Senate Democrats know they’re going to be defeated on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The GOP has the votes. They don’t. They can’t block him, partially the reason why the opposition to this nomination, while intense at times, has been lackluster overall. They have little tools to fight with against the Trump White House on judges, which has been pushing through nominees at all levels.
From WP (which is kind of embarrassing for those Ds who rushed to get it to FBI): "the FBI does not now plan to launch a criminal investigation of the matter, which would normally be handled by local authorities, if it was within the statute of limitations."— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 13, 2018
Latest from NYT: "The F.B.I. said in a statement on Thursday that it had received Ms. Feinstein’s referral and included it in Judge Kavanaugh’s background file. A bureau official also said that no criminal investigation had been opened related to the matter."— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 13, 2018
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on his nomination is set for September 20. As Katie wrote yesterday, there’s been a zero hour attempt to derail Kavanaugh, who has proven to be mainstream, level-headed, and eminently qualified to be our next Supreme Court Justice, with some shoddy secret letter about an alleged incident of sexual misconduct that happened decades ago, though it’s so secret it cannot be shared with Republicans. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has the document, which she sent to the FBI. This isn’t new either; Feinstein knew about thissince July. If there was any hope of muddying this nominee with a possible criminal investigation, the Democrats came up short. The FBI isn’t pursuing one. Maybe it’s because this whole episode is total and utter bullcrap. I mean, it is, folks. The allegation is that Kavanaugh and a friend locked a girl in a room at a party when he was 17-years-old.
Oh my god. The actual Kavanaugh allegation turned out to be roughly ten thousands times lamer than I already thought it would be. pic.twitter.com/Em7eAZ6Frp— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) September 13, 2018
UPDATE: The allegation is actually more serious, but, again, something is off here.
Here’s what the article says:— Jeremiah Stephan Dunleavy IV (@JerryDunleavy) September 14, 2018
— Kavanaugh denies it.
— The other person who was said to be involved has no recollection of it.
— The accuser won’t come forward, put her name to it, nor be interviewed. https://t.co/ev9MkdZ3eV
Waiting to drop this letter on Judge Brett Kavanaugh until ***after*** he had a chance to answer these allegations & defend himself in front of the United States Senate — under oath! — is the dirtiest trick I’ve seen in a very long time. Utterly shameless.— Jeremiah Stephan Dunleavy IV (@JerryDunleavy) September 14, 2018
I knew Brett Kavanaugh in high school. We graduated same year. I never heard anything untoward about him.— virginiahume (@virginiahume) September 13, 2018
The Clarence Thomas playbook is now being run against Brett Kavanaugh, folks. pic.twitter.com/xAAc450jmB— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) September 13, 2018
As for the drama, well, The Wall Street Journal has a plausible explanation for this last minute move [emphasis mine]:
So there’s a super secret letter, not shared w/ R’s, that cannot be commented on by the people confirming its existence — & could involve an alleged incident (no details) that might or might not have occurred in the early 80s, when Kavanaugh was in high school. Seems legit. ??— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 13, 2018
Some Democrat was bound to have something. Mr. Kavanaugh had come through his confirmation hearing last week without a dent, and Democrats had made themselves look bad by editing his quotes and spreading innuendo unrelated to his judicial views. Meanwhile, the political left is demanding that Democrats do something, anything, to stop the highly qualified jurist from joining the High Court.
Enter DiFi. “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Ms. Feinstein said in a statement. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
Ms. Feinstein offered no details, and Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday that she didn’t share the information with him. News reports say the information refers to a letter from a woman concerning possible sexual misconduct when she and Mr. Kavanaugh were both in high school. That would have been sometime in the early 1980s.
News reports also say that Ms. Feinstein has had the letter since the summer,and that it was first sent to the office of Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from Silicon Valley. But if the “information” is worrying enough to send to the FBI, why did Sen. Feinstein wait so long? She didn’t bring it up during the summer in the run-up to the hearings, didn’t mention it when she met with Judge Kavanaugh, and didn’t think it was important enough to tell her colleagues.
The charitable explanation is that she didn’t think the information was credible enough to warrant investigation, but that now under pressure from her colleagues she felt obliged to surface it.
So here’s what we have: A story floated at the last minute about an accusation whose details are unknown from a woman whose identity is secret. The episode says more about the desperation of Democrats than it does about Mr. Kavanaugh, and the real disgrace would be if Republicans did anything other than move promptly to a confirmation vote.
Columnist Kimberley Strassel commented on social media that this point, the secret letter from a secret person who alleges sexual misconduct, which was kept from the GOP, but wasn’t serious enough to bring to the FBI until now, is “scary.” It sounds very…deep state, huh?
1) On Feinstein's referral of a letter with an accusation against Kavanaugh to the FBI:— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 13, 2018
--This is impt enough to be sent to FBI, but not impt enough to have been raised before now? Can't be both. NYT reports she got the letter this summer.
2)— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 13, 2018
--similarly, this is impt enough to be sent to FBI, but never shared with a single Republican charged with advice and consent?
--Feinstein statement explicitly acknowledges that the accuser did not want to take this further. So why is it with the FBI?
3)— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 13, 2018
--timing here cannot be ignored. Coming only after Democrats were unable to further stall a vote.
--and just to be clear, Ds and media are now using a secret letter with a secret accusation from a secret person, to try to take down Kavanaugh. Scary.
Oh, and on top of this super secret letter crap, Democrats sent Kavanaugh over 1,000 additional questions, the most for any nominee combined in U.S. history. The game is over, Democrats. Again, you lost and we won:
Senate Democrats submitted a record number of written questions to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, in a move Republicans said was the latest attempt to delay confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
The 1,278 questions are four times more than the number asked of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s first high court pick, last year. Indeed, it’s more than the combined total for every justice in U.S. history, said Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley.
Nominees are usually given a week to answer the written questions, which are supposed to be clarifications and follow-ups to the questions the judge answered in person during last week’s confirmation hearing.
Our own Guy Benson breaks down the allegation:
1) This vague allegation is being circulated by people other than the woman in question, who has declined to comment. Its substance — categorically denied by Kavanaugh — covers a gray zone ranging from a sexually awkward encounter to an attempted assault when they were both 17...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
2) The alleged experience took place ~36 yrs ago. Even if you take it 100% at face value, it might mean that a high school boy didn’t slam on the brakes while drunkenly making out & wanting more in 1982. At worst, it was arguably attempted assault. Again, he denies it totally...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
3) Let’s say it’s false. How can a 50-something successfully defend himself against this sort of hazy accusation-by-proxy about his sexual conduct in high school? No matter what he & his allies (including dozens of bipartisan women who knew him in HS) say, it’s impossible...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
4) You simply can’t prove a negative. That’s what makes this so tricky. And it’s especially hard to clear your name when so many people are invested in disbelieving you solely because of politics...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
5) Let’s say it’s true. If someone is a predator, they likely don’t try something once, then never again. Are there any additional, credible, *specific* claims about BK along these lines? With an accuser who will go on the record with evidence?— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
6) & isn’t it very possible the intent of “forcing himself on her” (broad term) was perceived quite differently by each party in the moment? It may not have been actionable at the time, even if she’d instantly called the cops. How the hell are we supposed to adjucate that NOW?— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
7) As for the politics of this, Dems threw the kitchen sink at BK & whiffed. The timing of this is hugely suspect, especially since Feinstein reportedly had this letter 6-8 weeks ago. She never confronted BK with it during open or closed hearings....— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
8) If she thought it was credible and disqualifying, she should have ‘believed the victim’ and raised it, rather than sitting on it for months & finally passing it off to the FBI, with leaks conveniently dripping out the week before a committee vote. C’mon...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
9) Meanwhile, the same people declaring every lie, smear and tendentious attack against Kavanaugh to be a ‘bombshell’ that somehow justifies postponing/defeating/delaying etc are doing the same thing here. It stinks because it’s so transparently rotten...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
10) And points in Kavanaugh’s favor as his camp tries to push back vs. this decades-old vapor (letter signed by 65 women, BK’s record of empowering women & being a good dad etc) are being wielded AGAINST him as ‘proof’ of his own desperation or compensation/contrition. It’s nuts.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
11) I’m open to evidence, but based on everything we know rn about this (not a lot, frankly), about BK’s decades of public life (quite a lot) & the timing of this ambiguous, indirect accusation, it looks like a very ugly smear & 11th hour ploy from partisans...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018
And who says we're not at a state of war with the Democrats? Because with this, and a slew of other antics, we are.
12) Unless clear, add’l evidence emerges, this is awful, unfair & obviously designed to cast a shadow over the legitimacy/character of a nominee they can’t beat or stop on the merits. And we wring our hands about good ppl not wanting to subject themselves to public service! Gee.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 14, 2018