Kavanaugh’s Tell: “Revenge on Behalf of the Clintons,” Plural

There’s a part of Brett Kavanaugh’s bombastic statement Thursday that has stuck with me, because it reveals the foundational logic of his statement — indeed, his entire candidacy for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.

After complaining about how the nomination has destroyed his family, he accuses a shady, largely fictional, mirror image of the Right Wing Noise Machine of seeking revenge.

This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election. Fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons. and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions, from serving our country.

The guy who insisted that–

I am strongly opposed to giving the President any ‘break’ in the questioning regarding the details of the Lewinsky relationship — unless before questioning on Monday, he either (i) resigns or (ii) confesses perjury and issues a public apology to [sexual assault cover-up expert Ken Starr].

That guy thinks the scrutiny of his own sexual past is just “revenge on behalf of the Clintons,” plural. Not just Hillary for — as he explicitly mentions — “President Trump and the 2016 election.” But also Bill Clinton, the man whom Kavanaugh demanded describe details of his use of sex toys and enjoyment of blowjobs under oath, and perhaps even Chelsea, the young girl who had to watch her parents be humiliated before the entire nation.

In spite of Kavanaugh’s suggestion that this imagined campaign would have consequences for decades, his admission that it might be revenge means it must be revenge for something. For something done to the Clintons. Hillary. And Bill.

For a guy who is unashamed about using stolen emails, the notion that he considers this revenge for Hillary is troubling enough. If this is revenge, it is revenge for Hillary being wronged during the 2016 election, and a big part of that wrong was using stolen emails. And Kavanaugh is no more embarrassed about using stolen emails than the guy who appointed him.

Kavanaugh suggests, in the same breath, that Hillary was wronged, but that denying him a seat on the Supreme Court, even for behavior that resembles that wrong, would be an outrage, even if his nomination was due entirely to the fact that she was wronged.

Brett Kavanaugh is not going to quit, no matter if his entire nomination is illegitimate because Hillary was wronged.

Perhaps more plausibly, Kavanaugh’s use of the plural, “Clintons,” suggests he thinks this is revenge for his own actions 20 years ago, his own demand that a man and his family be publicly humiliated.

But, again, if this is revenge, it suggests what happened to Clinton — the insistence that Bill confess under oath to Kavanaugh about cumming into Monica’s mouth — was itself wrong.

And once again, Brett Kavanaugh, the guy whose career was launched by demanding to hear the sordid details of sex under oath, does not care. Kavanaugh does not care that (as David Brock laid out early in this process) he himself “set a perjury trap for Clinton, laying the foundation for a crazed national political crisis and an unjust impeachment over a consensual affair.” He may recognize this as revenge and in so doing acknowledge that it is akin to the coordinated campaign he wrongly assumes is amassed against him, but he does not care that Democrats are (he imagines) adopting his own playbook.

You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never.

In using that word “revenge” and imagining that Democrats are exacting revenge for both the Clinton impeachment and the use of corrupt means as a means of winning the 2016 election, Kavanaugh admits that he’s just getting a taste of the medicine he once administered. But his response to that is not to take a step back from the edge of the abyss that he himself created (and imagines himself to be standing on), take a step back with the recognition that he himself is not immune from his own tactics, but instead to complete the next logical step, the adoption of those same measures on the highest court of the land.

Never mind that by imagining credible questions about his past treatment of women is solely about the Clintons strips the agency of the millions of women trying to prevent abusers from again getting promoted in spite of it.

Kavanaugh, wrongly, thinks this is revenge for tactics he pioneered long ago. Having faced those tactics and discovered how painful they are, he has doubled down.

109 replies
  1. Geoff says:

    Yup, it’s a sign of his lack of emotional maturity, that he has barely (if at all) progressed from his high school persona, and that, faced with the daunting task of finally contemplating a speck of self-reflection, completely and utterly rejects it, and steams forward in denial.

    This is a scary person to be putting on SCOTUS, and he unmasked his true persona for all of us to see in that hearing. Yet, due to the actions of the Republicans, and how Trump will circumscribe this sham follow up FBI investigation, we are probably stuck with him. For a little while at least.

    My hope is that this charade and the outrage it has created gives us the chance to further swing the legislature and find a way to impeach him as well as the imbecile at the top. One can dream…can one?

    • Onwatch says:

      Alcoholics live in there immature emotional and non existent spiritual state for ever. Paranoid revengeful against the world.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Guilt does terrible things.

    But is his guilt the accumulated pain from the pea he hid under the mattress twenty years ago, or is it from something more recent?  Should we be confident that Brett Kavanaugh – having discarded his robes for a few brewskis with the boys in the palatial suburbs – has stopped being that hyperpartisan GOP operative?

  3. David Lewis says:

    Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine if Kavanaugh had gone after, rather than the salacious bits (did he use a cigar as a sex toy- how very fraternity of you Bill) the more relevant to his fitness for office sex crimes as in rape of Juanita Broderick. Bill might have been forced to resign. Al Gore would have become President and the election of 2000 would have been Bush vs. an incumbent Gore. My how different the world would be if Kavanaugh hadn’t been titilated by nonsense but had instead gone after actual sex crimes, admittedly that he had likely also committed.

  4. Edward says:

    Exhibit 1094 pt. B that Projection rests at the foundation of right wing claims of victimization.

    I’ve been struck, however, that more has not been made in mainstream coverage about the issue of judicial temperament in the wake of his performance. That push back could have started with the Democrats on the committee during their questioning. Maybe they were just too shocked with his tactics in real time, or did not think they could draw attention to it given the limited 5 minute window of questioning, but if I were Amy Klobuchar, or one of the senators coming after her, I would have started to ask Kavanugh about how he as a judge would treat a witness who responded to counsel’s questions with “I dunno, do you?” That was jaw-dropping to see a potential Supreme Court justice exposed as a petty, insecure fratboy bully. And it is that character that made him such a perfect political hack in the 90s and 00s.

    And it looks like they will get away with pushing him onto the court, after Mark Judge and P.J. simply tell the FBI that they have absolutely no memory of any parties or of ever having known Ford.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I think that’s starting to come up more and more, just based on the news clips I’ve seen.  I’ve seen the exchange with Amy Klobuchar played over and over again.  And Saturday Night Live was pretty much a direct hit.  His judicial temperament will definitely be talked about over the coming week.

  5. tony prost says:

    Most interesting to me were the micro-expressions that crossed the face of his wife sitting behind him, as he fulminated. And what particular points made her face change.

  6. Momma Kakes says:

    Hey, he reminded of those creepy guys you meet during your life. The ones of lower status you understand why they are at that level. The one of higher status you know it was of connections and privilege because if they had to work their way to that position, they would have failed miserably. Kavanaugh was nominated by a creepy guy because they have a kinship in hating Hillary, allowing the office of the presidency to gain more powerful although autocratic and the perpetuation of old white men maintaining power. I want diversity in all aspects of this country simply because it is why it has managed to be strong since 1775. It pains me when I see pockets of talent being pushed aside due to the many “isms” that allowed it to stopped. This country should be a beacon for all other countries if it executed what the constitution says in its first line-We the people”. Just imagine how great this country could be.

  7. Frank Probst says:

    The other important part of his crazed rant about conspiracy theories is that he more or less vowed revenge for them.  That also needs to be hammered on over and over.  Impartial umpires don’t say things like that.  Partisan hacks do.

    • Trip says:

      Yes, Frank, that was most significant. He will give ‘payback’ to people by virtue of his high position, “vengeance is mine”.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Aaaaaaannnnnnndddddd I just reread EW’s post, and the “revenge” part was pretty much the point of most of the post.  I’m just going to be quiet until I’ve had more coffee.  Apologies for the comment.  That was just a dumb thing for me to say.

      • somecallmetim says:

        After reading this post I thought the bolded word in the headline would’ve been Clintons – it was just now that I Tripped over the ominousness of revenge on the bench.

  8. getouttahere says:

    @Edward, @Frank Probst (I can’t get “reply” to work)

    k’s response to Sen. Klobuchar — in and of itself, his “apology notwithstanding” — should disqualify him from any judicial position. Of course that response is simply diagnostic of who this ass-clown really is. In any somewhat sane universe, he’d have been run out of town by now. Is there any way to have a blackout about this whole episode?

  9. AitchD says:

    As a mason who worked construction on the “vast right-wing conspiracy”, and put in overtime, Kavanaugh would know a vast left-wing conspiracy when he saw one. He has fast access to stuff assembled by people who walk down the street humming algorithms, Wall-Street-quality mining. It sounded like he was pointing at Feinstein and Schumer for starters plus former Senator Feingold’s accusations that Kavanaugh provably lied to the Senate every time he testified in prior confirmation hearings. He looked and sounded like a gauleiter.

  10. orionATL says:

     a major, repeated emotional reaction from brett kavanaugh – junior preditor and senior hector javert of the clintons –  involves the psychological phenomenon called “projection”:

    1. “A psychoanalytical theory, projection is the process whereby one subject believes they see attributes (both good and bad) in another. The theory views this tendency as a defense mechanism whereby unenviable or unpleasant traits, impulses or ideas are attributed to another. In this way, the projector is able to avoid the unpleasantness in themselves. However, the theory goes on to explain that in severe cases of projection, the condition of projection may degenerate into paranoid delusions to the point that the projector believes others are responsible for the projector’s problems and are secretly plotting against them. The projection basically allows a subject to ignore faults within themselves.

    PROJECTION: “Andrew’s mistrust of his neighbors turned out to be a classic case of projection.”


    2. projection as miss wiki describes it:

    ” Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.[1] For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting…

    The Babylonian Talmud (500 AD) notes the human tendency toward projection and warns against it: “Do not taunt your neighbour with the blemish you yourself have.”[7]…”

    kavanaugh’s public political speech involving projection is protective of a now deeply wounded man, who for years worked years with prosecutor ken starr hounding the clintons mecilessly about their character, intentions, and fitness for office.

    now in extremis, his life’s goal slipping away from him due to his repeated prior misconduct, kavanaugh decidess to hold those he persecuted, the clintons, together with sjc democrats responsible for the current public questioning of his character and his fitness to serve on the supreme court, despite the evidence that that questioning is based solidly on prior besotted and violent behavior revealed to the public thru serious allegations of drunkenness and sexual assault by his victims.

    • Becky C. says:

      He’s a drunk.  He talks, reasons and behaves like a drunk.  To those of us in the recovery community his behavior is very familiar – and fools none of us.  Someone else is always to blame, they’ve made you do what you do and it’s not your fault.  How could it be?

      I was hoping he’d get a DUI over the weekend, to be honest!  I can only imagine how badly he wanted a drink during the hearings.

      • Bruce Olsen says:

        I would have posted this if you hadn’t. My experience is on the other end, not yours.

        The testimony felt like a failed intervention, didn’t it?

        He drank a lot of water, too. Perhaps it’s medication but it would be consistent with staying up too late, with a little too much lubrication to help him write that unhinged statement. The dehydration, repetition, projection and denial all fit that hypothesis.

        Trust me on this.

        • Desider says:

          All that aside, if this statement was a hint at the quality of his judicial opinions and statements of record, we’re in for some deep infancy & immaturity on the bench. Let’s hope he at least plays Clarence Thomas & keeps his mouth shut, but I don’t see that happening.

      • Buford says:

        yeah…a dry drunk, trying to hustle his way out of this committee, and into a large, Beer…I have been a non-drinker for all my life, but after watching parts of the hearing, I wanted a stiff drink….but all I got was a headache after pounding my forehead on the desk….

  11. Theresa N says:

    I would love to hear Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s psychoanalysis of Brett’s testimony.

    I would like to believe that if the GOP rams Brett onto SCOTUS, there will be a blowback at the polls like we’ve never seen.

    I’ve been reading that Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society is directly responsible for getting 3 judges on SCOTUS, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch & Brett would make 4, not to mention all the right wing federal judges that have been seated during this Bermuda Triangle administration. Why isn’t this brought out into the sunlight more?

    • bmaz says:

      Why? I cannot think of a more ridiculous and impertinent thing for her to do. This stuff is not out there for the internet pleasure quotient. In fact, if people are not stupid, it is completely against that. Don’t ask for things that, with a decent attorney, you would never contemplate. Come on, seriously, stop.

  12. bobster33 says:

    Hey empty wheel, stop calling it revenge. It’s justice. This train wreck of a hearing is putting sunlight on Kavnaugh’s behavior, giving his many female victims (Christine Ford, Renate, etc.) a voice, AND a little reminder that what is good for goose is good for the gander.

    Point #2. Kavanaugh lied. He lied about receiving stolen emails, he lied about his roles in various official capacities, he lied about the meaning of various acronyms on his year book AND he lied about not remembering sexually assaulting any of his victims. Bill Clinton lost his license and had to pay a fine for lying to a special prosecutor. Kavanaugh should receive no less than the same. And without his law license,, I think Kavanaugh is off of the DC court.

  13. Francine Fein says:

    It’s his lies, his anger, his vindictive partisan threats, his sense of entitlement, the mysterious erasure of his enormous debt, his disrespect of the women questioning him at the hearing, and his past political and judicial record that should make him ineligible for confirmation. He’s weak. And somebody owns him.

  14. mgloraine says:

    He thinks in terms of revenge because that’s a major motivator for him. The impeachment of Clinton was largely revenge for Nixon, or so it seemed at the time.

    Also disturbing was his “what goes around comes around”. Sounds like a threat to me. “Just wait til I’m on the court; then I’ll get even!” We should take his threat seriously.

    But mostly I’m concerned about his drinking. He may have a serious alcohol problem, I think he was drunk for his big hearing. THAT’S what this FBI check SHOULD be looking into in addition to the allegations at hand.

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      His behavior seemed to me more like a morning after; he hadn’t metabolized everything from the night before but hadn’t necessarily had anything that morning. With cotton brain and dry mouth to go along with it.

      I’d be checking the security cameras and questioning anyone that got close to him.

      I feel bad for his family.

  15. michaelf says:

    as a drunk myself, watching him get wrapped up the way he did brought back memories of Euphoric recall
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Euphoric recall is a psychological term for the tendency of people to remember past experiences in a positive light, while overlooking negative experiences associated with that event(s). Euphoric recall has been cited as a factor in substance dependence,[1][2][3] as well as anger problems.[4] Individuals may become obsessed with recreating the remembered pleasures of the past

  16. bg says:

    I also thought it was possible he was drinking liquor (vodka/water) during the hearing. People more schooled (alcoholics/recovering alcoholics) are a better judge than I, but I spent long years working in bars. I have seen a lot of people (including Sen. Klobuchar who has apparently lived with alcoholism most of her life) talking about all the tells on full display including the swings between tears and anger. He thinks because he (usually) drinks beer, he’s not alcoholic. We have all heard that before. Someone mentioned that Orangey hates drunks, and he probably was familiar with this type of behavior from his late brother, Fred. I feel discouraged about the FBI investigation today and hope for an intervention by some investigative reporters.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’m still not clear on what the hell happened at the hearing.  Maybe he had been coached to play the angry innocent victim, but the emotion seemed real to me.  He may have been dialing it up or down after getting some coaching during the breaks, but that looked like real raw fury and self-pity to me.  It had been reported that he had gone through some serious mock interviews before he went into the real one, and even then, they were saying that he was “frustrated” by questions about his drinking and his personal life.  My guess is that the reason the committee wanted Blasey Ford to testify rather than having the FBI talk to her is that they were banking on her either refusing to testify OR being picked to pieces by their hired gun.  They weren’t expecting her to be as believable and sympathetic as she was, and their hired gun never really landed a solid hit on her.  At that point, Kavanaugh (and the GOP side of the committee) knew that simply going in front of the committee and calmly denying everything was never going to work.  I don’t know what happened at that point. Kavanaugh may have panicked at seeing things slip away from him, but I’m having trouble seeing that as the ONLY thing that happened right before he testified.  He knew what the questions were going to be.  He’d had a week and a half to prep for them.  And he still just flat out lost it during his opening statement, and the whole train wreck just went on from there.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        We could start with Roy Cohn’s Rules:

        1. Always Deny.  Never Admit.

        2. Attack.  Blame the Victim.

        3. Attack Again.

        4. Accept Victory.  Demand More.

        5. Rinse.  Repeat.

        Looks pretty much like the conduct I saw from Brett, Lindsey, and company.

      • Rayne says:

        I suspect he was coached before and after his Fox interview. He was playing to different audiences: he needed to look like a calm, collected judge to the Fox crowd while to the Senate Judiciary’s privileged old white men he needed to look like he was completely affronted by the accusation Dr. Ford made against his entitled ass (and he got carried away for reasons we may not ever know).

        Both performances were bullshit, of course.

      • Anon says:

        I strongly suspect someone relayed the current mood on Air Force One to him. Technically the one person who can yank his nomination is Trump (although others could effectively block it). According to media reports Trump was unimpressed with his Fox News interview where he looked weak and was unhappy with how impressive Dr. Ford was. Although as Kellyane Conway struggled to assure us “he wasn’t throwing things at the TV.” so I guess that is ok.

        Faced with the prospect of losing everything I think he decided to play up to Trump. Whether he intentionally dialed that all the way to crazyland or whether he lost control I am not sure. That said he has been sloppier than I expected from Day 1 so perhaps he just hit his limit.

  17. somecallmetim says:

    Maybe his opening performance was ‘plan B’ after the hired gun didn’t expose Dr. Ford. His response to Sen. Klobuchar was raw and nasty, but was also an effective derailing of that line of questioning.

    • Anon says:

      I’m not so sure it was effective. If anything it was exactly the kind of response an alcoholic gives when they are called out. If anything I think it called attention to it in a way that never would have happened if he bit is tongue.

    • Anon says:

      I think they definitely scrambled after the hired gun. I think that is exactly why Lindsey Grahm booted her out of the way and why the rest followed suit. Clearly the plan to have her break under patient questioning and him stand up to it wasn’t going to fly in their minds.

      Additionally it is interesting that the primary goal of having a female prosecutor was to avoid the bad optics of a bunch of Senators berating a woman about assault. But then any hope of cover that might have given them was burned when those same senators sidelined that prosecutor so that the man wouldn’t face questioning and so they could all pound the table together and insult the female Senators.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Agree with Anon that it wasn’t terribly effective at derailing that line of questioning.  For the next two minutes, perhaps, but that clip has been played so many times now that anyone who sees it can conclude what the answer to the question is, and the optics of Kavanaugh snapping at a female Senator were horrible.

  18. Eric says:

    The man who thinks that having justice served upon him could only be revenge is a sociopath who believes he is flawless nobility.

    That is the stunted world view of a child. Which makes him precisely the sort of man who would have no mercy upon other, flawed people, because he cannot comprehend their existence. I felt like this when I was in grade school I didn’t understand why everyone didn’t get straight A report cards or got in trouble because I was perfect. At his age you hope for more maturity.

  19. Anon says:

    If your enemy is irrational, fundamentally unwilling to compromise, and dedicated to salting the earth to destroy you then you are justified in fighting back by any means necessary.

    What Kavanaugh did was lay bare his own self-reinforcing justification.

  20. pseudonymous in nc says:

    This is a crucial point: people with clean consciences don’t live their lives expecting to face vengeance. Angry Rapey Drunky might be saturated with entitlement and privilege but all the benefits he received from being Ken Starr’s prurient apprentice have probably convinced him there’d one day be a reckoning.

    Anyway, I know a few healthcare providers who work in the prison system, and the Klobuchar exchange was very familiar to them.

  21. Geoff says:

    Looks like The Revenge of the Sith will have a sequel when Brett comes on board SCOTUS :


    Not talking to Squi, and FBI can’t ask Safeway when Judge worked there. Yeah, that’s a useful investigation. Yup.

    I think we can officially call it a sham now. I couldnt watch Flake in his self congratulatory moment on 60 minutes tonight, but I sure as heck someone calls him out on this ruse of his. He is such a fricking tool.

    • Anon says:

      Yes. It’s hard to justify omitting an actual witness as a thurough free investigation. Even in a shoplifting case they get statements from everyone.

      The only question for the Trump White House is whether the FBI will unearth anything from Mark Judge and the question for the rest of us is whether the Press will.

  22. Anon says:

    It seems that another classmate of Kavanaugh has come forward to the FBI documenting that he was frequently a belligerent drunk:


    Additionally in the official emails on the judiciary commitee there is one where someone (possibly him but I am not sure how they are anonymizing) apparently apologizes for breaking up a dice game and getting angry even as he says “(don’t recall)”. If that is Kavanaugh that would be a direct admission.

    See the bottom of this link: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/09-06-18%20GWB%20Document%20Production%20%20-%20Booker%203.pdf

  23. JD12 says:

    To hear Kavanaugh say that was stunning. I assumed he saw Ford’s testimony, thought he was doomed, and chose to go down swinging. With his background, he had to know it was way too partisan for a Supreme Court nominee. (Assuming it wasn’t just the self-destruction of a drunk with an anger management problem.)

    Lindsey Graham’s rant also looked like a tell. Revenge for Merrick Garland was implied. He accused Democrats of trying to hold the seat open until 2020, but it’s doubtful a single Democrat thinks that can happen. Republicans can make sure it doesn’t—they have plenty of time to confirm a different nominee before the end of January, regardless of midterm results.

    Neither one of them was acting out of strength; those were panic attacks. I’m not a political scientist or anything, but I really can’t imagine this guy on the Supreme Court. Not in the #MeToo era. I’m fairly confident McConnell is either bluffing or semi-bluffing on the vote.

    Also, does anyone know what Graham was talking about when he said “You’ve said that, not me” about holding the seat open until 2020? I didn’t go deep because I was skeptical, but I couldn’t find any Democrat who said that.

    • Anon says:

      With respect to the former, I would be inclined to agree with you but tribal instincts have run strong this cycle. While the repeal of the ACA failed look at what McConnell accomplished with the tax bill. When push comes to shove people were ready to toss aside everything to get it over the line. So at this point while I don’t see why anyone but Grahm and Trump would want him on the bench, I won’t lay money that they won’t find some way to push either Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski into line.

      As to the “you said that” did you look on Fox? It is quite possible that his perception of what Democrats have said is not driven by any public statements but by what Fox says they will say.

      • JD12 says:

        It’s going to take a profile in courage from someone—probably Flake. He’s not running for reelection and he only has to deal with those grouches Grassley and McConnell for a couple more months.

        I do think he’s genuinely conflicted. He was close to McCain, and it would be like McCain’s healthcare vote.

        Remember, McCain gave the speech about returning to regular order, but voted to move ahead with the bill, making the speech look like an empty gesture. He didn’t vote against it until the final vote, which is what Flake could end up doing. He seems to possibly be telegraphing it.

        I can see it going either way, but I think it’s 60/40 that Kavanaugh will lose the vote. If he gets confirmed, it means we haven’t made any progress since Anita Hill, but I think we have.

        • Anon says:

          I agree that he might be conflicted. Like Susan Collins with the tax bill he doesn’t *want* to vote for Kavanaugh. But in the end he probably will because he will go along with the tribe unlike John McCain and Lisa Murkowski on the healthcare vote where tribal loyalties were, for the moment, suppressed by genuine policy objections.

          In many respects this is a replay of the healthcare vote, especially for Lisa Murkowski who is offered a nominee who has already ruled against one of her core constituencies and who is clear about his desire to unroll things she has staked a reputation on defending. This is similarly true for Susan Collins although it is clear that before now Susan Collins wanted cover to vote for him. Now all three want something more to assuage their consciences. In the case of Flake however I am not expecting it will take much. But I could be wrong.

          • Trip says:

            I will preface this by saying I am suspicious and cynical about politicians, but I don’t think it’s a conscience thing for Collins. I think it is about having adequate cover to vote for the guy she wants to vote for. It’s political expediency and self preservation, IMO.

  24. Laura says:

    The conclusion is inevitable: the GOP Senators will railroad Kavanaugh through and congratulate themselves heartily.  No one on the GOP side of the aisle seems to care that Kavanaugh is a rude, belligerent, partisan liar, as he so clearly demonstrated last week.  Family values, my ass.  Trump/GOP hypocrisy gets more mind-boggling every day.

    My husband and I will be reflexively voting a straight Democratic ticket this year, which is something neither of us has ever done before.  The GOP in its current incarnation needs to be put out of business.

  25. klynn says:

    I hope some sharp legal voices rip Mitchell’s irresponsible document to shreds with a sharp analysis. IANAL and I can see it is crap.

    BTW, if I were Ford’s lawyer, I would be trying to get a statement from Sqig.

  26. Frank Probst says:

    Agree with @bmaz and others that Don McGahn will try to hobble this investigation as much as they can.  That may backfire, depending on how the summary report is written.  If it highlights areas that the FBI clearly thought were relevant to explore but were specifically told not to, it’s not going to be much of a fig leaf, and the summary is going to leak almost immediately.

    In the meantime, I think that more and more people are coming forward in the media to challenge Kavanaugh’s testimony.  The picture of a sloppy and belligerent drunk is becoming clearer and clearer.  I’ve seen only feeblest of challenges against Blasey Ford at this point, and those have only been unsubstantiated tweets that nobody is really paying attention to.  There’s still the doppelgänger defense, but the few people still trying to run with that idea obviously aren’t putting their hearts into the effort.
    Jeff Flake may have boxed himself in on 60 Minutes last night by saying that if Kavanaugh lied under oath, his nomination is over.  Kavanaugh lied under oath.  If Flake is serious (and I don’t really believe that he is), then the nom is dead.

    In any case, I don’t expect the picture to get better for Kavanaugh by Friday, and there’s a good chance that it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse.  I’m still leaning toward thinking he’ll be confirmed, but I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion at this point.

    • Trip says:

      They probably already completed the permitted interviews already. Wasn’t there only like 4 people?
      None of them being “Squi”. It’s kind of surprising that the press hasn’t tried harder to speak with him, for better or worse.

      I have to say that I’m glad a person, whoever it was, leaked the fact that the investigation was severely stymied. It’s good knowing that ahead of time.

  27. Tracy says:

    Thank you, Marcy! And others, excuse me b/c I’ve not read all of your comments yet (also, for some reason I couldn’t post this to the previous post re: sham investigation).

    Wanted to alert people to this piece of reporting by NYMag which appears to lay out what is known the scope and restraints of the Kav background check:

    “FBI’s Kavanaugh Investigation May Be Designed to Fail”
    Only 4 witnesses – Judge, P.J., Leland, Ramirez – the only leeway FBI has appears to be in having questioned the witnesses (complete I believe as of today), they will present the WH their findings and suggestions for follow-ups with more people who came out of those interviews (today). Blasey Ford not been interviewed yet. Ramirez gave names of people who could back up her claims, but WH has to approve asking them. But it’s worth having a look here for yourself.

    BTW – I’ve seen Michael Avenatti suggesting that he and his client will now pursue other means.

    • Trip says:

      As Marcy has said, this is like when the Senate Intelligence Committee said it found no evidence of “collusion” (conspiracy), because it never looked.

      There was some guy on twitter who went to school with Kavanaugh who disputed his drinking narrative. He tried to contact the FBI, who told him to contact his local office. After only getting recordings, they acted like they didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. I’ll have to see if I can find it. Perhaps you’ve already read it.

      We are currently living under gov’t like the Kremlin. With people like Graham wanting Democrats investigated rather than Kavanaugh. The people who should be investigated aren’t. We have a kangaroo court operating.

      • Tracy says:

        We – are – becoming – a – banana – republic.

        I’d be interested in that info – I’ve seen something about a guy denying Kav’s drinking problem, but not in relation to going to the FBI. Thx, Trip!

        I’m just picturing the field offices getting flooded with tips and info. The Senate GOP puppet masters/ Bill Burck/ Leonard Leo are going to try everything they can to stifle all of this – including Julie Swetnick and all of the other credible, corroborating witnesses and leads – but I really wonder if they can hide the truth if it comes as a tsunami.

        But regardless, we ought to call this farce for what it is: a giant COVER UP.

        • trype says:

          This might be it here Tracy:

          “The classmate, who asked to remain anonymous, recalled hearing about Ramirez’s allegation either the night it happened or during the following two days. The classmate said that he was “one-hundred-per-cent certain” that he had heard an account that was practically identical to Ramirez’s, thirty-five years ago, but the two had never spoken about it. He had hoped to convey this to the F.B.I., but, when he reached out to a Bureau official in Washington, D.C., he was told to contact the F.B.I. field office nearest his home. When he tried that, he was referred to a recording. After several attempts to reach a live person at the field office, he finally reached an official who he said had no idea what he was talking about. At this point, he went back to the official at the F.B.I.’s D.C. headquarters, who then referred him, too, to an 800-number tip line. (He eventually left a tip through an online portal.)
          “I thought it was going to be an investigation,” the Yale classmate said, “but instead it seems it’s just an alibi for Republicans to vote for Kavanaugh.” He said that he had been in touch with other classmates who also wanted to provide information corroborating Ramirez’s account, but that they had not done so.

          On Sunday, a second Yale classmate, Charles Ludington, released a statement accusing Kavanaugh of blatantly mischaracterizing his college drinking during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Ludington said that Kavanaugh often grew “belligerent and aggressive” when drunk, and that he had planned to share his information with the F.B.I. “I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth,” Ludington wrote. “I felt it was my civic duty to tell of my experience while drinking with Brett, and I offer this statement to the press. I have no desire to speak further publicly, and nothing more to say to the press at this time. I will however, take my information to the F.B.I.” The Times reported that Ludington, a professor at North Carolina State University, said that the F.B.I.’s D.C. field office had told him to go to the Bureau’s Raleigh, North Carolina, field office on Monday if he wished to speak with agents. Ludington said that he intended to do so and “tell the full details of my story.” A lawyer representing Kavanaugh did not respond to a request for comment about Ludington’s statement.”


        • Rayne says:

          We ARE a banana republic. Reducing restrictions on asbestos and mercury, for example. Locking up tens of thousands of children in concentration camps is another.

          Attempting to seat a jurist with a sketchy background is merely the consolidation of power cherry on top.

  28. klynn says:

    For those unsuccessfully reaching FBI…
    I would fax a letter to the FBI explaining I had information and CC Ford’s team or the teams of the other two victims and make sure they have the corroborating evidence to use.

    Create a paper trail with timestamps if you are coming forward.

    Any legal channel the “other Yale witnesses” might be able to take to get their accounts heard and into the process?

  29. Tracy says:

    It looks like Avenatti has gotten his client to sit down with a news anchor, photo is on his Twitter feed (I’m not on Twitter so can’t read comments as to who it is.)

    It’s about time Julie Swetnick was able to share her story! The claws are out for her – time for her to reclaim her space. The GOP is probably terrified.

    • Trip says:

      Kate Snow, NBC Nightly News? I don’t know time and date.

      Under comments it looks like Fox News is going to have her ex-boyfriend on to discredit her.

      Michael Avenatti
      ‏Verified account @MichaelAvenatti

      Let’s see if @IngrahamAngle asks my client’s ex boyfriend about the myriad of fraud and others misconduct he has engaged in tonight when she has him on her “show.” I’m going to enjoy bringing the truth to light and embarrassing her in the process.

      Lots of comments wrt her history

      I’m not on twitter either, but I can still read them. They aren’t private right now.

      • Tracy says:

        TY! BTW – I watched his video he posted about the investigation being a sham. He says that Swetnick’s boyfriend has been up for fraud several times, stole her resume to get a job, when he was found out he was fired.

        This will not come up on State TV, but Avenatti will refute whatever is said on LI’s show. The Fox viewership is already lost on Kav anyway, having consumed disinfo about about him since day 1. The GOP has a head start in their smear campaign against her (McConnell has also been involved), but I believe that the truth will now be out!

        Smart of them to keep everyone in suspense as to timing… build anticipation – probably safer for Julie, too.

    • Tracy says:

      BTW – he said in interview w/ Chris Cuomo – he’s spoken with many, many people who can corroborate her statement. I believe that there are 1-2 people who she told of her assault contemporaneously – at least one of whom is willing to come forward.

  30. Jenny says:

    What Brett Kavanaugh said about Hillary Clinton in David Brock’s book Blinded by the Right on page 306 :

    As I arrived at the house, which was decied out in an oversized southwestern motif more appropriate for a bachelor’s mountain hideaway, the network cameras were coming on. When I saw one of Ken Starr’s deputies, Brett Kavanaugh, who was sitting across from me, mouth the word “bitch” when the camera panned to Hillary, I excused myself and sat in the darkened pine-scented dining room alone, smoking.

    Brock also wrote an essay for NBC


    So much more to be revealed …

  31. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump is bragging about a trade deal with two countries we can’t do without.  The best.  The best.  It’s a privilege to do business with us.  All those jobs that will come back, high-quality American jobs.  The best ever, a new dawn. Single greatest agreement ever.  The USMC.

    He’s bragging that he can read words like, “ice cream” and “auto parts”.  He repeats a Spanish language surname that he was up all night learning to pronounce.  Still a work in progress.  He chats with NYC policemen about their investments he says.  Who else would talk to him about investments besides his Russian-speaking clients?

    Offshoring is a real problem.  The loss of American jobs owes much to it, but it’s not solely due to NAFTA. The de facto American economic policy towards large corporations rewards it.  Wall Street demands it.  When he does something about those encouragements of offshoring, I’ll clap.

    More protections for patents and other intellectual property we do NOT need.  We need to scale them back.  And China is still his whipping boy.  That’s gonna come back to bite the US in the ass.  Ditto the EU.

    The German cars he mentions are made in the US.  The farm products the EU rejects are largely Frankenfoods and things like chlorine-washed chicken.  That wash does not kill the germs sprayed onto the meat from supercharged production line speeds, it only prevents them from being cultured.  They’re still on the food when you prepare it on your counter.  Cooking kills it on the meat, but who cooks their counter?  So good for the EU.

    The Don is proud of employing ex-cons.  Gives them a chance.  An admission, a hope, and a Freudian slip is my guess.

    The Don hates press conferences.  He’s had fewer than any modern predecessor.  So he must really need distraction from Kavanaugh and Mueller and his party’s expectations for November.

  32. Allison Holland says:

    i think fear of revenge is actually just part of kavanaugh’s psychotic melt down. he was educated by jesuits. they believe in hell. i think he sees this judgeship as a sign from his god. is God going to punish him or reward him. the other side of the mirror mentioned in the article is that what he has done to his neighbor his neighbor is doing to him. he has done bad things other judges have corrected. as in the case of the teenager he sought to control as though he was Gods arrow. he is of the old belief that adheres to mans dominion over not just woman but the poor. the uneducated and the alien. he is doing his gods work but seeds of doubt are all around him. his classmates, his friends, his protectors are beginning to ask him to answer for his judgement of others. his foundation is on sand. he is divided by truth and prejudice and so he is falling. he is cracking and by god he needs a drink. he might see himself as samson. tied to that chair. he will bring the pillars down before he gives up.

  33. Trip says:

    I really hope Mueller doesn’t wait until the midterms, and that the GJ announces a big indictment on Friday. All of the Kavanaugh krush is just another form of obstruction for ConFraudUSA, when you really break it down to basics. McConnell and the other villains have their own reasons, but for Trump, it’s just really obstruction, using the system. How fucking sad is that?

  34. Frank Probst says:

    Okay, I follow most of the MSM, and then for as much “balance” as I can take, I’ll watch some of the Fox News clips on Rawstory and keep an eye on the drudgereport. My take is that the situation is still quite fluid, but the MSM is focusing on the multiple “difficulties” with the truth that Kavanaugh had during his testimony (multiple independent analyses here) and with the fact that the FBI investigation is clearly being severely limited to the point of sabotage (which the White House is trying to lie about, but they’re immediately getting shot down by other sources). The right-wing media is now pretty much whining about the whole process and saying that things are now uncertain, as well as that Blasey Ford MIGHT be a psychotic slut, because there may be someone who knows someone who said so. (The last part seems to be coming up in tweets and then disappearing.) Smearing Blasey Ford would have been the #1 priority of the right-wing slime machine the minute her name became public. If they had anything solid, it would have come out either right before or right after their testimony. (And attempts to have the FBI interview “credibility witnesses” will be immediately countered with the argument that they aren’t doing the same thing for Kavanaugh.) The best that the GOP can do right now is cite Mitchell’s ludicrous letter about not prosecuting this case based solely on Thursday’s testimony. Well, no, you’d probably talk to other witnesses first. After you finished the second half of your analysis of Thursday’s testimony. This doesn’t appear to be getting much traction, probably because the MSM has already had numerous former sex crimes prosecutors giving commentary on this case since Thursday, and so far none of them are buying it.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Oh, and I keep having to remind myself that Mitchell’s title is technically “Mitch McConnell’s stooge”, NOT “Charles Grassley’s stooge” or “the stooge for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s GOP majority”.  This is worth remembering, because the vote is out of the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee right now.  They’re just doing TV appearances and “interacting” with McGahn’s team at this point.

      • bmaz says:

        I do not know if that has actually been established with certainty. Did I miss something? And I may well have, honest question!

        • Frank Probst says:

          When in doubt, assume that you’re right and I’m wrong.  That being said, I thought McConnell was the one who announced that she had been hired as outside counsel by the GOP.  I think I remember that the reason they did it this way is because if they had hired her as a “consultant” to the GOP majority of the Senate Judiciary committee, DiFi would’ve had to approve her, and McConnell therefore hired her to get around that provision.  It’s possible that I misunderstood, and that Grassley was the one who hired her, but I thought it was McConnell.  (It could be that she’s technically on Grassley staff, but McConnell was the one who made the announcement.  I’ll try to find a citation.)

        • Frank Probst says:

          Yup, you’re right.  Would you mind embedding this text into the original post?
          CORRECTION (10/1/18, 2:05 PM Central Time):  It appears from everything I’ve looked at that I got it completely wrong.  Prosecutor Mitchell is (was?), in fact, “Charles Grassley’s stooge” (or “the stooge for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s GOP majority”).  She is NOT  “Mitch McConnell’s stooge”.  I will be more careful in the future.  I apologize for assigning Ms Mitchell as stooge to the wrong old, white, male, GOP Senator, and I thank @bmaz for pointing out the error.

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    One of Kavanaugh’s lying issues that the FBI should investigate further is his full Sgt. Schultz, his claim that he knew nussink, about Judge Alex Kozinski’s sexual misconduct.  That conduct was so egregious that Kozinski was recently forced to resign as the 9th Circuit’s chief judge and leave the court.

    Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski, remained in close contact with him for decades, and hired Kozinski’s son as one of his own clerks, even though he hadn’t made the usual grades or made the Yale Law Review (as is typically required).

    In fact, Kavanaugh got that clerkship with Kozinski after his friend, current Sec’y of HHS, Alex Azar (another YLS alum), resigned as Kozinski’s clerk six weeks after starting the job.  It strains credulity that he and Azar did not talk about why.

    Being the partisan political climber that he is, Kavanaugh’s clerks often either look like female models or are relatives of the powerful.  That’s how Kavanaugh hired Kozinski’s son, then sent him to the Supremes to clerk for Anthony Kennedy.  (That Kennedy took him attests to his continuing relationship with Kavanaugh.)  A good take down on all of this is here.

  36. Tracy says:

    Does anyone know what live event Jeff Flake is at? I just heard on NPR that he is currently speaking to a group, has said he wants a REAL investigation, that all known allegations should be looked into and those people interviewed (to include Swetnick I’d imagine). That’s all paraphrased from what I heard on NPR.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’m going to guess that once he called for an FBI investigation, he was all-in.  Right now, only half (or less) of the people in his state hate him.  If he flip-flops at this point, he gets hated on the right for calling for the investigation, and hated on the left for it being a sham.  I also have the sense that he’s listening to one or more women in his family or close circle of friends who have been sexually assaulted, and they’re calling bullshit on the current “investigation”.

        • Frank Probst says:

          It probably was, but it looks like things are changing.  Or at least people are claiming that they’re changing.  The story is still coming together right now.

          • Tracy says:

            There were apparently protestors at said event, too. They are not letting him slip easily into the night.

            I believe that I also read that Murkowski yesterday said that she supported the FBI’s determining for themselves who to interview – did anyone else see that?

            If she and Flake were to band together on this, the GOP would have to comply (2 votes).

            I suppose we’ll have to wait for more reporting on each.

  37. Allison Holland says:

    yes. kavanaugh is proud of his stable. which makes me think about his basketball coaching. flake said he thought kavanaugh qualified to be a supreme court justice because he coached girls basketball and cornyn thought he should be because he had married a woman from texas. the senatorial inquisition had gone so smoothly…. as long as senators ask us to be stupid and 37 percent comply with joyed frenzy then golly gee please vote republicans out. i from texas. please send help.

  38. Taxidermist says:

    Reading news stories prior to Thursday’s Ford & Kavanaugh event, I assumed BK used to be a heavy drinker, people knew about it, and he was in recovery. I was pretty shocked when he kept repeating that he still drinks, and that he drinks the same as when the allegations occurred. If his  yelling or Clinton conspiracy theories didn’t sway the vote, that should have clearly sealed his fate.

  39. orionATL says:

    i keep running into commentary that connects rapid approval of the kavanaugh nomination with an impending supreme court case named gamble vs united states. the case turns on the 5th amendment prohibition of double jeopardy (trying a person twice for a particular set of actions, e.g., robbing a bank).

    an established american legal doctrine called “double sovereighnty” allows both federal and state prosecution for the same set of actions.

    though it is not the key issue in the suit, this case is said to have relevance to the effect of the presidential authority to pardon, in particular, pres trump’s ability to pardon people who might be co-conspirators with him on some matter, e.g., managort, leaving them free of any possibility of state level prosecution.

    any wise legal heads here have an opinion on the case itself, or, more relevantly, on whether it might be at the center of the senate/whitehouse effort to ram kavanaugh thru however unfit events have proven him to be?



    • Rayne says:

      It definitely is. Marcy did note one detail which should be added to that must-read related to Virginia Hume, a key signer of the 65-Lady letter.

      Nice to see you again at emptywheel. You have two different usernames; please choose and stick to one so community members get to know you. Thanks.

  40. Alibe says:

    If I read the facts correctly, Kavanaugh was involved in a fight at a bar in Sept of 1985. Police were called. A police report was filed. Kavanaugh was born in Feb of 1965. That means he was only 20 years old. Underage….used a false identity or forged one to be served in a bar in Connecticut. How did he get off from assault and underage drinking? He is not an amateur liar or drunk or a mean drunk!

    • Rayne says:

      Really need to put down some sort of timeline to keep track of all the dates germane to Kavanaugh’s misdeeds and lies along with the relevant drinking age laws in each state he’s lived.

      Nice to see you again here at emptywheel, by the way. Looks like you accidentally used a second username — you have an older one here. Please be sure to stick to one of them so community members recognize you. Don’t be a stranger!

  41. skua says:

    Swetnick’s accusation has been largely corroborated by another witness whose declaration has been emailed by Avenatti to the Congress.
    Search: Avenatti’s Second, Corroborating, Witness Looks To Be The One With The Goods
    By Ursula Faw

    But how will a relevant witness fit into whatever the FBI is being allowed to do?
    That this question is reasonable is another sign of excessive political flux.

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