Ford attorney Debra Katz repeatedly has stared down Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), swatting away one artificial deadline after another. Grassley told her he needed an answer by Friday at 10 a.m. That got pushed to 10 p.m., and then to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Katz rightly called these deadlines arbitrary and more importantly knew she had leverage.
.. With Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona saying they wanted to hear from Ford before voting, Grassley couldn’t very well cut off discussion. He didn’t have the votes to confirm the nominee.
.. If Republicans were hoping to intimidate Ford it didn’t work. Rather it revealed that there is a slim chance, more than zero, that Republicans might not have the votes after this next week.
.. Republicans have made repeated, stupid mistakes that have not helped their position.
- President Trump attacked Ford, asserting she would have gone to the police as a 15-year-old if the attempted rape was “that bad.” Collins pronounced herself “appalled.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) repeatedly vowed he would confirm Kavanaugh. They’d “plow through” he declared, a remarkable confession that they’ll bulldoze Ford and vote to confirm no matter what.
The public can conclude Republicans have no problem sitting Kavanaugh even if Ford’s claim is true.
.. Nevertheless, it appears someone communicated her name to Whelan before it was made public.
.. The question now is whether anyone at the White House, Kavanaugh or at the Senate Judiciary Committee was involved in the harebrained scheme to accuse a classmate of Kavanaugh’s under the bonkers theory Ford got the identity of her attacker “confused.”
.. Well, someone told Whelan what was up, and any coordination with Kavanaugh (for example, via the right-wing PR outfit CRC, who hyped Whelan’s revelation), would be separate grounds for denying him confirmation and would also ensnare the judge in the host of civil and ethical problems Whelan created.
.. As if that weren’t enough, an employee of CRC on loan to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Garrett Ventry, resigned for falsifying his résumé and for alleged sexual harassment.
.. Even if they had tried, Republicans could have not done a better job demonstrating their bias, ineptitude, unseriousness, meanness, unfairness and general lack of empathy.
.. There are now at least two related scandals : 1.) Whether Kavanaugh attacked Ford and now is lying, and 2.) the identities of those involved in a reprehensible scheme to pin a crime on someone for which there is zero evidence of wrongdoing. Between Trump’s ridiculous assertion that a 15-year-old’s failure to report a sex crime (which launched the #WhyIDidntReport social media phenomenon) and the nutty mistaken identity plot (which seems to concede Ford was attacked)
.. Free advice: Cut their losses, get Kavanaugh to withdraw and promise a better nominee with no baggage later this year or next.
“In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday. “We’re going to plow right through it,” he said. Though Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has tried to appear more reasonable, his chief counsel for nominations tweeted on Wednesday: “Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”
.. The GOP argument boils down to: We doubt the assault occurred, and it is not serious if it did.
.. Is it any wonder Ms. Ford is hesitant to testify before a committee that Republican senators control? They have rejected the route most likely to get at the truth. Ms. Ford asked for an FBI investigation into her allegations
.. Republicans fought back, despite the fact that the FBI is asked routinely to reopen background-check investigations on matters far less concerning and for nominees far less important.
.. Instead, Republicans proposed that Ms. Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh offer testimony before the Judiciary Committee just a week after senators learned about the details of the alleged assault, and without the due diligence any self-respecting investigator would have conducted.
Mark Judge, the man Ms. Ford claims was in the room when the assault occurred, has not been subpoenaed. The same is true of other potential witnesses, all of whom the FBI could have identified and interviewed, subjecting them to criminal liability if they lied.
.. Whatever the underlying truth, Republicans have endeavored to make it a “he said, she said” matter they could quickly bury.
.. If Ms. Ford is telling the truth, she cannot allow Mr. Kavanaugh to repeat his ringing denials unanswered, which would only play into Republican attempts to sweep her accusation under the rug.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praises ‘productive’ Congress, says Democratic calls for more Kavanaugh documents is a ‘smokescreen.’
If your an American right of center, there hasn’t been a more productive congress.
These opportunities (full republican control of the government) don’t come along very often.
Is the root of this administration amorality?
I want to focus on the results (what we accomplished)
We are transforming the courts.
(31 min) The Supreme Court is engaging in willful blindness by ignoring what the President says and paying attention only to what his lawyers are saying in arguments tailored specifically to
McConnell will go down in history as one of the primary villains because he
- blocked Merrick Garland
- blocked Obama from a pre-election warning
- enables Trump