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.