Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein have succeeded in coarsening the body politic even more, with another drive-by shooting on the character of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Kamala Harris (D-CA) made a dramatic play of during her allotted time to question the nominee. She pretended she had evidence that Kavanaugh spoke inappropriately to Trump’s lawyers. She asked him who he talked about Mueller’s investigation with, and reminded him to “[b]e sure about your answer sir.” Kavanaugh denied any inappropriate talk and Harris never revealed any counter-evidence.
Now Feinstein, without producing any evidence, has floated the idea that Kavanaugh was a high school sexual predator.
Lack of Evidence
The anatomy of the smear was laid out by the team of celebrity #metoo reporter Ronan Farrow and anti-conservative true-believer Jane Mayer at the New Yorker. The story goes like this: In July, after Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced, a woman wrote a letter to her Congresspersons claiming that “during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her.” Now, that is not a quote from the letter writer. That is a quote from Farrow and Mayer. We don’t have quotes from the letter writer.
You see, if actual quotes or witnesses or names or anything like a fact are produced, it can be countered. Innuendo, leaks, and whispers, however, well, good luck fighting that. A campaign of leaked vague accusations that are salacious to boot will be manna from heaven for some and begrudgingly re-told for completeness by others.
We’re told by the New Yorker that the attack’s survivor, “watching Kavanaugh move toward what looked like an increasingly assured confirmation, she decided to end her effort to come forward, a source close to the woman said.” One wonders what efforts she made to come forward. She could simply post a YouTube video detailing the attack – that seems like it could be pretty powerful. She could produce a written piece that most D.C. media outlets would kill to publish. That she did none of the things leads to the inescapable conclusion that she did not want to come forward.
Feinstein asked Brett Kavanaugh exactly zero questions about this incident during her nearly hour-long examination of the nominee at the Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings. She and her colleagues have, however, seemingly been busy little beavers spreading the news of the letter to sympathetic journos all too desperate to sink Kavanaugh’s nomination for ideological reasons, as well as claim their own Watergate moment.
Instead, the ranking member of the committee and senior senator from California called the New York Times to produce a story on the letter. The paper’s treatment, complete with the ominous title Dianne Feinstein Refers a Kavanaugh Matter to Federal Investigators, includes the money quote that Feinstein “referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
Well played. Of course, it’s only well played if you are playing for the latest news cycle. The FBI, FYI, does not investigate acts that were never federal crimes in the first place, involving juveniles at a drunken house party in 1982. The Times reports:
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.
Well, that was never the purpose. The purpose was for people to talk about sexual assault and Judge Kavanaugh in the same breath. Mission accomplished.
In a statement released by the White House, Kavanaugh said, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” A classmate of Kavanaugh’s said of the woman’s allegation, “I have no recollection of that.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has scheduled the committee vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for Thursday, September 20th. The full Senate is then expected to vote the matter within days.
Feinstein and her allies are desperate to stop Judge Kavanaugh from joining the Supreme Court for the same reason conservatives are so desperate for him to join it – the Court now decides many of our most contentious political disputes. Until we reverse that course, we’re likely to see more of these disgraceful displays rather than fewer.