Opening statements from Kavanaugh and Ford reveal what a sham this hearing is

Three named women have now accused Brett M. Kavanaugh of committing serious sexual misconduct as a young man. At Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, we will hear the testimony of only one of those three women.

And we will not be hearing from Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend, even though two of those women have also charged that Judge was an accomplice to Kavanaugh’s alleged misconduct.

This is because Republicans don’t want to hear from any of those additional people.

.. Reopening Kavanaugh’s FBI background check would provide lawmakers with a wealth of such independently gathered information, which would enable them to better assess what they hear from Kavanaugh and Ford. The American public would also be in a better position to assess that competing testimony. It is obvious on its face that this would be better for our “discourse” than what we are now seeing. Today’s proceedings appear almost deliberately constructed to ensure that half the country believes the outcome of this confirmation battle — whatever it is — is deeply unjust.

Barring a reopened FBI background check, Republicans could subpoena Kavanaugh’s high school friend Judge, who according to Ford participated in the alleged assault. Michael Avenatti’s client Julia Swetnick has now claimed she witnessed repeated efforts by Judge and Kavanaugh to inebriate women so that they could be gang-raped. Judge could testify to — and be cross-examined about — all of this.

.. a genuine, impartial fact-finding effort would buttress confidence that there is a workable process in place for clearing up such “character assassinations,” which might make “good people” more prone to public service, not less.

.. Blumenthal points out still another problem: Each senator will have only five minutes to question Kavanaugh.

“He has been well prepared to filibuster,” Blumenthal said of Kavanaugh. “Do we cut him off and appear disrespectful? Or do we in effect allow him to squander our time?”