1. ETHICS PRIME--I have often publicly stated ever since Donald Trump became president, that the only factor to consider, denying a President’s choice on the cabinet or the bench, would be ethical considerations. So, despite my concerns about a Trump presidency, I taken the position that the opposition should not oppose the nominee unless there are ethical concerns. I absolutely have concerns about Kavanaugh’s ethics. Some believe that sexual battery by a teenage boy would disqualify a person 36 years later from being a Judge of the highest court. I am not so sure I feel the same. I do believe, however, that not telling the truth about the past would absolutely render the nominee unqualified. Under no circumstance do I believe Kavanaugh told the truth yesterday. What I saw and heard on Thursday raised very serious ethical concerns.
2. FEINSTEIN’S FOIL--Much has been made over the issue of the role of Democrat US Senator Diane Feinstein. The virtually-entire Republican Congressional attack has been that had Feinstein been fair and open, there would have been time to investigate these claims. The argument seems to continue that since she allegedly sandbagged, then, we should hear no more witnesses other than two and that Kavanaugh should be the US Supreme Court justice. Huh? First, there is no conclusive evidence that Feinstein did engage in the type of conspiracy being alleged. What we learned yesterday was that Dr. Christine Ford told Feinstein not to reveal the information and so, Feinstein did not. Feinstein said her staff did not. We heard from Dr. Ford that she told a number of her friends. There is no evidence that the letter itself was released but there is evidence that information about Dr. Ford did. This is critical. It was not until the media started to investigate and started to intrude into Ford’s life did it become public that Feinstein had the letter in the first place. There is no doubt that Feinstein’s office helped Ford with counsel and the attorneys obtained the lie detector test. But, Ford acted only after the information was released and she was intimidated by the media. It appears Feinstein was trying to true to her commitment not to divulge. Somebody did. It might have been Feinstein or her staff or it could have been Ford’s friends. At this point, we don’t know and If we are not supposed to condemn Kavanaugh unless we have real facts and proof, how can we condemn Feinstein?
3. DARK CLOUD--Even if Feinstein did everything the Republicans claim that she did, what does this have to do with the ultimate issue—who is telling the truth, Ford or Kavanaugh? There is zero relationship between Feinstein’s alleged misdeeds and Ford’s fact-telling or Kavanaugh’s version. The Congressional Republicans and President Trump are claiming that because Feinstein has dirty hands, Ford should not be believed and there should not be any further investigation because Feinstein damaged the process. This type of logic is not only nonsensical, it is dangerous. It is essentially making the argument that we don’t believe Feinstein, we don’t know who is telling the truth between Kavanaugh and Ford, we know something happened, but we must punish Ford, Feinstein and the Democrats and put Kavanaugh on the most powerful job in the land, despite a dark cloud over his credibility and the process and despite the relative ease to obtain a true investigation to lift the cloud.
4. VAST LEFT WING CONSPIRACY--Kavanaugh clearly showed he lacked the judicial temperament. His display yesterday was frightening. He weaved one conspiracy theory after another targeting all of the evil democrats to rally his base. He showed that he could not put his own life over the obligation of being fair. He even seem to give a veiled threat claiming what comes around, goes around. He was combative, insulted and revealed the very kind of bias he would not want from the more political bodies in judging his own fate. He failed miserably and frightening.
5. INADEQUATE EVIDENCE: First, the documentary evidence provided to Congress is insufficient. If there is better evidence, such as live testimony that can be cross-examined, that live testimony should be presented. Witnesses who do not want to be involved can be subpoenaed. This is law school 101.
6. DIDN’T HAPPEN--More than anything else, I believe Kavanaugh lied and/or distorted facts through the hearing. He repeatedly said, in general that the facts alleged did not happen. In responding to piercing questions, he kept citing the alleged witnesses cited by Ford, that they all said, “it didn’t happen”. He told the Congress, under oath, that the statements made by the witnesses in sworn letters under perjury denied the allegations. This is totally false. The witnesses said in their letters presented by Kavanaugh that they had no memory or do not know what Dr. Ford was talking about. This is adamantly not the same as saying the allegations are false. Indeed, one can infer from the witnesses’ letters that the facts did not occur. But a future US Supreme Court justice, under oath, cannot and must not emphatically state under oath, that these witnesses literally confirm that the facts alleged “didn’t happen”. Doing so, to me, is being false with the Congress, total grounds for disqualification.
7. SIX FBI INVESTIGATIONS Kavanaugh made the claims often that he has been investigated six time. He said this as he tried to rebut the argument that there should be an FBI investigation. While true, he has been so investigated, the public record does not show an investigation of these recent controversial issues since logically, the witnesses to these claims never came forward. How in the world would the FBI know to investigate facts that have not yet emerged? At times, he said he would do whatever the committee wanted him to do. When asked whether he would tell the White House that he wanted a full investigation by the FBI to clear his name, he rebuffed, repeating the falsehoods that the witnesses said it did not happen. To me, this was the worst obfuscation I have ever witnessed in a legal or Congressional hearing. The committee, instead of trying to get an impartial body to investigate, one that has trained government employees to gather facts, instead, decided that it did not want a delay. It tried to justify its refusal by blaming Feinstein. Sorry, in my very heartfelt opinion, the main question to ask should be this—would an FBI investigation to gather facts, not draw conclusions, be useful and more credible than an investigation by a lesser trained much more partisan investigative body (Congressional committee) with a clear motive? While the FBI is not perfect, the White House and others use it all the time to gather facts. If we cannot wait for days or worse, even a couple of weeks, so we can get clear and complete revelation of information to determine the worthiness of a future US Supreme Court Justice, then, are we really searching for the truth? I thought we sought the truth. Some of the same people argue in a different setting that government transparency primes all. They are willing to risk the identities of our confidential sources and our investigate methods. They are willing to damage the faith that these sources and other countries have that their classified information would never be revealed. This President, to protect himself, is willing to destroy the world’s faith in America’s ability to keep secrets. To protect him and his family and friends, transparency matters, no matter the cost, no matter the time. But, to get down to the real facts as to whether something occurred and whether the next US Supreme Court justice has the temperament and the honesty to tell the truth—sorry, we don’t have the time or interest.
The Congressional Republicans and many party members are stating that transparency matters in those things important to the president but not important to whether women making claims against the US Supreme Court justice should be believed. They completely dismiss women, unwilling to fairly and independently investigate, because they don’t want to spend the time. Time should be irrelevant given it was trashed during the Judge Garland investigation. He was not allowed to be transparent, he was not even given the courtesy of a meeting.
It appears now that US Senator Jeff “Hamlet” Flake has decided to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, the dye is cast. Despite Kavanaugh’s citing the American Bar Association’s prior seal of approval and their sudden urging that the issue be paused until a FBI investigation, the power of the president and the selfishness of the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, should not be denied. Men in Congress and in this White House can tell women who finally have the courage to reveal their hurt, even if there is reason to suspect their veracity, that there is no time for them. This President, who denies all claims against him by women has a chorus behind him to say, we don’t believe you and we just don’t care, even if you are telling the truth.
Politics has primed. The US Supreme Court will have its Judge. Elections have consequences.
Let's be transparent. Truth simply doesn’t matter. Power does.