testify under oath.  In that case, his testimony would not be subject to perjury, but it’s a moot point, because lying to Congress is a separate felony.  Crimes are cumulative.

      • Avattoir says:

        Conditions for perjury:

        1. The context must be “official” (government derived or related) “proceedings”, i.e. a process with some end contemplated in or by some law or regulation.

        2. The statement must have been given and received “under oath” (or it’s equivalent, such as for atheists, or for agnostics, or for conscientious objectors to religious-belief-based  oaths – all categories that might relate to me).

        3. The statement claimed to be perjury must relate to an issue of significance to the outcome or purpose of the official proceedings (e.g. If the witness is proven to have told a lie about their age, such as claiming to be, say, 39 when all the evidence is that witness knew all along he was, say, 41, in the context of describing having witnessed a shooting, even though a lie like that might be sufficient to affect the jury’s view of the witness’ truthfulness & thus might cause a conviction to be over-turned, that same lie can NOT result in a proper conviction for perjury – rather, it’s ‘just’ a friggin’ lie.).

        4. The statement be shown to be actually untrue as a matter of fact.

        5. The government must prove the witness ‘knew’ – was conscious of the fact that – the statement was untrue.

  2. SteveB says:

    I have wondered at a suggestion I heard (I think it was J Barro in discussion with @popehat on All the President’s Lawyers) that competent counsel for MJudge would have advised him to plead the 5th re any public testimony at the Judiciary committee, which of course would have been a very bad look for Kavanaugh and the GOP.

    Clearly the GOP has been falling over itself to keep Judge away from anything approaching a searching cross-examination.

  3. pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s becoming an eye-opener on the extent to which the staffers of committees and individual congresscritters — especially the older ones — can be utter party-hack shitheads. Ultimately, Grassley and Hatch and co. have agency for what their staff does, but as we saw with Thad Cochrane, it heads towards a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ situation.

    • Avattoir says:

      Besides ‘positively’ oblique motive, there’s also an extreme elevated risk of sheer bone incompetence.

      Over several years I had a sub practice in acting on cases involving dismissals by governments & large corporations with significant government connections where the employer claimed that the dismissal involved discovery of a crime or serious breach of trust (the sorts that get referred out a lot to boutique law practices, because the local bar doesn’t wish to burn bridges with big players who might hire them in future).

      One almost universal practice I encountered in those kinds of cases was the employers having claimed to the dismissed claimants, by actually saying or by leaving some strong impression, that local or national law enforcement had been involved and, at the time of the firing, were ‘still considering’ formal charges. Almost without exception, those claims were between entirely bogus and massively puffed up, with the employer agency or corporation INSTEAD having decided early on AGAINST involving government authority, at least for the bulk of the investigation. It got so my first letter to the law firm for the employer was for the name, rank & contact particulars of any such authority, and for someone not used to that world, I imagine it’d come as an actual shock to learn both how hard that first letter was resisted and how often the accurate response to it showed conscious & deliberate deception even fraud by the employer side.

      One subset of those cases covered where the employer side HAD IN FACT involved LEOs to some extent, often quite briefly before ‘determining’ that continuing down that road might not serve what they saw as their client’s best interests – including cases where LEOs explained what-all serious fuck-ups had already been committed by the employer side (notably, often by the deployment of packs of young legal beagles), or making clear how the LEOs investigation might just cut both ways (thus inspiring the employer to stick with some combination of its own internal security and big name private investigators used to ‘results-oriented’ reporting).

      IMO the partisan staff hires of an R-majority SJC would conduct their business far worse than the worst of any of those.

      Not that anyone here needs reminding, but IMO it’s worth noting as often as possible that Grassley INAL, tho his experience in advanced partisan hackery may well be unsurpassed among the congressional IANAL crowd (impressive in a field that includes Jordan, Nunes, Steve King et al).

    • Bob Conyers says:

      If the Democrats take the House, I’m heartened that it would most likely mean Gowdy, Goodlatte and Nunes would be replaced by Cummings, Nadler and Schiff. Gowdy is probably the only smart, semi-independent thinker of the GOP batch, and he’s still a hack.

      The three Democrats though, are smart, qualified people. Their staffs obviously would do a lot of the heavy lifting, but all three are actually capable of reading reports, mastering material, and asking questions.

      If the Democrats take the House, it will be a big change for the better.

    • Avattoir says:

      Whelan’s been around for generations of dog-lives. He’s an old NRO hand, specializing in the intersection of Gorsuch-quality fake intellectualization & high moral dudgeon. You’d risk going blind reading all the brightly backlit blather he’s come up with over the decades, particularly since the early 2000s.

      • Trip says:

        Hell yeah, and I think (maybe?) Chris Garrett has a nice lawsuit? What did Mike Judge have to say about the other guy (Garrett)?

        That thread was completely, utterly, irresponsible.

        • SteveB says:

          The question surely arises as to the extent to which Judge has cooperated with the Goopers, and Ed Whelan. I would be surprised if Whelan was able to construct his theory without very considerable local historical knowledge from a person or persons close to the thinking of MJudge.

          Sketchy as fuck

          • Trip says:

            It could also have been Kavanaugh giving him the goods. The guy has been promoting himself like nobody’s business, calling all of the senators. I wonder if this character Garret will fall on his sword and take one for the team, maybe something’s in it for him to do so?

            As an aside, they really didn’t look that much alike, when you examine the eyes. Although they both had the prep boy thing down.

            Kavanaugh looks more like his own wife than the other dude.


            • SteveB says:


              Now being reported that Dr Ford knew Garrett quite well, visited him in hospital and would never have confused him with Kavanaugh.

              What a shitshow! The desparation of this effort to undermine this woman speaks volumes. The rebuttal increases her credibility, and lays the groundwork for some proper lines of inquiry by an appropriately impartial investigative agency.

              • SteveB says:

                And here is Whelan’s incomplete retraction and apology:

                I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.
                1:38 PM · Sep 21, 2018

                • Trip says:


                  “I intentionally posted his name, and I floated the BS to save Kavanaugh, that is now out in the wild”.

                  That guy should be asked if he was promised anything in exchange for the smear of his name.

            • Avattoir says:

              uh … not arguing the point of the Kavanaughs’ resemblance one to the other, but adding: also, it appears to Mz Ford – indeed, one suspects, to most if not all those female clerks ‘lucky’ enough to put across that “certain look” Judge Kavanaugh is apparently legendary for favoring.

              Increasingly, this appears to be going from dark to somewhere truly not merely bereft of all light but full of creepy crawlers.

              It’s bad enough that so many Senate GOPer appears to display such a spirited responsiveness to Trump’s  instruments & toys, but I’ve been putting that down to the older white male party of supremacy actually (albeit insensibly) feeling genuine fear of their hegemony yielding for All Time to the approaching brown hordes. But if it turns out to be the case that they are actively burrowing their heads into ground and willfully blinding themselves to a monster in repose…

              • SteveB says:

                Then there is this

                casey mooney
                casey mooney
                I have known men of great character from Georgetown Prep. My son is named after one, another is my daughter’s Godfather. I would trust those men with my life. 1/
                @ChuckGrassley @[email protected]@[email protected]@SenAmyKlobuchar @JeffFlake @SenKamalaHarris

                A man either has character or he doesn’t. When one has character, power and wealth cannot diminish that. When one lacks character, power and wealth amplify the damage he leaves in his wake. 2/
                @senorrinhatch @SenBooker @SenTedCruz @ChrisCoons @SenThomTillis @SenBlumenthal

                I was sexually assaulted in the mid-80’s at the home of one of Kavanaugh’s schoolmates. The host of that party added his name to this letter to the Judiciary Committee attesting to Kavanaugh’s character. (link: 3/

                Thread continues:

          • Frank Probst says:

            It could be total bullshit, given the source.  If it’s a good lie, I’d say they knew that the party was at Garrett’s house, so he’d be a great person to try to throw under the bus.  I doubt it, though.  None of these people seem like good liars to me.

            • maybe ryan says:

              It’s worth understanding Whelan’s argument.  If he’s lying or wrong, you still need to understand exactly what he’s asserting in order to know how best to counter it.

              He’s asserting he knows the 4th person at the party.  He places her house on a map.  That would be a very dangerous bluff, since up to now, she has refused to go public.  Lying about her in a way that suggests that someone she may have at one point been friends with (Garrett) was rape-y risks making her angry enough to come out.  She might come out and actually place Kavanaugh at the party.

              Also, he has attacked Judge, which is not what you would expect if he were trying to keep Judge “on team Kavanaugh.”  Pointing out the Judge and Garrett remain friends was pretty extraneous to the argument.  And of course he has attacked Garrett in an extraordinarily dangerous way.  If he’s lying, he has done so in a way that might create a lot of animosity towards Team Kavanaugh among people who could potentially be witnesses, and may expose him to civil liability.

              There is at least the possibility that he has spoken to both “PJ” Smyth and to the 4th attendee, and that they do remember a small party where Ford was present, perhaps even remembering her awkward unexplained departure.  But that they remember it was at Garrett’s house.

              I know that in general, saying “the Republicans couldn’t be lying about this because that would be batshit” is naïve.  Yet, if a lie, this story creates an awful lot of problems for Team Kavanaugh that didn’t exist before the lie surfaced.  It risks actually creating the basis for a prosecution of Kavanaugh, by surfacing people who hadn’t wanted to get involved.

              I think it’s worth considering that at minimum, Whelan may have found one or possibly two people who were at the party, or some similar party, and gave him these details.

              • greengiant says:

                That is a problem with running with single sourced, or ultimately single sourced material that meets your expectations or provides the only salvageable narrative in the mark’s mind. Course it just might be one of a dozen dust clouds to be generated like Trump’s changing plans of the minute. Shake the tree and sometimes fruit drops off. Make stuff up about Clinton and bag both Comey and McCabe. Funnel provable nonsense to Steele and bag Strzok, ( for making that trip to England in 2016 which put Strzok on the 4chan radar before the text messages did ), and Ohr.

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s also interesting that Dr Blasey found that Whelan had looked at her LinkedIn page – 90 minutes after the WH found out her name, and well before that information went public via WaPo.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    About Grassley’s committee’s staff taking statements from Judge under oath, I join the chorus calling bullshit.

    Judge’s statements are presumably denials of leading questions from Grassley’s staff, framed in such a way as to be most helpful to Brett Kavanaugh.  It would be like a defense counsel taking a statement from his own client without a prosecutor having an opportunity to challenge his statements in real time.

    Without that opportunity for the Democrats to cross-examine Judge under oath, and to assess his credibility under the stress of questioning, his statements are of no value except as political theater.

      • SteveB says:

        Do you mean from vindictive referral to DOJ for alleged perjury?

        If so, I would have thought that would be a very unwise course for GOPers to adopt since it would involve external agency independently investigating the truth of her testimony, including getting hold of previous consistent statements and otherwise.

        I would think the GOP would want to adopt the least said soonest mended course.

      • Ollie says:

        Are you referring to DR. Ford?  Her Attorney has stated that Dr. Ford will testify but this Monday is not possible and is ‘arbitrary’ of congress to insist that Monday is THE day.  Dr. Ford has asked for more time, an investigation and well, I’m on bated breath waiting to see what Grassley does.

  5. RWood says:

    I keep seeing speculative articles as to how various senators might or might-not vote. I don’t see any discussion of them abstaining though.

    Would abstaining be a way out for those trying to balance on this very narrow fence?

  6. Jenny says:

    Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is damned if she does or damned if she doesn’t. I believe her; Her experience is my experience, however, I was raped. Anita Hill’s experience is my experience. Many women know. Rape, sexual assault & harassment is pervasive. All of this is a trigger with old painful, hurtful & wounded experiences surfacing.

    The bully & belittling tactics are demeaning & disrespectful to her & all sexual assault survivors by the Grassley. He is part of the Old Boys Club. Look at how he acted towards Anita Hill in 1991. Not much has changed from his perspective. The GOP just wants to get this done before more stories about Kavanaugh are exposed. He is not as squeaky clean as first reported.

    Why isn’t Kozinski being called to testify? That is a huge red flag. Seems to be the Kavanaugh, Kozinski & Kennedy connection. One degree of separation. Kavanaugh clerks for Kozinski & Kennedy, Kozinski’s son clerks for Kavanaugh & Kennedy’s son works for the Deutsche Bank with connections to Trump loans. Okay, correct me if I am wrong with some of my information but something smells rotten.

    Exposure, exposure & more exposure. It is only Thursday, more to be revealed …

    • Ollie says:

      Hi Jenny.  Your experience is my experience.  Dr. Ford’s experience is my experience as well.  I too have had sexual abuse.  I was thinking of writing a letter to Judge K and stating some thoughts w/him.  I was going to appeal to his sense of ‘moral rightness’ to give Dr Ford time to addess this grievance.  Then talk to him about his ‘girls’ that he paraded those days (his kids suffered those long days in court, lol) and what an incredible opportunity his has before him to tell us all, the World, that this is important.  It is respectful and the honorable thing to do to step back and be the man his ‘girls/women’ think he is.  Put that highest job in the World aside.  Prioritize.

      Maybe I’m delusional.  Maybe those kinds of principals are not what he identifies w/.  I know both the GOP and Dems lack them (not all!) and do I even have to say regarding that asshole Trump? 

      Maybe he is innocent.  Maybe he’s guilty and that has consequences but you know what?  I’m just sick to death of this head knocking men judging us women.  I’m almost 70/female and I’ve HAD IT w/this crap.  Anyhow.  I related to your thoughts.  TY

      • Jenny says:

        Ollie, I understand.  No, you are not delusional.  You are expressing how you feel.  Feelings are ones truth.  Getting angry is okay as is being “sick to death of this head knocking men judging women.”  Yes, I am tired of some mansplaining I have received (not all men, many are enlightened).  It is old energy, old beliefs, an old paradigm.

        Kavanaugh’s nomination & WH occupant have sparked & triggered raw emotions to surface in order to create change.  In speaking out & taking action, we are shaking up the old foundation to create a new one.  Equality for ALL.

        The good news is the collective consciousness is changing.  Women are speaking up, speaking out & taking action.  Which is EMPOWERING.

        I am writing a letter to Dr. Blasey Ford thanking her for her courage & speaking her truth.   This is my way to support her.

        Too many individuals of all ages for too long have experienced rape, sexual assault, abuse & harassment.  What I believe survivors need  is compassion.

        Thank you for connecting.

    • Trip says:

      I know it’s inadequate to say it, but I’m sorry about what happened to you, Jenny.

      And Ollie too. And everyone else who suffered the same.

      I’m so furious about what the GOP and minions are doing, I can barely form articulate words (not that that is too different from my norm).

      • Bob Conyers says:

        Yeah, it’s hard for me to put into words how awful I think this is. I sure as hell admire the women who are stand up for Ford and themselves.

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          In a more just world, women would have burned it all down long ago. Like Laura Dern imagines in Unbreakable.

          It feels as if the recurring theme of the past few years is cultures of impunity. Burn them down.

    • Chetan Murthy says:

      Over at LG&M, Paul Campos wrote:

       I don’t think it’s wrong to beg her to be the hero we don’t deserve.

      I think that’s about right.  Anything she does for us, is a gift.  She should surely look to her safety and her family.  B/c this a cold civil war, and before we ask her to be a soldier in it, we need to all sack up and do that.

  7. Rusharuse says:

    Its a mad, mad, mad, mad world! (even without Trump)

    “Who wants to face up fully to the creatures we are, clawing and gasping for breath in a universe beyond our ken? Such events illustrate the meaning of Pascal’s chilling reflection: “Men are so necessarily mad that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness.” Necessarily because the existential dualism makes an impossible situation, an excruciating dilemma. Mad because, everything that man does in his symbolic world is an attempt to deny and overcome his grotesque fate. He literally drives himself into a blind obliviousness with social games, psychological tricks, personal preoccupations so far removed from the reality of his situation that they are forms of madness—agreed madness, shared madness, disguised and dignified madness, but madness all the same.”

    from: The Denial Of Death

    • Tom says:

      If you’re referring to the 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning work by Ernest Becker, my favourite quote is:  “No mistake–the turd is mankind’s real threat.”

  8. Frank Probst says:

    Nit-picky comment, and it may be because the tweets have been edited, but I’m seeing “under penalty of FELONY [caps mine]”, not perjury.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Unless committee staff are considered to be equivalent to investigators like FBI agents, in which case it makes sense, and would presumably be the same statute.  Does anyone know if this is the case?  Is anyone EVER prosecuted for something like this?

  9. Frank Probst says:

    I’m honestly having trouble getting a bead on what the thinking is inside the GOP bubble.  This morning, it seemed to be:  “If she doesn’t testify Monday, we’ll just vote.”  This implied a level of confidence that they had the votes to get this thing through, which I thought was a bit cocky.  Every Dem Senator now has cover to vote against this.  Barring some sort of convincing evidence that Dr Ford is lying, which I don’t think anyone expects, the optics are just going to get worse between now and election day.  More women (and men) will be interviewed who say they knew Kavanaugh in high school, and his appearance at these types of parties was common.  If you’re up for re-election as a Dem Senator in a red state, voting against this man probably can’t be used against you (effectively) in an attack ad.  That’s 49 Senators.  Lisa Murkowski is being pushed hard by the Native Alaskan community (who have the potential to be fucked by this Supreme Court between now and her next election in 2020) to vote no.  She’s been dead silent on how she’s going to vote for a while now, and my guess is that she’s a no.  That’s 50.  Susan Collins will be expected to whine for the cameras, act indecisive, and then vote yes.  (The only thing that’s likely to change her mind is a call or a text from Olympia Snowe saying that she would vote no on this.)  So the GOP is counting on a 50-50 vote, with Pence breaking the tie.

    This afternoon, that confidence doesn’t appear quite as solid.  I’m wondering if no one bothered to do a whip count over the last few days, or if one of the retiring Senators is thinking about his legacy.  This morning’s swagger isn’t quite there.  I think the ground is shifting under this thing so fast that no one can really be sure which way it’s going to go.

    • JD12 says:

      Their cockiness led to this situation, I think, and they’re just digging themselves deeper into a hole. McConnell warned Trump not to pick Kavanaugh, but they probably overplayed their hand thinking his experience helping other judicial nominees would get him through regardless of all the question marks.

      I thought for sure they’d withdraw the nomination once Dr. Ford agreed to public testimony to avoid Democrats asking Bart if he boofed yet. Plenty of other conservative judges can be just as useful to their agenda without electrifying the #MeToo movement. Right now it looks like a game of chicken, it’ll be interesting to see if they flinch like they ended up doing with Ronny Jackson.

      • Trip says:

        Wait ’til they get to the nickname of his Frat. The choir boy better not bring in the catholic girl’s team that day.

        • JD12 says:

          Oh yeah. I figured the main reason he did that was to deter certain questions being asked and it was a bit of a tell. It’s pretty sad if that’s the case.

    • Anon says:

      I have noticed that there have been more confidence boosting articles coming out lately as well. The type where right before a shaky vote you have anonymously sourced articles saying “How a no vote on Kavanaugh will be used against Dems” and with strategists, again anonymously, exuding confidence. I too have wondered if this is a sign of actual belief or just people talking up a weak book.

  10. JD12 says:

    Aren’t they making a big mistake by basically acting like the defense in a jury trial rather than a SCOTUS confirmation?

  11. James Hester says:

    It would be great if all concerned citizen in DC area gather in front of the capital hill before the hearing on Monday as a silent protest to show their support for Dr. Ford for her and compliment her courage. Take time off from work. This is voluntary but so important. I am sure if 10,000 show up it would have more impact then half million showing up on weekends. If word gets out through hashtag, it could make a difference. I never understood why all the protests are scheduled on Weekends while the politicians are playing golf or relaxing.

  12. Frank Probst says:

    Another point that’s starting to filter through is an answer to the “Why should we care about something he did when he was 17 and she was 15?”

    The original GOP answer was that this happened too long ago to matter.  People are now pointing out that if you vote for this man without any serious investigation of the allegations against him, you’re pretty much telling every 15 year-old girl that she can be sexually assaulted without consequence, and you’re telling every 17 year-old boy that it’s okay to sexually assault girls.  And I don’t think this viewpoint is coming from any sort of enlightened thinking by adults, either.  I think it’s coming from teenage boys and girls–particularly those who are currently attending the schools involved, who are certain to be closely following this story in the news–who are pointing it out to their parents.  To them, this definitely matters now, and the impact of the opinion one way or the other from any adult around them is essentially immediate.  And that, in turn is shaping adults’ opinions of this.  It’s one thing to simply dismiss this Monday morning when a political reporter asks you about it.  It’s quite another to dismiss it when the person asking is your 15 year-old daughter (or, if you’re a decent human being, your 17 year-old son) and the conversation is happening at the dinner table.

    • Trip says:

      The other deflection is that “Democrats are playing games”. But even then, let’s say for the sake of argument, as devil’s advocate, that they did: That they waited until the end to create a delay.

      It doesn’t matter.

      What matters is the character, honesty, and integrity of the person who might be appointed to a lifetime position. How long ago doesn’t actually play into it since he denied it straight out. He can’t go back now and offer regrets and apologies, if this is, in fact, true. He can’t say he’s a changed man with a different perspective on women, if he didn’t tell the truth.

      His friends, his frat, all of that is a way different narrative than the one he put forth. And it makes his knowledge of Kozinski’s acts look much more likely, too.

      • orionATL says:

        it’s pleasing to read a writer/commenter who does not get stammering-hungup on complex arguments with multiple parts of differing importance or quality.

        there is a core argument here despite all the flak bursting around that core:

        “… What matters is the character, honesty, and integrity of the person who might be appointed to a lifetime position. How long ago doesn’t actually play into it since he denied it straight out… He can’t say he’s a changed man with a different perspective on women, if he didn’t tell the truth…”

    • Anon says:

      Yeah, I saw a recent article which had one strategist noting this would “play badly for Democrats” because “there are many voters with 17 year old sons who vote.” This led me to ask why they had no concern for a) the parents with 15 year old girls who vote; or b) the parents who don’t want their 17 year old son to think rape is ok.

      Apparently for at least some of Kavanaugh’s defenders those people don’t count.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Some authoritarians believe their child’s role in life is to lay back and enjoy the inevitable.  To paraphrase Chevalier, it’s what little boys and little girls do.  Thank heaven.

        I think that’s a misreading of human values, agency, and human needs.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s important to see this as a progression — or a lack thereof — when a near-adult feels entitled to control another human’s body without their consent and still thinks they are entitled to control another human’s body without their consent 30-40 years later.

      Which is what Kavanaugh revealed in his dissent in Garza v. Hargan: he, as the state’s arbiter, believes the state has a compelling interest in preventing a 17-year-old from controlling her own body.

      He’s only changed the venue of his force from a bedroom while drunk on alcohol to a bench while drunk on power.

      • TheraP says:


        I’m also thinking of the Parkland students, the “March for our Lives” movement they started, that their movement has touched many, especially young people just thinking about voting and their parents as well.

        What’s being discussed here, young are people are listening. 15 year old young women – and their woke boyfriends and classmates.

        We’re in a crisis situation. Fighting for each Life, for each one’s ability to say no or stand up and fight against those who want to take away one’s decision-making rights.

        Suppose young Kavanaugh had succeeded in raping. Suppose Dr. Ford had been impregnated. Was the the young drunken bully prepared to support a child till adulthood? Is the Right even considering the outcome that could have been?

        I see people rising up to fight the Right. Seeing the Injustice – every type of it. And the Wrongs promoted by the righteous right. (Whose thinking is becoming so strained… I’m waiting to hear that Voodoo was involved. Ok, I just read a book on Haiti.)

        I know I’m blathering…. This is a great thread!

  13. James Hester says:

    It is a distraction to bring the time, 10 or 30 years. Important for a would-be lifetime “JUSTICE” not to avoid the truth. Clarence Thomas revisited. I remembered how the Ds (especially Biden who was the chair of the circus) butchered Dr. Hill. Now It is just a sideshow that Mr. Clean was drunk, teenager…… that is what spinmasters want the public to focus (Edward Barney’s book Propaganda, 1928).

    • it's complicated says:

      Hmm, are you talking about Edward *Bernays*, the father of PR, also known through one of Adam Curtis’s movies?

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I mentioned some time ago that the most obvious source of funds for Brett Kavanaugh’s purchase of his roughly $1.2 million home was his dad. (Brett put up about $245K in cash, and obtained a mortgage for about $950K – high, if his annual income was about $200K.)

    Kavanaugh’s father was a highly-paid lobbyist and long-time president of a cosmetics trade association. He retired about the time this house was purchased with a $13 million lump sum retirement. He could probably have coughed up a quarter million gift to Brett before he retired.

    Twitter comments are trending that way. Some need correction. Family gifts are exempt from disclosure requirements. (That seems wrong. As the Trump family demonstrates, transfers of wealth among family members can lead to a lot of conflicts of interest.)

    The FBI ought to have this information as part of its nominee background or security clearance checks, which means the Senate committee should have it. But who knows.

    Gift tax is probably not payable. The IRS ignores annual gifts per person per giver below roughly $15K (lower ten years ago). Amounts over that are subject to information only filings, unless they exceed a lifetime cap per giver. That cap went up from about $5.5 to $11.2 million per person after Trump’s tax bill went through (double that per married couple). Either limit leaves room for Brett’s parents to have made a quarter million gift. (Kavanaugh’s bank would have required proof of the gift for his mortgage loan application.)

    One twitter commenter wondered how personal finances could be relevant to Brett’s fitness to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Two years into Trump’s administration, only a troll could ask that question.

    Personal finances are abundantly relevant for security clearances. Being prudent financially and repaying one’s debts on time is considered a practical requirement. Not doing so goes to reliability, as does behavior such as adultery (not a federal crime, but the FBI checks it for clearances).

    Being financially exposed creates a risk that could be manipulated by a corrupt actor or foreign government. Personal finances are important to assess a candidate’s conflicts of interest. If the nominee gambles, it speaks to a compulsive, risk-prone personality, and to being vulnerable to manipulators, now or in future. All those issues apply to a Supreme Court nominee.

    • Rayne says:

      You know what would solve the mystery of Kavanaugh’s finances? Receipts. Like bank statements showing $XX,000 left dad’s account and $XX,000 entered son’s account within a reasonable period of time. Simple. Easy.

      But there are no receipts, and there are no FBI agents saying they’ve seen them.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      The problem with the FedSoc pipeline from undergrad to bench is that it seems to create judges who are owned one way or another. Kavanaugh is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the FedSoc and whoever made it possible for him to live beyond his means — but at a DC sleazy influence peddler level — in the burbs. Like Pruitt in OK.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Being wholly-owned by the FedSoc would seem to be the idea.  Kozinski himself seems to have been a beneficiary of the program: he was the youngest – and least experienced – nominee appointed to the federal appeals court bench.  (I would argue that his virtual untouchability, regarding issues not central to the neoliberal agenda, directly relates to how overt became his sexual predation.)  The inexperienced, hard-right US Attorneys BushCheney appointed were a similar crop: their incompetence and inability to perform their jobs were irrelevant compared to their youth, loyalty, and conservatism.

        The Democrats need constant reminding that the GOP are playing a very long game.  One of my great peeves about Obama was that he refused to clean the government’s employment house, the virtual Operation Gladio personnel left behind by Dick Cheney, as part of a one step back – two steps forward strategy.  Instead, he adopted many of the same people, ignoring Cheney’s idee fixe that “personnel is policy.”

        The GOP play with consistency of purpose, but flexibility in implementation, and vast funding.  The Dems seems to stumble from election to election, barring their having adopted the GOP’s pay-to-play system, which throttles the troops and jams them all through the same lobbyist gauntlet.  Out the other end come nearly identical tasteless cookies.

    • TheraP says:

      If a parent does that, then the IRS expects that a going rate of interest be paid, which the parent would have to report as income. (I read about this once. The timing of the loan, if that’s what it was, would have been covered by that rule.)

      So, if he had a loan – or a gift – from dad, there should be an IRS paper trail. Or a loan document of some type. Thus, the sum should be easily explainable.

      Surely a Judge would follow the law! Right? /s

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If a parent made a $250K loan to a family member, it should be documented and interest should be charged and payable on it.  Otherwise, it would be deemed a gift.

        Depending on the amount and the complexity of the lending parent’s return, the interest income might be jumbled into other income and not broken out on a tax return.  Payment of interest might also be deferred until the loan was repaid, delaying the need to declare it as income.

        If the parent made a gift of that amount, s/he would need to file an informational gift tax return with the IRS, stating the names of the giver and recipient, the date and the amount.  The purpose is to keep a running total of a wealthy giver’s large gifts.  These are allocated against a lifetime maximum for combined gifts and bequests.  Beyond that maximum, gift or estate tax would be payable.

  15. Ollie says:

    reply not working. To: Jenny and Trip
    Thank you Trip for your thoughts. I look back my whole life…and I’m grateful. I was powerfully impacted by Jenny’s comment. I blew off some ick. Thanks for your kindness.

    Jenny: I think if my passion had been any less since childhood for crimes against humanity, I might of surrendered to the abuse. No heroics here but I’m mightily grateful for those who stood w/me protesting the Vietnam war. Civil rights marches. Latest was standing on a corner in my small home town holding a sign to ‘disarm hate’ w/the students of Parkland. I hid behind my sign for the first hour crying. I was alone. I felt stupid. It’d been a long time. Then a stranger came up w/hot cocoa. She gave me a hug and said she agreed w/the message. Then a couple of hours later? Another woman came over w/hot tea. This one I knew. I told her about my crying/feelings earlier and she looked me square in the eye and said “You just know that every single car that passes by is filled w/people that wish there were doing what you are doing right now” and a hug that beat all hugs.

    We are so important. I also wanted to tell you your questions were excellent too. I meant to say that. So thanks Jenny. Oh yeah. I think your idea is much better, to write Dr. Ford and praise her for her courage and she has our support. TY. A much more effective use of my time. Sister.

    • Jenny says:

      Ollie, validation is vital when feeling vulnerable.  Plus crying is a cleanser & an expression released from the inside out.  Crying always makes me feel lighter.  Since the Women’s March, I have done lots of crying.  I do so with no judgement.  I just go with the flow.

      I support you & all survivors helping to create a compassionate, loving & equal world for ALL.  Yep – sisters!!!

    • TheraP says:

      How to trick reply:

      1. Click on reply till a little box comes up.
      2. Choose “Open in new tab.”
      3. Even though that he tab puts you in a box at the bottom of this thread, use that to reply.
      4. When the comment posts, you’ll see it magically under where you intended to reply.

      Works every time!

  16. Anon says:

    I have been thinking about this for a while and this seems the most appropriate venue as any. I know it is not my place, or perhaps even my gender, to suggest but I do hope Dr. Ford testifies publicly on Monday or at some point. I know that it will be hell. I know that they are gearing up to lynch her the same way that they lynched Anita Hill (Clarance Thomas was the wrong one to say that). But still I hope she does testify.

    I hope that because I have a daughter and I know that 36 years ago Dr. Ford did not tell anyone because there was no example of someone doing that. Good Catholic girls of that generation did not tell because the punishment would fall on them. If she testifies then like Anita Hill she would become an example of someone who did stand up and did hold someone to account. An example that other young women and young men would learn from.

    As I said this isn’t my decision to make it is hers and I know her life has become a brownshirted hell. If she does not testify that hell won’t go away but the brownshirts and the old abusers will feel that they’ve won. If she does testify that hell won’t go away, it will probably amp up, but she will have stood up and given an example in a way that cannot be taken back.

    • TheraP says:

      Jennifer Rubin at the WaPo has provided some excellent commentary on Dr. Ford’s many ways of “testifying” – including her option to do a TV interview that would include experts on trauma and traumatic memory. It’s almost as if she’s writing a manual for how to counter the right wing barrage against Dr. Ford (or anyone who opposes them). Look here for a list of her blogs:

      See especially the one on “option’s” available to Dr. Ford.

      Jen Rubin is a conservative, but no longer GOP, a highly experienced lawyer (with great connections to people like Lawrence Tribe) who has become a hero in the War against Trump.

  17. orionATL says:

    meet ralph reed, an ol’ georgia boy. look at the picture. look at the suit. anything strike you?

    no? well, ralph is dressing as the new paul manafort.

    the evangelical and jesus freak, former head of the Christian Coalition, was part of a political advising group involving grover norquist, jack abramoff, and ralph reed.

    then came abscam.

    norquist was unscathed. abramoff went to jail. reed went into disgrace.

    but now he’s BAAACK.  did i mention that manafort suit. and ol’ ralph has a message for the members of the senate judiciary committee – promote or perish:

    ol’ ralph reminds me of young nick, another sweet, innocent-looking georgia boy who is v-p pence’s chief of staff (and a real smooth, and early rich, operator):

  18. orionATL says:

    1. christine blasey ford makes an allegation from high school.

    2. students of professor chen at yale make an allegation about how women preping  for a kavanaugh cletkship should dress.  chen’s professor husband has problems too.

    3. kavanaugh is revealed as a member of a fraternity notorious for disrespectful treatment of their female co-students:

    this case may be circumstantial in terms of law, but it is powerful in terms of judgement of fitness to serve the citizens of the united states.

  19. Yette says:

    I realize the Democrats have no idea how to play hardball politics a la Mitch McConnell, but I’m not sure why they are simply not shouting “We will not put another sexual abuser on the Supreme Court”, end of sentence. I believe this would set up a stark contrast for the public. Instead they do this game of lets investigate and lets have witnesses, then let people decide; thats a loser when the GOP are partisan tools.

    • JD12 says:

      They’ll have that opportunity after the hearing and before the vote, when attention is at its peak. McConnell’s remarks today at the “Values Voter Summitt” look like a sign the GOP is going to take the bait, sometimes you just have to wait to set the hook.

  20. harpie says:

    Whelan worked with Kavanaugh on GWB’s OLC:

    New Documents From Kavanaugh’s Time In The Bush White House Show He Worked On Key Questions Of Presidential Power 8/4/18 [Geidner. Leopold] Heavily redacted documents obtained by BuzzFeed News through a FOIA request provide insight into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time as a lawyer for George W. Bush. […] Most of the emails contained in the 230 pages involve communications between Kavanaugh and Ed Whelan, the principal deputy in OLC at the time. […] 

    According to Wikipedia they worked together from 2001-2004

    • harpie says:

      Correction-Whelan worked there during those years…not sure about Kavanaugh. The documents in the Buzzfeed article cover

      The documents — although heavily redacted — show three key issues Kavanaugh worked on with OLC in a three-month period in late 2001 when he was 36 years old:

      • Trip says:

        Whelan has been involved in helping to advise Kavanaugh’s confirmation effort and is close friends with both Kavanaugh and Leonard Leo, the head of the Federalist Society who has been helping to spearhead the nomination. Kavanaugh and Whelan also worked together in the Bush administration.
        Kavanaugh and his allies have been privately discussing a defense that would not question whether an incident involving Ford happened, but instead would raise doubts that the attacker was Kavanaugh, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

        Who needs David Pecker, when you have a tabloid writer as a buddy, amirite?

        • harpie says:

          “Kavanaugh and his allies” evidently includes Senate Judiciary GOP members and staffs: 

 [Communications Adviser @SenJudiciary, Chairman @ChuckGrassley…] To reporters asking: The Senate Judiciary Committee had no knowledge or involvement.


          Then how come Orrin Hatch was floating this exact same “mistaken identity” talking point earlier in the week? Tweet from Hatch’s own staff confirms GOP knew this was coming.

    • harpie says:

      OK—this is all wrong—they did NOT work together at OLC…but they DID work together on these issues.

      From 2001 to 2003, Kavanaugh worked as a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office. And in June 2003, he became Bush’s staff secretary — a role he stayed in through 2006, when he was confirmed to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Articles he’s written and speeches he’s given since then have drawn attention to his views on executive power.

  21. harpie says:

    Maybe this is why GOP needs to have this hearing on Monday:

    from @KyleGriffin1:

    A source who has been talking to Trump told Axios “you have no idea” how hard it has been to keep him from attacking Dr. Blasey Ford. // A WH official said: “Hopefully he can keep it together until Monday. That’s only, like, another 48 hours right?”

    • Trip says:

      That, and the fact that the press will likely dig up even more about Kavanaugh in the meanwhile. People like Hatch and Grassley will pile on the stupid.

      If the Post article is true, then what has come to light in the interim is that Kavanaugh collaborated to point fingers at another guy, for his own defense.

      • Trip says:

        My one comment may not be freed from moderation due to links, but during the Epstein defense, Dershowitz and Starr went all in on hunting down dirt, not only on the victims (and accusers), but specifically on the prosecutors.

        Then Acosta signed off on a sweetheart deal allowing Epstein very little jail time, and no federal investigation/indictment.

        But lo and behold, years later, Acosta is the Labor Secretary in the Trump administration.

        Who knows? Perhaps the classmate that Whelan et al pointed the finger at will later land some appointment under DeVos, Secretary of Education.

        When you look back, it makes you realize the Russians ain’t got nothin’ on our government using kompromat and smears to push policy and protect the aristocrats/oligarchs.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah, somebody didn’t put a tight enough leash on the spray-tan abuser’s Twitter account. Hope they come up with enough golf and KFC to keep him busy until the hearing or we are all going to be hair on fire through the weekend.

  22. Pete says:

    I read a Twitter thread from Casey Money (@casey_connects) that I cannot get to link here. Worth a read and if someone can get the link to work – appreciate it.

    I wonder if filing a complaint in MD helps or hurts her cause.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s the Casey Mooney thread you’re referring to.

      […] To our elected representatives: // – rape is non-partisan // – sexual assault survivors are watching you // – our children are watching you. // Are you sure that rape is the hill you want to die on? // #angrywomenvote 11/ To the man who assaulted me in the basement of that house decades ago: // I learned this week that there is no statute of limitations for felony sexual assault in Montgomery County, MD. // I sincerely hope your nights will be as sleepless as mine as I consider my next steps. /end

    • SteveB says:

      I am glad you posted this in a way which passed moderation, because it affords me the opportunity to apologise to the moderators for a previous attempted post by me on this specfic issue.

      My post did not get through moderation in all probabilty because of the links and no doubt also because I did not express adequately or at all any sufficient caution as to whether I was merely amplifying something which could be a well articulated scam.

      I regretted the incautious post immediately, and apologise for hassle for moderator. I realised that I had not taken on board the discussions recently and repeatedly had on this site about taking care not to amplify what may be sophisticated propoganda.

      Actually, that was one of the matters I had in mind, though never expressed, to spark a discussion about, specifically relating to the Casey Mooney allegations. I should say that the Casey Mooney thread *seems* genuine and persuasive.

      • SteveB says:

        Having just flagellated myself on this sub -thread , the post I discussed now appears upstream with link 06.54 a.m..

  23. Trip says:

    Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
    I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!
    6:14 AM – 21 Sep 2018

    Hey Derp, you just made a great case for an investigation by the FBI.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If Mr. Trump were to be sat down and told to name the date, time, and place of his sexual predations, he would be there until doomsday, crying, “Sister, I can’t remember any of them.  But they were good, and my ruler is longer than yours.”

      How funny that Mr. Trump thinks that the pre-Anita Hill hearings world would have listened to a fifteen year-old, no matter how superb her recollection.  Bonfires were being piled with vanities. The leadership of the Catholic church was still shuffling “errant” priests from parish to parish, to hide their – and the church’s sins – while visiting new ones upon their flock.

      How much more self-protective was the world of elite private schools in the elite enclaves of Bethesda and Chevy Chase, New England and Houston?  Imagine the litany of arguments a young Ms. Blasey Ford would have confronted, starting with, “It will ruin his chances of admission to Yale!”

      And what does it say of the Federalist Society that it devoted so many resources to strategizing how to deal with improper sexual advances allegations against its top Supreme Court pick?

      • Jenny says:

        This speaks volumes about the leader of the pack, ‘Groper in Chief’ & how he feels about & treats women.  “Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign.  Total fabrication.  The events never happened – never.  All of the liars will be sued after the election is over.” DJT, Gettysburg, PA.  2016

        This from an admitted sexual abuser.  See the Access Hollywood tape:

        When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.  Maya Angelou

  24. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Question for the Senate aficionados:

    How many members of the Senate Judiciary Committee must be present for a quorum? If Democrats sit out the hearing, can the Republican members push Kavanaugh forward for a Senate vote with no Democrats present?

    Can the Senate vote to approve Kavanaugh if no Democrats are present in the Senate for a vote?

    Asking for a friend…

Comments are closed.