Opinion | Knopf: Kavanaugh’s testimony about his drinking days doesn’t pass the smell test
October 2, 2018
Are you kidding? My dad sent me a bogus picture of Christine Ford with George Soros. Evidence of the far left conspiracy to deprive Brett Kavanaugh "his" seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. One catch, it's a picture of a Ukrainian woman with Soros! More misinformation and interference from what my husband calls "Boris and Natasha?!"
Other well-meaning friends have asked me if I am now satisfied Kavanaugh is telling the truth. Are you kidding? How many lies would a SCOTUS nominee need to tell under oath before he's considered morally, ethically and judicially unsuitable. New allegations emerge daily! Please feel free to look up his testimony from last week.
It's a stark contrast to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's composed, if not tremulous testimony. It was riveting as she stated she was 100 percent sure Kavanaugh and his classmate Mark Judge were the ones who assaulted her.
White House presidential advisor Kelly Anne Conway admits she too is the victim of sexual assault, but insists victims should go through the criminal justice system, not the political system. Just how would we do that? What crime has Kavanaugh committed apart from being a person utterly lacking in character, and incapable of telling straightforward truthful answers? Here's his testimony:
PROSECUTOR RACHEL MITCHELL: Dr. Ford has described you as being intoxicated at a party. Did you consume alcohol during your high school years?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I, the boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal, senior year in high school, people were legal to drink, and we — yeah, we drank beer, and I said sometimes — sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers.
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MITCHELL: What do you…
KAVANAUGH: We drank beer. We liked beer.
MITCHELL: What do you consider to be too many beers?
KAVANAUGH: I don't know. You know, we — whatever the chart says, a blood-alcohol chart.
MITCHELL: OK. Have you ever passed out from drinking?
KAVANAUGH: I — passed out would be — no, but I've gone to sleep, but — but I've never blacked out. That's the — that's the — the allegation, and that — that — that's wrong.
At the very least he's evasive. At the worst, he's lying. He goes to sleep?! Kavanaugh has held in his court that a lie detector test, while not legally admissible, can in fact be useful. Why doesn't he do something useful and take one like Dr. Ford?
A number of people have come forward to state Kavanaugh woefully underestimated his drinking. In his yearbook he states he is the proud Treasurer of the Keg City Club "100 Kegs or Bust." Kavanaugh's buddy Mark Judge has written a lot about those drunken days of debauchery. He's even written about one Bart O'Kavanaugh.
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY: … Judge Kavanaugh, I'm trying to get a straight answer from you under oath. Are you Bart … Kavanaugh that he's referring to, yes or no? That's it …
KAVANAUGH: You'd have to ask him.
LEAHY: Well, I agree with you there. And that's why I wish that the chairman had him here under oath.
Now, you've talked about your yearbook. In your yearbook, you talked about drinking and sexual exploits, did you not?
KAVANAUGH: Senator, let me — let me take a step back and explain high school …
Kavanaugh continues to avoid truthfully answering simple questions.
Sen. Lindsey Graham went completely off the rails, claiming power hungry individuals seek to destroy Kavanaugh's personal life. The truth is Kavanaugh is destroying his own reputation. Instead of being contrite, Kavanaugh disrespects the Senators on a job interview!
Kavanaugh delivered the same bombastic contempt for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The Senator said her own father had a drinking problem, and Kavanaugh thanked her for her professional courtesy in prior meetings.
KLOBUCHAR: So you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened?
KAVANAUGH: It's — you're asking about, you know, blackout. I don't know. Have you?
KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question, Judge? I just — so you — that's not happened. Is that your answer?
KAVANAUGH: Yeah, and I'm curious if you have.
KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.
KAVANAUGH: Yeah, nor do I.
KLOBUCHAR: OK, thank you.
Frankly it loses a lot on the page. You'd have to see his face and hear his belligerent accusatory tone. Since that testimony, Charles "Chad" Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said he was a friend of Kavanaugh's at Yale and that Kavanaugh was "a frequent drinker and a heavy drinker." Bottom line Kavanaugh is not telling the truth about any of it.
I'm going to say it again. He's just not Supreme Court material. His poor self regulation during this hearing demonstrates he lacks the temperament for SCOTUS. One reader said I only gave two examples of the judge's bad judgments. Again, I direct everyone to CivilRights.org which does a magnificent job detailing dozens of bad decisions this judge has made that put civil rights, voting rights and rights to a safe workplace last. He votes against the Justice Department, OSHA and the EPA. He is not a judicious, caring person, who has the needs of the republic and its citizens foremost in his mind.
Kavanaugh wrote a law review article stating no sitting president should be charged with any crime. I'm not sure why the Republicans are so gung-ho on this guy. He's the one person who could stop efforts to hold Trump accountable. Let's see what Robert Mueller discovers in his probe.
Sen. Mitch McConnell says he will press ahead with a vote for Kavanaugh this Friday, the day the FBI investigation results are due. Perhaps McConnell ought to give his colleagues some time to review the FBI interviews. After all, the FBI does not make recommendations. If the Republicans continue to insist Kavanaugh is fit and suitable for the court, without any real consideration of the facts revealed by the FBI, they will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, facts and the rule of law don't matter. Ironic since we are talking about a Supreme Court Justice.
Susan Knopf is a Summit County resident. She has won awards from the Associated Press and United Press International for her news reporting.
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