Brett Kavanaugh, amid serious new allegations of sexual assault, prepares to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, face his first accuser

Thursday morning, assuming things continue as planned, both Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Professor Christine Blasey Ford are supposed to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they’ll be questioned about a sexual assault that’s alleged to have taken place in ’82, at a house party in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Blasey, who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged assault, says that a drunken Kavanaugh, assisted by his friend Mark Judge, held his hand over her mouth as he attempted to rape her. Kavanaugh, who would have been a Junior at the prestigious D.C. boys school Georgetown Prep at the time, has proclaimed his innocence, but, given his history of lying under oath, and the fact that Blasey Ford has come forward with both the results of a polygraph test, and sworn statements from four individuals who swear under penalty of perjury that she had told them of the attacks years before Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, one gets the sense that she’s the one telling the truth. [note: The photo above is of Dr. Blasey taking her polygraph test on August 7 of this year.]

To be fair, however, Kavanaugh has come forward with “evidence” as well. Yesterday, he made public his day-planner from 1982, which doesn’t appear to have “get drunk and rape someone with Mark” written anywhere on it. And, for what it’s worth, that appears to be enough for most Republicans, who continue to fight tooth and nail to keep the FBI from looking into the claims of Blasey, and ignoring requests that Mark Judge be called to testify.

Tomorrow, as I suspect you all know, is going to be an absolute nightmare, with the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee… who are all men… attacking Ford’s credibility through a female intermediary that they hired to ask their questions, knowing full well that they couldn’t attack Dr. Blasey without coming across as the withered, misogynistic throwbacks to an earlier day that they are.

And, of course, this is all happening as more women come out against Brett Kavanaugh, sharing their stories. Yesterday, as you’ll recall, there was his Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who alleged that the Supreme Court nominee shoved his penis in her face as his friends chanted encouragement. And, today, attorney Michael Avenatti came forward with a sworn statement from a woman by the name of Julie Swetnick, who claims to have witnessed Kavanaugh drugging women while in high school so that he and his friends could “gang rape” them. Here, for those of you who have yet to read Swetnick’s sworn statements, is an excerpt.

[note: While Kavanaugh’s ’82 calendar doesn’t show any sign of having attempted the rape of Blasey, it does show how many kegs he’d be getting for “Beach Week,” which is where Swetnick claims to have been raped by Kavanaugh’s prep school crew.]

For what it’s worth, this would seem to be corroborated to some extent by a piece in Slate a few days ago written by Alexandra Lescaze, about how, in the DC prep school scene, it was common practice for boys to serially rape incapacitated young women at parties. She said they referred to the practice as the “lineup.” Furthermore, it’s being reported by the Washington Post today that Mark Judge’s former girlfriend has offered to talk to FBI and Judiciary Committee about discussions she’d had with Judge about him and his classmates taking turns having sex with a drunk woman.

We, of course, have no way of knowing how truthful these claims are, but it certainly seems as though a lot of evidence is pointing toward some downright evil behavior on the part of our privileged young protagonist. And, just as importantly, as I noted before, we know for a certainty that Kavanaugh has lied repeatedly throughout this process, fought to keep the FBI from conducting a thorough investigation, and, it would seem, likely worked behind the scenes through his friend Ed Whelan to put the blame on a high school classmate who had the incredible misfortune of looking somewhat like him.

Kavanaugh has lied from the beginning, about small and large things alike. He lied about receiving stolen Democratic documents when he worked in the Bush White House, and he lied on the day he was officially nominated by President Trump for the Supreme Court, when he stated that “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination,” knowing full well that his name had just been handed to Donald Trump on a list prepared by the far-right Federalist Society. And, we saw it again yesterday, when, in an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court nominee took his case to Fox News, where he described himself as a churchgoer who drank the occasional beer as a young man, but never drank to the point of blacking out, which we know from several sources to be categorically false. Classmates at Yale have referred to him as a “sloppy drunk,” and, as we discussed before, his old friend Mark Judge, in his memoir about his hard drinking youth, even included a binge-drinking buddy by the name of Bart O’Kavanaugh. So, yeah, he’s a liar.

And for the record, he’s also a hypocrite. While, from what we’re told, he recently refused to answer certain questions, saying that they were “too personal,” he wasn’t always so sensitive. When he worked for special counsel Ken Starr, he said the following. “It is our job to make [the witness’s] pattern of revolting behavior clear—piece by painful piece,” he said.

I could go on, but I’m running out of steam. There is one thing, however, that I want to share… In addition to the three women noted above, there are at least two more stories in the press tonight. One involves a women who claims to have been physically assaulted by Kavanaugh in 1998. The other allegation involves a rape on a boat. While both of these charges are getting a lot of attention this evening, neither involves a named accuser, let alone a sworn statement, leading some to think that they could be the work of GOP operatives looking to muddy the water with claims that can easily be debunked, in hope of making “all allegations look frivolous.”

Oh, for what it’s worth, I should also add that Donald Trump said this afternoon that the Kavanuagh nomination was “working out very well“… Of corse, he also said that China has respect for his “very, very large’a brain.”

[The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Kavanaugh and Blasey will be streamed live tomorrow, starting at 9:45 AM.]

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  1. Posted September 26, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s little consolation, but it looks like conservative women might finally start walking away from the Republican Party over this.

  2. anonymous
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for covering this. I’m shocked that people who have histories of sexual assault (or multiple allegations) think they can win elections. I’m really happy that Ypsi decided to reject convicted ( and admitted) abuser Adam Gainsley from City Council through courageous public outcry from both sides of the political spectrum.

    We’ve come a long way thanks to Anita Hill, Dr. Ford, Andrea Constand, and those who have risked everything to expose Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Al Franken, Roy Moore, John Conyers, etc. Unfortunately we still have an admitted abuser in the highest political office. It’s not an issue of political party or affiliation. It’s an issue of male dominance and control excused in our patriarchal society.

  3. Twitter Stalker
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Mark Maynard to Bill Kristol yesterday: “I’d be surprised if we all lived through the day.”

    Surprise! We made it!


  4. Michael Avenatti by proxy
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    My client Julie Swetnick is demanding an immediate FBI investigation and the opportunity to testify under oath before the Committee. Why is Brett Kavanaugh and @ChuckGrassley refusing to allow this? Why are they trying to muzzle women and prevent the truth from being known?

  5. M
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Things are going to gt incredibly ugly today.

    From Buzzfeed:

    “The Senate Judiciary Committee just sent out a timeline describing how they responded to the allegations against #SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It appears to indicate they’ve been in touch with two men who believe they had the “encounter” with Christine Blasey Ford.”

  6. M
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I agree with you, Anonymous. It’s absolutely incomprehensible that men with sexual assault in their past would run for office. One can only assume that, like our President, they’re so narcissistic that they don’t think they can be touched. Of course, in his case, he turned out to be right. Money and power can make a lot of bad things go away. I’m of the opinion, however, that, in most cases, there will be a reckoning.

  7. M
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    The other thing I think about is the fact that we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. We’re seeing only the bravest, most successful women come forward… those who aren’t afraid of having their every move and decision analyzed by the right wing online trolls. God only knows how many poor women without Ivy League educations are out there, women mistreated by these rich prep school boys during their “Beach Week” bacchanals.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I feel like I must have missed a lot when I was younger. The majority of my male colleagues sympathize with Kavanaugh, as to them, this behavior during their high school and college years was normal. We are contemporaries, but I recall this type of behavior as being restricted to a certain subset of men, and the majority of men I knew in high school and college were not like this at all.

  9. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The circus is about to begin. I’m popping popcorn.

  10. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    As expected, the hearing has been nothing but Grassley whining so far.

  11. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Grassley should have had somebody who can read do the opening whining statement.

    Grassley is the living argument for term limits.

  12. Kat
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Feinstein 1
    Grassley 0

  13. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Dr. Ford has become visibly upset and shaken.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Crying at work.

  15. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Are you watching this, EOS?

    Does it sound made up to you?

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I know the prep school culture that feeds into ivy league schools intimately. They exist to preserve privilege. They also speak in almost religious terms of the need to rise to the call of leadership. But in the end, the main concern is reputation. And all the energy of these places in reality goes to preserving the highest possible status for those who have access to these places. The whole leadership and integrity message is both believed and a front. It leads to a great deal of cognitive dissonance. And the kind of easy lying in evidence today. They know they can lie because the system is built to protect them not the women.

    All that said, most of the men I know from that world are good people who did not rape or assault women. Like all men in that era, they may have indulged casual sexism and didn’t take stands to protect women when they might have. That kind of behavior, now more common, was unheard of then. What Kavanaugh is accused of may be far too common but it is also not the norm. A gang of men as described by the accusers like that over 4 or 5 years can create a whole lot of damage. And it wasn’t just young men who were bystanders.

    My boarding school is now in the midst of a sexual abuse scandal involving teachers and students. I have been very impressed by the men of my class (along with my female classmates) who have been actively engaged in pushing the school to be conduct a full inquiry and report (done) AND be proactive about prevention of sexual misconduct going forward, including systems and training for current school staff and students as well as a full investigation of past peer on peer abuse. It feels like a truth and reconciliation process.

    When we take a stand to address sexual misconduct culturally and systemically, we are not victimizing men but allowing them to become better humans in the world.

    After this is all over, maybe we can all look at the institutions in which we are engaged and do what we can to create a better culture for all of us.

  17. M
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I hate to say this, but any decent man, hearing this testimony about his earlier actions, would immediately take his own life. I keep expecting to hear a gun shot in the background.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I should add that I’m not from that culture and I ran away from it as quickly as possible first to the east village in NY, then Greece and then to Michigan. I maintained just one friend from those days. I was listed as MIA in my 20th reunion materials. My classmates found me on social media recently. And it has been heartening to see how they have evolved and how many have put their incredible privilege to work for the greater good. So in all of this, remember good people evolve. The real assholes pretty much stay the same. Having read some of Kavanaugh’s speeches and watched his interview. I’d say he’s the unevolved type.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    These hearings need to go on.

  20. Lynne
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    M, really? I find that interesting because there is a much less drastic option. I mean, a decent man might hear this testimony against him and acknowledge that even if he doesn’t remember it, it might still have happened, especially considering his drinking habits at the time. He might offer a sincere apology and offer to make amends. He might even decide that this means he is unqualified to be on the Supreme Court and withdraw in order to spare his victim further anguish that will come from testifying. Finally, he damn well could make a public speech about how making death threats and otherwise harassing victims of sexual assault is super messed up.

    Still, I suppose for some men, a gun to the head would be easier than all of that.

  21. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Grassley told Ford she could take a break whenever she wished. Now he just asked her if she could go for an hour without a break. The idiot republicans can’t even keep a promise they made minutes ago.

    They must be doing some real time focus group polling and see the damage this is doing to them by the second. They didn’t realize it before hand. They’re idiots.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Well, a gun to the head is one way to resolve crippling cognitive dissonance. But Kavanaugh is not a decent man. Suicide usually has its own reasons, rarely external. Personally, I don’t think this cultural event needs any more death threats or wishes.

  23. M
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I’m not in the habit of putting myself in the shoes of attempted rapists, so this is new to me. Truth be told, had I done something like this to someone, I would have killed myself long ago. And I don’t think that’s hyperbole. I just can’t imagine living with the guilt.

  24. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Grassley can’t keep his mouth shut.

  25. John Galt
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    They got her! Did you see that? She said under oath that she didn’t like flying, but they PROVED that she has flown! IN AN AIRPLANE! Shut it down. This hearing is over. Welcome to the highest court in the land, Bro.

  26. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Senators Grassley and Hatch look like they’re filming a sequel to Grumpy Old Men.

  27. Sad
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Or a new movie….

    Eleven Angry Men

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Using a prosecutor to question a victim is really something else. Telling about how victims of assault are viewed.
    Still probably better than what the GOP senators would have dished out.

    Blasey Ford was a good witness. She did her job. Answering without too much reactivity. That’s hard to do. Of course, Anita Hill was a good witness as well.

    My brother just sent me a message saying he knows ‘these guys’ –meaning guys like Kavanaugh. “I hated them then; I hate them now.” He had to stop listening. Bystanders, male and female, are also part of this picture. How can we create an atmosphere that honors the moral courage required to come forward at the time and afterward? How can we help resolve the guilt of individual events but also of letting this (rape culture) go on for so long?

    I believe metoo is really a truth and reconciliation process. We are just in the first painful stages.

  29. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The Republicans are acting like they’re shocked the Democrats are playing politics with them. How is this a winning strategy for them except with their conspiracy theorizing Trump freaks?

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    A friend protesting in DC was just interviewed by the Daily Caller. They asked to speak with her. She asked where they were from. They identified themselves as the “DC News Foundation.” A friend’s google search id’d them. She did the interview anyway, trying not to give them any sound bites they would want to use and draw it out as long as necessary.

  31. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    If Senator Harris makes Kavanaugh cry, I’ll be demanding she runs for president.

  32. breaking news
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Igor Bobic from the Huffington Post:

    “Hiring a lawyer and taking a polygraph makes me more suspicious,” Graham says about Ford testimony so far, adding that she “can’t say how she got (to the party) and how she left”

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Wish granted, iRobert.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I just nominated Christine Blasey Ford for a JFK Profiles in Courage award. Usually given to politicians, I think it’s time to give it to a citizen whistleblower. I have been assured that a large public demand for the same would be effective in swaying the organization.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Kavanaugh’s defense so far is that he has had great power…
    And that allegations not made until now did not come up before now in vetting.

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    If you want to know what a powerful man looks like and acts like when his privilege is threatened, this is it.

    I’m having Anita Hill flashbacks.

    Interrupting and yelling a Senator Feinstein in the first round– fail, Dude. I don’t believe he has spent much time around powerful women if he has not learned to wait his turn.

    If you think tone policing is not a thing, imagine if Dr Ford had testified in this manner. Or Hillary.

    I feel totally ill and keep turning off the sound, and then turning it back on, and then posting something angry and turning it off again.

    Lastly, while liking and drinking beer is not a crime, used in excess it is often associated with violent behavior in men, especially towards women. I just can not believe a sitting judge doesn’t know this even more than your average citizen. They deal with drunks all the time. Maybe he just never served on a circuit court?

    If this is a job interview, then yes, public allegations of sexual assault would be something any interviewer would bring up. And you have failed the interview, SIr.

    No, you are not fit to coach high school girl’s basketball.

    PS iRobert– Are we allowed to be angry at straight, cis, white, male privilege yet?

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    What happens in court when the witness asks the judge if she gets blackout drunk rather than ask the question himself?

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


  39. nick
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    this dude is a total scum fuck shit bag. i love how in his opening sob story he was like “we had JOBS in the summer in high school, we were NOT out partying on a weeknight!”
    i remember being 16/17 or whatever and having a summer job but literally trying to party and hang out with my friends every night…that’s like the whole point of summer when ur a teen i think?

    also i’m pretty sure he was straight up lying about “boofing” and “devils triangle”. that’s some sex talk…altho boofing can refer to putting drugs or booze up your ass. it would be so fitting in this hellworld if his nomination is derailed by that part of his testimony

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Boofing was anal sex among the preppies I knew in that era. Devil’s triangle is not a drinking game– Two men and a woman. In bed. Ordinarily consensual.

  41. iRobert
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Senator Harris’ question asking whether Kavanaugh watched Dr. Ford’s testimony was an interesting one.

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Of course, he didn’t. Why would he?

    I think he’s going to be confirmed tomorrow. The Senators were acting like they had the votes. I hope the State of Maryland prosecutes his ass.

    Lastly, this was good.

    Now I have to get some work done. (Wasnt worth it)

  43. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 27, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t any of the people she said were there say they were there? Her friend denies ever meeting him or being at a party with him.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    They don’t remember. They didn’t deny they were there. Do you remember the details of which parties you were at in 1983. No not unless you were attacked at one of them. Dr Blasey Ford and even the prosecutor did a good job of explaining how memory works. Fords froend was willing to testify and talk to the fbi, but that request was t accommodated. We don’t have enough information to make a determination on facts. So we are all left with impressions. My impression is that judge Kavanaugh is not in any way suited for a life time appointment to the Supreme Court. On disposition alone. What a rude aggressive imprudent display. Dr Ford is not up for the job. She was much more composed. Which is really something.

  45. Jean Henry
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Republican argument: Where’s the evidence?
    Republican strategy: Deny full FBI investigation of all allegations.

    If they want to salvage this man’s lauded reputation and access to power the should let the investigation go through.

    Corrupt a/f

    And they’ll win anyway

    Maybe not in November though.

  46. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”

    Not only does her lawyer state she has no recollection of such a party, in the same sentence it is definitively stated she does not know him.

  47. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    The FBI declined to investigate. I heard there is no statute of limitations in their state so why doesn’t she go to the police?

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope they do.

    The FBI didn’t decline to investigate. They weren’t asked.

  49. Lynne
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I hope someone investigates this!

  50. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Blasey Ford tried to make it a condition of her testimony so they were asked.

  51. iRobert
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The FBI is now going to investigate.

  52. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see how they do with all those FISA signers gone. How about that by the way? A little bird told me not just McCabe but all of them are under grand jury investigation.

  53. Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. Senate floor debate can be watched live here:

  54. iRobert
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Avenatti was arrested on domestic violence charges in LA. This is going to be interesting. He’s due in court December 5th.

  55. Posted April 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    From NPR:

    Michael Avenatti Indicted For Allegedly Stealing Paraplegic Client’s Settlement Money

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