Trump declares both ‘con job’ and ‘open mind’ before Judiciary hearing

President Donald Trump
REUTERS/Carlos Barria
President Donald Trump called the allegations against Kavanaugh  “a big, fat con job,” but then said he would listen to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony with an open mind.

As you surely know, today is the day the Senate Judiciary Committee reopens the matter of the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, specifically to hear the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges that Kavanaugh assaulted her and tried to undress her at house party when they were both in their teens.

Ford’s opening statement, in which she describes the alleged assault, was made public yesterday and I’ll provide a link below.

The committee has also, for reasons that defy any reasonable explanation, declined repeated suggestions that the FBI background check of Kavanaugh be reopened so Ford’s allegations could be subjected to investigation by trained law enforcement professionals.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has steadfastly declined to ask the FBI to do so. Speculation has suggested that Grassley and Republicans generally are nervous about allowing anything to postpone committee approval of Kavanaugh that might push the final Senate approval past the midterm elections, in case Republicans lose control of the Senate and are no longer in a position to confirm a Supreme Court nominee without Democratic votes.

As of now, the Republicans have likewise been unwilling to schedule a session to hear from two other women who make claims of sexual improprieties committed by Kavanaugh as a young man. In fact, for reasons that seem hard to justify, the Judiciary Committee has decided to hear only from Ford, then from Kavanaugh in response, both during the day today, then to schedule a final committee vote on Kavanaugh’s appointment to a life term on the Supreme Court for the following day, Friday of this week.

At his press conference yesterday, President Trump called the allegations against Kavanaugh  “a big, fat con job,” but then said he would listen to Ford’s testimony with an open mind. That also is hard to square. Trump has been publicly dismissing the truthfulness of Ford’s account since it first became known.

I’m aware that my attitude toward the Trump-Grassley position on the allegations against Kavanaugh may be a tad snarky. So I transcribed Sean Hannity’s take on the matter, from the first few paragraph of his “opening monologue” from last night’s show and offer it here:

Tonight there is no line that Democrats in this country – the left in this country – will not cross when it comes to stopping the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. All civility, all morality, all decency, all fairness, it has all been thrown right out the window. Right now tonight we’re in a trench fight for what are the fundamental rights of all Americans.

Democrats are clearly now on a witch hunt – clearly hell-bent on destroying the name, the character, the career and even the family of Judge Kavanaugh, without any due process, zero presumption of innocence, or even an added dose of common sense.

You got a sleazy attention-seeking lawyer by the name of Michael Avenatti, leading the way, the number one guest on fake news CNN and conspiracy TV MSNBC. And he, along with Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters, they are the new leaders of the Democratic Party, which is now becoming a party of mob rule, no due process, no presumption of innocence.”

Hannity mentioned that, because of previous appointments to federal positions, Kavanaugh has passed several background checks. He called Ford’s lawyer “a notorious left-wing advocate.” By contrast, said Hannity, congressional Republicans and the president have made “every accommodation possible” to allow opponents of Kavanaugh’s appointment to make their case while Democrats have done “the exact opposite.

I’ll be watching the hearing. As promised, here is the text of Ford’s opening statement, via The Atlantic magazine.

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/27/2018 - 10:34 am.

    “…By contrast, said Hannity, congressional Republicans and the president have made “every accommodation possible” to allow opponents of Kavanaugh’s appointment to make their case…” That’s one of the best jokes I’ve come across in regard to the confirmation process in this case. I didn’t realize Mr. Hannity had comic aspirations.

    Senate Republicans are going to confirm Kavanaugh because they can. His ideology fits with the current iteration of the Republican Party – hostile to women, minorities, unions, immigrants, etc. – and, as others have pointed out as a rationale for having a female prosecutor question Dr. Ford, the visual image of a dozen old white males questioning a woman about alleged sexual transgressions from more than 30 years ago is not one that media consultants would approve of.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 09/27/2018 - 11:42 am.

    The only “Con-job” here is Trump, Hannity, and the Republican party! As the story goes, the republicans are Machiavellian in nature, what ever it takes and how ever they get there as long as they get there, is all “OK” with them. No morals, no principles, no ethics, no honesty, One need look no farther than the leadership. What was the quote? “A fish rots from the head down”

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 09/27/2018 - 11:51 am.

    I laughed when he said he was waiting for the testimony to make his mind up.

    Yeah, sure, and I have a bridge for sale at a deep discount. The very best bridge…

    Gullible people who discard all of his other comments on the matter and jump on the thinnest gloss of reasonableness–haven’t you learned anything ?

  4. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 09/27/2018 - 12:14 pm.

    When Trump talks about the hearings being both a con job and that he has an open mind, it isn’t the case that both could be true, but both are lies.

    As for the wimpy senators that are having a woman do their job in asking questions, since as their advanced age they cannot do the job, why not just resign and let a woman take your spot?

    Apparently, every Republican who has ever served on the Judiciary Committee has been male. And look at the Supreme Court – count them – four Republican conservatives plus possibly Kavanaugh. Time for Republicans to dispense with their boys’ clubs.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/27/2018 - 12:29 pm.

    If this were a hockey game, we’d be hearing the beginning strains of “Nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah…”. Soon we would be hearing “This one’s over!” and Kavanaugh will take his place beside Bob Bork.

    But it’s possible McConnell may still ram this through. In which I’m guessing that fivethirtyeight will raise the Dems odd of winning the Senate fro 1 in 3 to 2 in 5, or even a bit higher.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 09/27/2018 - 02:05 pm.

      Unfortunately, the consequences of the Republicans losing control of the Senate would only last a few years. The consequences of Kavenaugh being named to the Supreme Court will last a generation. I suspect Repubs are willing to live with that scenario.

  6. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 09/27/2018 - 04:54 pm.

    Kavenaugh spent time with Trump and was likely schooled on how to testify in sexual assault cases. It seems obvious Trump told Kavenaugh to come out angry and he would say Kavenaugh vehemently denied it all and that will be that. Trump is a fan of sexual predators such as Roy Moore and Kavenahugh. If Kavenaugh is put on the Supreme Court it is a huge blemish on the Republican Party and the women of America are going to the poles in about four weeks to show them what they think of them. It is so obvious the Republican want the fifth seat on the Supreme Court no matter the cost as Pat berg says.

  7. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 09/28/2018 - 08:00 am.

    Dr. Ford did a very good job of honestly conveying her painful memories from that night with Kavenaugh. The American Bar Association is calling for an FBI investigation of Kavenaugh. Dr Ford has already passed an FBI administered lie detector test. Kavenaugh needs to also be given that very same test. It is time to stop the charade in Washington. My assessment of Kavenaugh is he sounds like an angry alcoholic. If the Senate goes ahead and votes today it will be another self-inflicted wound upon the GOP and damage the Supreme Court for decades. The GOP is rapidly moving from total control in DC to no control because they are addicted to power and have grossly misused it.
    America, it is obvious we no longer need to be led by a bunch of old, out of step, white guys. I have no idea what Lindsey Graham was so upset about. I guess he has already forgotten the treatment the GOP gave Merritt Garland, not even giving him a hearing. Their weak rational was President Obama didn’t have enough time left in office, nearly a year, but they want to ram Kavenaugh through in 3 or 4 months. Nothing the GOP says can be considered the truth. The GOP has lost their principles, morals, and ethics in their desperate moves to remain in control.
    I saw an appropriate sign the other day aimed at women, but applicable to men as well.
    Event: Women’s March
    When: November 6, 2018
    Where: Your polling place

    It is time to get off the couch America!

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/28/2018 - 01:55 pm.

      Wait! Don Trump said that Obama and crew just gave up on filling judicial positions, presumably including SCOTUS.

      Are you telling me there was another reason Don Trump inherited so many openings on the federal courts?

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