Once the seventh FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s background is completed, hopefully by Oct. 5, a full Senate vote will occur. We can expect every Democrat to vote “no,” leaving Kavanaugh’s fate to fall squarely in the hands of Republicans.
While Democrats undoubtedly are working hard this week to pressure some of their weak-kneed Republican counterparts to vote with them, it is highly unlikely the reverse will happen, i.e., that any Democrat will join the opposition.
But, an announcement Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made concerning his post-vote intentions probably is making some Democrats “nervous nellies” – not over the possibility of Kavanaugh winning the vote but over him losing it.
For over a year now we have heard Democrats beat the war drums, alleging the 2016 presidential election involved collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians acting illegally. During the Kavanaugh hearing, Graham started the Republican war drums beating by underscoring what was most obvious: actions taken by his Democratic counterparts were purely political, representing collusion at its worst to deny a most qualified U.S. Supreme Court nominee a fair and impartial hearing.
In his fiery defense of Kavanaugh, criticizing Democrats for orchestrating an unethical sham, Graham posed a series of rhetorical questions to the nominee – in machine gun rapidity – designed to underscore this political collusion.
Graham first asked, “Are you aware at 9:23 on the night of July the 9th, the day you were nominated for the Supreme Court by President Trump, Senator Schumer said, 23 minutes after your nomination, ‘I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything. … I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less'”?
Quickly moving on to his next question, Graham asked, “Did you meet with Senator Dianne Feinstein on August 20th,” adding, “Did you know that her staff had already recommended a lawyer to Dr. Ford?” Graham followed with, “Did you know that her and her staff had this allegation for over 20 days?”
It was at this point a furious Graham, turning in his seat to confront the Democrats present, exclaimed, “If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us. What you want to do is to destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020. You said that. Not me …”
It is difficult Graham’s thrashing had any impact on those Democrats involved. However, what he said days later must be raising concerns among some of them.
Graham made the point during an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” that “We’re going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process to deter it from happening again. The FBI will do a supplemental background investigation; then I’m going to call for an investigation of what happened in this committee. Who betrayed Dr. Ford’s trust? Who in Feinstein’s office recommended Katz as a lawyer? Why did Ms. Ford not know that the committee was willing to go to California?”
Other Republicans are calling for an investigation as well. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wants to know how, after Sen. Feinstein received Ford’s accusatory letter and specifically requested anonymity, it was leaked to the press. He also is requesting the Washington, D.C., bar investigate Ford’s attorneys who, according to Ford’s testimony, failed to advise her she had the option of being privately interviewed in California. Her lawyers’ failure to do so would demonstrate clear misconduct on their part.
In his interview, Cotton said, “All of this could have been done discreetly, it happens hundreds of times … hundreds of times every year in the Judiciary Committee,” protecting both Ford and Kavanaugh. However, someone was motivated otherwise, contrary to both parties’ interests.
Indications are the Ford letter was released by a Feinstein staffer on the orders of the senator – an unethical if not illegal act, if true.
Joining in on the call as well is the Republican attorney general of Missouri who is in a close Senate race with Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. The latter appears to be losing ground after announcing she will vote against Kavanaugh.
Democrats have exhibited a “deer-in-the-headlights” reaction when confronted about their questionable conduct. During her “This Week” interview, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, refused to answer George Stephanopoulos’s query about whether her party was involved in leaking Ford’s letter.
Meanwhile, Hirono has made known her evidentiary standard in any “he said, she said”-type sexual assault case: “Not only do women like Dr. Ford … need to be heard, but they need to be believed.” She ignores the fact false rape accusations by women are common, such as the high profile cases involving Tawana Brawley in 1987 and Crystal Mangum’s allegations against the Duke Lacrosse team in 2006.
Hirono suffers from the “overconfidence effect.” Every study conducted since 1986 on our ability to detect deception shows it is no better than chance. But, despite this, the “overconfidence effect” kicks in to make us think we are better at it than we are.
Hirono seems to embrace her standard even after learning Ford wrote a 2008 article on using hypnosis, not only to retrieve memories but to create artificial ones. Senators need consider, in evaluating the credibility of Ford’s testimony, whether such “artificially inseminated” memories could fool a polygraph exam like the one she took and passed – one limited to just two questions.
Interestingly, re-opening another investigation has seen Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick walking back her egregious allegations. She changed her story from claiming she witnessed Kavanaugh waiting in line to participate in gang rapes to only witnessing he attended events where it happened. Swetnick’s dark past has also been revealed as it was found she had lied before, claiming sexual misconduct against men who only had rejected her advances.
While both Trump and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have bent over backwards to accommodate demands by Democrats – the former allowing the FBI investigation to expand the inquiry and the latter granting extensions – it is time Democrats reciprocate by participating in the investigation Graham demands.
However, if such an investigation is undertaken, we should not be surprised to see a run on Bleachbit – the computer software Hillary Clinton made famous to prevent recovery of her own files.