The Judiciary Committee hearing today about the sexual assault allegation made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was a complete sham. It was a show trial that was purposefully engineered to make the allegation into a case of “he said – she said” so that the GOP could claim that it was just her word against his. The GOP betrayed this tactic before and after the trial as many of them reiterated a common refrain that Kavanaugh should be deemed innocent until proven guilty, as they did their best to make sure there was no way for him to be proven guilty by refusing to call any other witnesses to testify, and most damningly, stopping the questioning by prosecutor Rachel Mitchell less than halfway through Brett Kavanaugh’s questioning.
Rachel Mitchell is an Arizona prosecutor who was chosen by the GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask questions in their place, which is what she did for all of the GOP Senators’ time for questions of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Each time it was one of the GOP Senators’ turn to question Ford, their time was ceded to Rachel Mitchell, who asked many questions of Ford aimed at finding inconsistencies in her testimony. These questions didn’t find much beyond maybe establishing that even though Dr. Ford is afraid of flying, she often does fly to visit her family and go on vacation, hardly damning evidence of a false accusation.
When it was Brett Kavanaugh’s turn for questions, the first couple GOP Senators followed the same pattern as with Dr. Ford, and ceded their time to Rachel Mitchell. Curiously, though, this pattern was broken by Lindsey Graham, who instead of ceding his time, launched into a vicious diatribe aimed at the Democratic members of the committee. And Rachel Mitchell was never again ceded any time by a GOP Senator.
Why did that happen? Why did they stop Rachel Mitchell’s questioning of Brett Kavanaugh? Well, it appears she was starting to ask some uncomfortable questions about a particular entry in the calendar that Brett Kavanaugh produced to detail where he had been and what he had been doing in 1982, meant to bolster his claim that he never attended any such gathering as described by Dr. Ford.
The gathering that was described by Dr. Ford, before she had any knowledge of the contents of Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar, was of a few people gathered at somebody’s house on the evening of a summer day, where she went after spending the day at a country club. She named four people she could remember as being at the gathering: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, a young man named Patrick Smyth who went by P.J., and her friend Leland Ingham Keyser. These were the people the Senate Judiciary Committee reached out to for a statement about their recollections of the event.
Rachel Mitchell began questioning Brett Kavanaugh about his calendar, and asked about an entry for the day of July 1, which stated “to Timmy’s for skis w/Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie, Squi.”: Judge being Mark Judge, and P.J. being Patrick Smyth, two of the people who Dr. Ford had identified as being at the gathering along with Brett Kavanaugh.
I missed this before, but I was just looking at Kavanaugh’s calendar, and I noticed that he’s hanging out on July 1, among a few other people, with “PJ” and “Judge.”
Pretty amazing coincidence that Ford, before she saw the calendars, said PJ and Mark Judge were there. pic.twitter.com/8lXwiROHiO
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 27, 2018
You can view the question from Rachel Mitchell here:
You can read the full transcript here:
Just before this question by Rachel Mitchell about the July 1 entry in his calendar, Brett Kavanaugh had answered another question that would seem to be directly refuted by the July 1 entry:
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford described a small gathering of people at a suburban Maryland home in the summer of 1982. She said that Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth and Leland Ingham also were present, as well as an unknown male, and that the people were drinking to varying degrees. Were you ever at a gathering that fits that description?
KAVANAUGH: No, as I’ve said in my opening statements — opening statement.
Was he ever at a gathering that fits the description from Dr. Ford? It seems that this entry in Kavanaugh’s calendar that was asked about by Rachel Mitchell describes exactly that kind of gathering. The calendar entry names two of the people Dr. Ford named as being present. And the calendar entry says the purpose was for “skis”, a slang term for beers (brewskis).
In addition, it appears that Brett Kavanaugh betrayed a consciousness of guilt towards this calendar entry from July 1st 1982, which identified a gathering of which Brett Kavanaugh attended that matches the description of Dr. Ford’s allegation. Kavanaugh purposefully said many times the allegation had to have been about a weekend night because he would only drink on weekends.
KAVANAUGH: But I did have the summer of 1982 documented pretty well. The event described by Dr. Ford, presumably happened on a weekend because I believed everyone worked and had jobs in the summers. And in any event, a drunken early evening event of the kind she describes, presumably happened on a weekend.
If it was a weekend, my calendars show that I was out of town almost every weekend night before football training camp started in late August. The only weekend nights that I was in D.C. were Friday, June 4, when I was with my dad at a pro golf tournament and had my high school achievement test at 8:30 the next morning.
KAVANAUGH: So let me emphasize this point. If the party described by Dr. Ford happened in the summer of 1982 on a weekend night, my calendar shows all but definitively that I was not there.
During the weekdays in the summer of 1982, as you can see, I was out of town for two weeks of the summer for a trip to the beach with friends and at the legendary Five-Star Basketball Camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. When I was in town, I spent much of my time working, working out, lifting weights, playing basketball, or hanging out and having some beers with friends as we talked about life, and football, and school and girls.
KAVANAUGH: My friends and I sometimes got together and had parties on weekends. The drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my time in high school, and was 18 in D.C. for all of my time in high school. I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone.
Why did he repeatedly claim that it had to have occurred on a weekend? Because July 1, 1982 was a Thursday.
Then, later under questioning from Corey Booker, he admitted that he had in fact gone out drinking on a weekday, specifically on July 1, 1982.
BOOKER: Judge Kavanaugh, you drank on weekdays as well in high school, not just weekends. Is that correct?
BOOKER: Yes, sir.
KAVANAUGH: I’d say that’s rare. Are you talking about during the school year?
BOOKER: I’m — I’m talking about the calendars that you provided during these dates.
KAVANAUGH: Oh, that’s in the — in the summer after a football work out when we went over to…
BOOKER: You drank on weekdays, yes or no, sir?
KAVANAUGH: … In the summer when we went over to Timmy’s house (ph) on July 1st, that would indicate, yes.
Besides his prevaricating about weekends and weekdays, Brett Kavanaugh also showed a consciousness of guilt by repeatedly bringing up how he would go to Tobin’s to lift weights.
KAVANAUGH: Many nights, I worked out with other guys at Tobin’s house. He was the great quarterback on our football team and his dad ran workouts — or lifted weights at Georgetown Prep in preparation for the football season. I attended and watched many sporting events, as is my habit to this day.
FEINSTEIN: … No (ph). And the terrible and hard part of this is when we get an allegation, we’re not in a position to prove it or disprove it; therefore, we have to depend on some outside authority for it. And it would just seem to me, then, when these allegations came forward, that you would want the FBI to investigate those claims and clear it up once and for all.
KAVANAUGH: Senator, the committee investigates. It’s not for me to — to say how to do it. But just so you know, the FBI doesn’t reach a conclusion. They would give you a couple 302s that just tell you what we said.
So I’m here. I wanted to be here — I wanted to be here the next day. It’s an — it’s an outrage that I was not allowed to come and immediately defend my name, and say I didn’t do this, and give you all this evidence. I’m not even — I’m not even in D.C. on the weekends in the summer of 1982.
This happened on a weekday? Well, is (ph) it — when — when I’m not at a Blair High School for a summer league game, I’m not at Tobin’s house working out, I’m not at a movie with Suzanne? You know, I wanted to be here right away.
MITCHELL: OK. To what does this refer, and to whom?
KAVANAUGH: So first, says “Tobin’s (ph) house workout”. So that’s one of the football workouts that we would have — that Dr. (inaudible) would run for guys on the football team during the summer.
So we would be there — that’s usually 6:00 to 8:00 or so, kind of — until near dark.
BOOKER: Yes, in other words, that — that July 1st reference to skis — went over for skis — that’s brewskis, correct?
KAVANAUGH: And after Tobin’s (ph)…
Why would he have repeatedly brought up this seemingly random point about lifting weights at Tobin’s? Because the entry in his calendar that preceded the entry about the July 1, 1982 gathering was that he was at Tobin’s. Brett Kavanaugh may have kept bringing up Tobin’s because he was trying to establish an alibi, to say that he was at Tobin’s until past the time when Dr. Ford remembered going to the gathering. Why would he be trying to establish this very specific alibi if he didn’t know that July 1, 1982 was the night in question? Dr. Ford did not name a specific night. She couldn’t remember the exact date. But, Brett Kavanaugh seemed to be zeroing in on this date in his testimony, likely because he knew after looking at his calendar that it represented the night in question.
Again, Dr. Ford stated her remembrance of the gathering, and of who were present, before Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar had been made public. Yet, she named the same three people as being present who were specifically noted in Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar entry from July 1, 1982.
After Kavanaugh’s initial answer that he was never at a gathering that matched Dr. Ford’s description, he was asked again by Rachel Mitchell:
MITCHELL: If a gathering like Dr. Ford has described had occurred, would you have documented that?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, because I documented everything of those kinds of events, even small get-togethers. August 7th is another good example where I documented a small get-together that summer, so yes.
MITCHELL: August 7th. Could you read that?
KAVANAUGH: I think that’s go to Becky’s, Matt, Denise, Lori, Jenny (ph).
MITCHELL: Have you reviewed every entry that is in these calendars of May, June, July and August of 1982?
KAVANAUGH: I have.
MITCHELL: Is there anything that could even remotely fit what we’re talking about, in terms of Dr. Ford’s allegations?
It seems quite obvious that Brett Kavanaugh purposefully perjured himself multiple times over a question that was immensely relevant to the sexual assault allegation that was the purpose of the hearing. Then once this block of time had expired, shortly after these questions had been asked by prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, no GOP Senator allowed the prosecutor to ask Brett Kavanaugh any further questions.