The Many Lies Of Brett Kavanaugh
When Brett Kavanaugh stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, in a hearing regarding credible allegations that he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in high school, his blustering testimony was riddled with enough false or misleading statements to make one’s head spin. From claiming he had no connection to Yale (he was, in fact, a legacy) to suggesting he never attended a party like the one Dr. Ford describes (his own calendars disprove this one), his blatant disregard for the truth was on full display. And this Monday, we learned about even more damning lies uttered by Kavanaugh during the hearing.
Ahmed Baba, of Rantt Media reports:
NBC News reported that two former classmates, Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavag who also attended Yale with Kavanaugh, are in possession of some damning text messages. They reportedly reveal that Brett Kavanaugh and his team were trying to get ahead of Deborah Ramirez’s allegation as far back as July of this year. They paint a picture of Kavanaugh reaching out to former classmates to try and discredit Ramirez. One message even included Yarasavag claiming that Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record in his defense.
In another text, Berchem raised concerns about a 1997 wedding of a mutual friend that Brett Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez attended. Berchem claimed that Ramirez tried to avoid Kavanaugh and “clung” to her. Berchem has unsuccessfully tried to get in touch with the FBI to provide these text messages.
This reported effort by Kavanaugh and his team to discredit Ramirez’s allegation was in the lead up to the New Yorker story by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer that outlined Ramirez’s allegation of Kavanaugh placing his penis in her face in a college dorm room while their peers egged him on.
This is key, because as NBC reports, “Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath that the first time he heard of Ramirez’s allegation was in the Sept. 23 article in The New Yorker.”
If you missed the hearing and need a quick rundown of his other lies:
ALL THE LIES KAVANAUGH TOLD CAN’T EVEN FIT INTO A SINGLE TWEET:
Ford’s allegations are refuted
Never attended a gathering like the one described by FORD
Did not travel in the same circles as Ford
Did not drink beer to the point of blacking out
Drinking age was 18 in MD 1/
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) October 1, 2018
Judge Kavanaugh’s dishonesty that Thursday was not the first time he was caught manipulating the truth while under oath. In 2004, during his DC Circuit Court of Appeals nomination hearing, Kavanaugh was asked by multiple Senators whether he had knowledge of stolen Democrat memos that were accessed during a scandal known as “Memogate.” Kavanaugh claimed to have learned about the memos only when the media coverage began, but recently released emails prove otherwise.
BREAKING: Kavanaugh testified he never received any docs that even “appeared to … have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff.” Well, he got 8 pages of material taken VERBATIM from my files, obviously written by Dem staff, LABELED “not [for] distribution”. pic.twitter.com/eFlIBZ0Z1W
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) September 6, 2018
Lying under oath is poor practice for anyone, let alone a judge interviewing for a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land, but Kavanaugh’s disregard for all forms of honesty is especially disconcerting. How can the American people have faith in his ability to deliver rulings free from personal bias and partisan leanings when we cannot trust his answers before members of the Senate? The judicial aspect of American democracy is disproportionately ignored in public debate, yet the judges who interpret our laws have exceptional power to influence the lives of everyday citizens. Are we willing to let these laws be interpreted by a man who fails to even attempt to portray the whole truth and nothing but the truth in his own sworn testimony?
While the latest news regarding the Ramirez allegation is damning as it points to an attempt to dismiss her claims whilst lying about even being aware of said allegations, Kavanaugh’s ability to easily bend the truth about the most meaningless of details should also raise concern. Beyond his testimony on Thursday, Kavanaugh has a shockingly tangential relationship with the truth in other matters of his public life.
In fact, the first words Kavanaugh spoke after Donald Trump announced his nomination back in early July were almost irrationally false:
“Mr. President, thank you. Throughout this process, I have witnessed firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary. No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.”
While those of different political leanings might argue about how the President runs this country, we must all be able to agree that the idea of President Trump consulting more widely and with more diverse advisors than any president in history, with regard to his Supreme Court pick, is simply laughable.
This willingness to lie with such ease, to bend facts to suit one’s constructed narrative, begs the question of how much we can trust Judge Kavanaugh’s very character – and in an examination of such character, we find even more disregard for the truth. While Kavanaugh did not fully argue the fact that he participated in drinking during his high school years, he nearly bent himself over backward in an attempt to avoid answering any alcohol-related inquiries. He flitted around questions regarding his alleged underage drinking (the legal drinking age in Maryland was raised to 21 in 1982 – the summer in question) and dismissed the myriad of individuals who have come forward to speak about his seemingly well-known relationship with alcohol.
Now, let’s be clear – enjoying drinking alcohol is not a crime (except if you’re underage, which Kavanaugh was, but I digress). But lying about how much one drank when all evidence points the contrary, badgering Senators who ask about said drinking, and claiming that acceptance into Yale disproves a drinking problem – these are all strong reasons as to why one does not belong on the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, the legal system in this country, flawed as it may be, compels us to evaluate the credibility of witnesses providing testimony in order to best weigh their evidentiary claims. Specifically, a credible witness is defined as “a witness whose testimony is believable based on his or her experience, knowledge, training, and appearance of honesty and forthrightness.” In a debate that relies on the testimony of individuals, the only witness who has demonstrated “honesty and forthrightness” is not the individual seeking a seat on the Supreme Court.
Even if we were to remove consideration of the allegations raised by Dr. Ford, we must ask ourselves if Brett Kavanaugh can still be seen as qualified in any sense given his well-documented history of lying – both under oath (thereby opening him up to potential perjury charges) and in his public conduct.
Two of the key votes for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have both claimed that lies by Kavanaugh would be disqualifying.
Scott Pelley: “If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the committee, nomination’s over?”
Jeff Flake: “Oh, yes.”
Chris Coons: “I would think so.” https://t.co/pfONsabFEt
— Tim O’Brien (@TimOBrien) October 1, 2018
There are very few things in this political climate which transcend partisanship. The danger Brett Kavanaugh’s dishonesty presents is one of them. Our laws are only as good as the men and women that uphold them, and those that spend their lives interpreting and evaluating policy must have an unflinching respect for truth and justice.
As Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose seat Brett Kavanaugh might potentially fill, stated in the 2012 United States v. Alvarez decision:
“The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth.“