After a few weeks of sound and fury signifying nothing save Democratic desperation, Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice.
At least two of the individuals who made allegations against Kavanaugh are under investigation by the Department of Justice, and that doesn’t include the outré Julie Swetnick (represented by the even more outré anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti).
The case against Kavanaugh, in other words, was quite the dud.
If you need to know how much of a dud it really was, though, a final Senate Judiciary Committee report reveals just how little evidence there was regarding the accusations against the man President Donald Trump picked to sit on the Supreme Court.
The report was released Saturday and is a solid 414 pages long. I know most of you are probably pretty deep into Thucydides “History of the Peloponnesian War” and don’t have time to squeeze in the full report, so here are some quick takeaways, which found that there was “no evidence” to corroborate any of the claims against Kavanaugh.
“After an extensive investigation that included the thorough review of all potentially credible evidence submitted and interviews of more than 40 individuals with information relating to the allegations, including classmates and friends of all those involved, Committee investigators found no witness who could provide any verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations brought against Justice Kavanaugh,” the report states.
“In other words, following the separate and extensive investigations by both the Committee and the FBI, there was no evidence to substantiate any of the claims of sexual assault made against Justice Kavanaugh.”
The report also details some of the evasive tactics used by the lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s main accuser, in order to ensure that the hearing was done as publicly as possible — much to the chagrin of the lawyers and their client, it must be noted.
The report notes that in the days following Ford coming forward publicly, “the Committee made numerous attempts to schedule an interview with Dr. Ford via her attorneys. The Committee twice offered to travel to California or to send Committee investigators to a location comfortable for Dr. Ford to conduct an interview.”
“The Committee also gave Dr. Ford the option of testifying in either a private or public setting. Dr. Ford’s attorneys denied all requests for an interview, at any location, which interfered with the Committee’s ability to gather relevant facts. During this process, her attorneys also did not comply with several response deadlines set by the Committee. These delays hindered the Committee’s ability to make logistical arrangements for the hearing, arrangements which sometimes take several days, including for example organizing the necessary level of security for all parties involved.”
The report also states that Monica McLean, a former FBI agent and friend of Ford’s, is now under investigation for possibly putting pressure on witness Leland Keyser.
“Several media outlets have reported that the FBI’s supplemental report indicated that Leland Keyser, a friend of Dr. Ford, felt pressure from Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement to the Committee that she did not know Justice Kavanaugh or have any knowledge of the alleged incident,” the report reads.
“According to the news articles, Keyser reported that former FBI employee Monica McLean, whom Dr. Ford allegedly coached in a polygraph exam years earlier, and others contacted her to suggest she ‘clarify’ her account. Committee investigators continue to pursue this lead to determine whether McLean or others tampered with a critical witness.”
Oh, and then there was Kamala Harris’ infamous “Jane Doe” letter and the activist who claimed to be behind it.
“After the Committee released the transcript of the interview with Justice Kavanaugh, a woman named Judy Munro-Leighton sent an email to the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming to be Jane Doe. She included a version of the letter’s text and said she felt compelled to contact the Committee because she ‘refuse[d] to allow Donald J. Trump to use me or my story as an ugly chant at one of his Republican rallies.’ The Committee quickly concluded that Munro-Leighton was unlikely to be the author. The text of the letter in Munro-Leighton’s email to the Committee differed from the original handwritten letter in several respects, including punctuation and the omission of a duplicate instance of the word ‘and.’
“Committee investigators determined that the text from Munro-Leighton’s email was, however, identical in all respects to the previously publicly released transcript from the telephonic interview, suggesting she copied it from the press. Investigators also examined Munro-Leighton’s background and determined she was a liberal activist who resided in Kentucky, far from the location of the letter’s San Diego postmark.
“Committee investigators tried to contact her on multiple occasions. On November 1, 2018, Munro-Leighton called back and admitted that she was not ‘Jane Doe’ and that her email to the committee ‘was just a ploy’ and that she used it as a way to ‘get attention.’ Investigators asked her if she had ever met Justice Kavanaugh, to which she replied, ‘Oh Lord, no.’”
The report also notes Swetnick’s changing stories and lack of credibility. As for Deborah Ramirez, the woman who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale party, the report said, “investigators found no verifiable evidence to support Ramirez’s allegations.
This probably won’t get a lot of play in the media, given how quickly news cycles go.
However, for Kavanaugh defenders who still believe due process has some value, the report was definitely a slice of vindication.
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