Kavanaugh Sex Assault Charges: 5 Ways To Thwart GOP Court Fraud

 

A new accuser has named Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 26 as being present during her long ago gang rape at a party.

But justice seekers need much tougher tactics to counter the ruthless senators and their puppet masters who are now ramming the nominee through to confirmation without an honest investigation.

This column argues that reformers need to implement five strategies beginning today before the sham Senate hearing that is scheduled Thursday for new accusations against Kavanaugh. The column has been updated after being published early on Wednesday, Sept. 26 before attorney Michael Avenatti announced explosive charges against Kavanaugh by a named client.

brett kavanaugh 5 ways to thwart gop court fraud

Later that morning, Avenatti released via Twitter a sworn statement by a longtime federal employee, Julie Swetnick, identifying Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge as being present for a “gang rape” that Swetnick said victimized her at one one of about of about 10 house parties she says that she attended with them in the Washington, DC area in the early 1980s.

julie swetnick full photo via michael avenatti“I also witnessed,"  the statement said, "efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys ... These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh ... In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present,” she added.

Avenatti wrote also, "Here is a picture of my client Julie Swetnick. She is courageous, brave and honest. We ask that her privacy and that of her family be respected."

Kavanaugh responded by reiterating his denial of wrongdoing. In a rambling 80-minute press conference filled vague if not misleading comments, President Trump restated his support for Kavanaugh, his denunciations of Avenatti and left open the possibility that he might change his mind after hearing from Kavanaugh's accusers in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.

Trump seemed unaware that Senate Republicans have not permitted Swetnick and another accuser, Deborah Ramirez, either to speak to the committee or to the FBI in a renewed investigation. Trump said also that his own experience in being accused of sexual misconduct had made him especially sympathetic to Kavanaugh.

Trump falsely stated that he has been accused of misconduct by four women. The number has been widely reported at more than a dozen and up to a score of women, even discounting those who have withdrawn complaints, including two women who allege that Trump raped them when they were 12 and 13.

Avenatti described the Republican majority's planned proceeding Thursday as a "farce." 

Avenatti continued in his Tweet, "Below is my correspondence to Mr. Davis of moments ago, together with a sworn declaration from my client. We demand an immediate FBI investigation into the allegations. Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation."

Separately on Wednesday night, NBC's Kasie Hunt said her colleagues were reporting that a fourth accuser, currently anonymous, has surfaced who alleges that her daughter saw Kavanaugh in 1998 physically attack a woman outside a bar in a sexual manner and in a way that created that created a traumatic memory for the observers.. MSNBC said that Kavanaugh has denied the incident to committee Republicans, who were reported to be investigating the matter in an unspecified manner.

Bigger Picture

brett kavanaugh megans list wmr graphicOnly one of the nominee's accusers will be permitted to talk and she will not be able to provide supportive witnesses and other evidence. This is much like Senate Judiciary Committee senators deprived Anita Hill in 1991 of most of the supportive witnesses willing to back her during the rushed 1991 hearings leading to the 52-48 confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

Republicans have already scheduled a committee vote for Friday because their leadership is desperate to install another highly partisan justice, like Thomas, to guide the courts further into their radical right activism by virtue of their court majority and their lifetime appointments.

One of Kavanaugh's special qualifications, it is reported, is that he has argued that presidents should now be immune in effect to criminal and civil litigation during their terms. That would be a special benefit to the man who nominated him, the legally vulnerable President Trump. It is also opportunistic reversal for Kavanaugh, who built his career in part by aggressively prosecuting President Bill Clinton as a member of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's staff during their 1990s efforts to impeach the Democrat over his consensual oral sex with the former intern Monica Lewinsky.

That has provoked a furious response by justice seekers, with reactions that include more than 200 arrests of spectators during the first week of confirmation hearings this week and such strong insults as the graphic at right distributed on social media. This editor has observed these demonstrations in covering the Kavanaugh hearings, where the Senate's unfairness far exceeds the disgraceful levels at the 1991 confirmation hearings for Thomas that I attended. 

michael avenatti sketchFortunately, litigator Michael Avenatti apparently plans to start implementing the first of these recommendations later today with announcement of the identity of a client who is accusing Kavanaugh of raping her.

This crime is part of what Avenatti called on Sept. 23 a pattern of preppy gang violence against women stemming from Kavanaugh’s younger years, including during the time that the nominee attended the Jesuit-run Georgetown Prep School in the Washington, DC suburb of Bethesda, Maryland.

The brilliance of the strategy is that Avenatti, shown at left, and his client apparently are taking their case directly to the American public, thereby underscoring the sham so-called search for truth at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. Yet their strategy does not undercut the utility of the committee hearing for the rest of a truth-seekers’ agenda.

We'll describe below the four other parts of our recommended strategy. But before that we suggest a way for readers to keep up with the many important news stories on the topics central to the court nomination battle.

As we reported earlier this week, so many developments are occurring that our Justice Integrity Project is chronicling them on a daily basis on several sub-sites that are accessible by buttons on our home page or more directly through the links here:

chuck grassley screams at patrick leahy confidential records screenshot

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) screams at his longtime Democratic colleague Pat Leahy of Vermont during the Kavanaugh hearing, in which Leahy and other Democrats have accused the nominee of perjuring himself by denying use of stolen Democratic Senate documents (screenshot).

 A Plan's Part Two

The second part of a plan would be for Dr. Christine Brasey Ford, the first courageous whistleblower against Kavanaugh, to somehow summon the strength to go through with the christine blasey ford headshot croppedcommittee’s sham hearing on Thursday, even though Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican, and his staff of ideologues have stacked the deck against her and any reasonable attempt to determine the truth of her allegation that Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a party in 1982 when she was 15 and he was 17.

christine blasey ford high schoolShe is shown at left in file photo and at right in a photo when she was a junior at the all-girls Holton Arms prep school. She is currently a psychology professor in California who had sought anonymity until unknown persons learned her identity and harassed her to the point when she agreed to be identified in a Sept. 18 news story by Washington Post reporter Emma Brown.

Brasey, the name she uses professionally, has had to move with her family from their home because of death threats. With so much news occurring, reporters often overlook the imbalance of forces whereby a private citizen like her incurs enormous expenses and security concerns whereas Kavanaugh enjoys taxpayer paid security for the most part and has received extensive training at the Trump White House almost all of last week in preparation for Thursday's hearing.

At this point, she needs to use the Senate forum to achieve visibility for her opening statement and allow Democrats to put tough questions to Kavanaugh while he is under oath even though Republicans have rigged the event to minimize time for questions.

Among the GOP’s many heavy-handed and often unprecedented partisan committee tactics are refusal to include Democrats in hearing planning, refusal to advocate for an FBI investigation of all witnesses and refusal to summon relevant witnesses, including those most directly involved with the Brasey allegations and others who are accusing Kavanaugh of sex crimes and other debauchery, such as excessive drunkenness.

A third tactic would be for Ford and a second accuser of Kavanaugh, his former Yale College classmate Deborah Ramirez, to take their allegations to a high-profile network television investigative show such as CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday. This would be after the scheduled Judiciary Committee vote Friday but before the full Senate’s vote, which GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky seeks to hold on Monday or Tuesday.

deborah ramirez benjamin rasmussen new yorkerRamirez, shown at right in a cropped photo from a New Yorker expose on Sept. 23 by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, has said that Kavanaugh dropped his pants at a Yale party and tried to force her to kiss them. We reported details of New Yorker reporter ni our round-up column of Sept. 24, Reports: 2 New Kavanaugh Accusers, More GOP Deceptions, Plots.

brett kavanaugh 1983 yearbookKavanaugh, shown at left as a senior in his prep school yearbook, has denied the allegation and the other ones of sexual misconduct. As a sign of the seriousness of the allegations and his sinking poll numbers, his handlers arranged a friendly interview in a way unprecedented for a federal nominee with Fox News on Monday so that he could deny any misconduct.

An Associated Press reporter counted 17 times that he asked for a "fair hearing" in his canned responses during the brief interview. But Kavanaugh has not made his denials under oath, so far as publicly known, whereas at least two of his accusers have volunteer to tell their stories to the FBI and thereby face five-year sentences for perjury if proven liars..

Grassley and his committee have refused to call Brasey or to encourage the Trump White House to direct the FBI to continue their background investigation of Kavanaugh by interviewing any of the alleged participants or witnesses to any of the claimed crimes.

The women should not seek media exposure until after the Thursday hearing because Republicans are likely to seize any excuse to cancel such a high-profile event, even if they have done their best to rig it and even though President Trump has scheduled the counter-programming of his meeting with Deputy Attorney Gen. Rod Rosenstein at roughly the same time on Thursday.

Fourth, Democrats should use all of this evidence to win a Blue Wave at federal, state and local levels in the crucial mid-term elections in November, which will help create elective and investigative power with Democratic Senate and House majorities in January.

elenakagan forbiddenrepublican elephant logoOur project has been non-partisan since its inception. In that spirit, the project opposed the confirmation of Obama administration Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, as indicated by the graphic at right, because of her record fostering such injustices as the continued prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, whom the Obama administration was helping imprison on trumped-up corruption charges.

But we regard the current constitutional crisis affecting the federal government as so serious because none of the branches will investigate corruption and injustice adequately so that we believe it necessary to advocate for installation of at least one branch that will investigate wrongdoing.

Fifth and finally, the accusers, their attorneys and decent-minded officials everywhere should begin immediately after Thursday’s hearing to take necessary steps for criminal, civil and legislative redress against all suspected guilty parties, including a Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh if he is confirmed.

This process can start promptly with a complaint by Brasey Ford to Maryland authorities because there is no statute of limitations on a felony charge of attempted sexual assault, as she mark judge twitterhas alleged against Kavanaugh and, perhaps, his friend and alleged accomplice Mark Judge, shown at right. Dr. Christine Brasey Ford has accused Judge of helping Kavanaugh attack her when she was 15 at a party but Republicans have declined to interview Judge under oath and have merely accepted his denial of misconduct despite his extensive writings describing his drunken experiences at Georgetown Prep and afterwards

The next steps following that might be civil defamation suits against those radical partisans who dispute the whistleblowing victims, much like Avenatti and several other victims rights’ attorneys are pursuing defamation suits against President Trump for his denials and insults when he has been credibly accused of sexual attacks.

Criminal Prosecution -- and Supreme Court Impeachment?

In this category of legal redress, the last and perhaps most important of these legal actions seeking truth, justice and deterrence would be honest leaders of a new House and / or Senate in January using their investigative powers to summon all relevant witnesses to determine the truth of the accusations against Kavanaugh (shown in a C-SPAN screenshot from the confirmation hearings), including such relevant actions as his alleged pattern of consistently lying to the Senate during his confirmation hearings.

brett kavanaugh zina bash c span sept 2018That could easily lead to criminal charges or other grounds for Kavanaugh's impeachment from either the U.S. Supreme Court or from his current position as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Vital also in such a congressional investigation would be an exploration of the sinister big-dollar lobbying and public relations campaign that has fostered his nomination and thwarted honest oversight by Grassley and his fellow Republicans on the committee. Reporters have documented many scandals relating to this process, which we have excerpted in our recent covered in such subsites as those immediately below and this column’s appendix at bottom.

Among them are the role of the right wing firm CRC Public Relations in representing the Judicial Crisis Network in hits huge spending on pro-Kavanaugh ads as well as CRC’s lending of its staffer Garrick Ventry to Grassley’s committee to help its public relations on the nomination and CRC’s work with Kavanaugh’s friend Edward Whelan, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in Whelan’s ill-fated campaign to blame the attack on Brasey Ford on a completely innocent and powerless former classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Prep.

We now know how clumsy and cruel Whelan and Ventry could be because their schemes cratered so publicly. Whelan, a Harvard Law graduate and longtime lawyer, was suspended from his job for a month. The Judiciary Committee fired Ventry because his shenanigans put a spotlight on his past as a man fired from his previous political job on the grounds of sexual harassment.

But what is not full known and put on the public record is the full extent of the hidden relationships that enable such a travesty as the Kavanaugh nomination to move forward with so little disclosure of his record.

A new Democratic House could investigate the entire corrupt saga and lay it out for the public, possibly setting the stage for Kavanaugh’s impeachment if he is elevated.

Avenatti, fortunately, appears to be on the verge of taking the first step later today with revelations to the media from his new client, whose career in public service reputedly earned her security clearances and other credentials establishing her credibility.

Meanwhile, Trump, other Republican leaders and their allies and patrons, including in the evangelical movement, are acting is if the installation of Kavanaugh on the court would more or less end controversy and enable him to proceed for decades implementing their agenda in peace, much like Thomas.

Not so. The sex scandals surrounding President Trump and so many other powerful figures are not going to be forgotten in the era of social media, the #MeToo movement and millions of Americans positively furious at powerful criminals, hypocrites and their enablers. The mainstream media often report that nearly a score of women have made sexual assault or harassment complaints against Trump alone. But that does not even encompass other complaints percolating, including explosive allegations against the president of rape of two minors in the early 1990s with his billionaire friend Jeffrey Epstein, with the latter now formally labeled a convicted sex offender for life.

Our project, sometimes working with cutting edge researchers like our colleague Wayne Madsen, has been among the many researchers and courageous whistleblowers bringing out their stories, many of them summarized in our daily update here: #MeToo News.

The world has changed and that change — typified by New York Daily News front pages below unimaginable even regarding Clarence Thomas during his controversies — could be coming to the U.S. Supreme Court one way or another.

Grassley, Trump and their fellow Republicans cannot say that they were not warned during recent days. Some traditional conservatives have been relentlessly raising the alarm during recent days against Kavanaugh.

But a leadership that is pressing ahead with the Kavanaugh nomination without fully investigating his background illustrates the adage “Be careful what you wish for.”

 

donald trump ny daily pussy

Then and Now: The front page of a 2016 New York Daily News edition presents a counterpoint to President Trump's current policies

Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Justice Integrity Project Coverage

 

Sept. 26, 2018.

brett kavanaugh 5 ways to thwart gop court fraud

Justice Integrity Project, Kavanaugh Rape Charge: 1 of 5 Ways To Thwart GOP Court Fraud

By Andrew Kreig,

A new accuser has named Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 26 as being present during her long ago gang rape at a party.

But justice seekers need much tougher tactics to counter the ruthless senators and their puppet masters who are now ramming the nominee through to confirmation without an honest investigation.

This column argues that reformers need to implement five strategies beginning today before the sham Senate hearing that is scheduled Thursday for new accusations against Kavanaugh. [The column has been updated after being published early on Wednesday, Sept. 26, which was before attorney Michael Avenatti announced the identity of his client who would make explosive charges against Kavanaugh.]

Later that morning, Avenatti released via Twitter a sworn statement by a longtime federal employee, Julie Swetnick, identifying Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge as being present for a “gang rape” that Swetnick said victimized her at one one of about of about 10 house parties she says that she attended with them in the Washington, DC area in the early 1980s. She is shown at left in a photo released by her attorney.julie swetnick full photo via michael avenatti

“I also witnessed,"  the statement said, "efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys ... These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh ... In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present,” she added.

Avenatti wrote also, "Here is a picture of my client Julie Swetnick. She is courageous, brave and honest. We ask that her privacy and that of her family be respected."

Kavanaugh responded by reiterating his denial of wrongdoing. In a rambling 80-minute press conference filled vague if not misleading comments, President Trump restated his support for Kavanaugh, his denunciations of Avenatti and left open the possibility that he might change his mind after hearing from Kavanaugh's accusers in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.

Trump seemed unaware for most of the conference until near the end that Senate Republicans have not permitted Swetnick and another accuser, Deborah Ramirez, either to speak to the committee or to the FBI in a renewed investigation. Trump said also that his own experience in being accused of sexual misconduct had made him especially sympathetic to Kavanaugh.

 

 

Sept. 28, 2018

Justice Integrity Project, Lying Bullyboy Kavanaugh Goes Full Trump, Reverses Disaster

By Andrew Kreig

brett kavanaugh nbc cropped sept 27 2018Brett Kavanaugh gave his endangered Supreme Court nomination new life on Sept. 27 with apparently perjured testimony and by playing the victim during a hearing on sexual assault charges that was rigged by his Republican backers.

Kavanaugh's emotional mixture of self-pitying tears, obvious lies and belligerence towards Democratic senators followed President Trump's rhetorical model of "deny, deny, deny" and vicious political partisanship.

Trump, formally accused by 19 women of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct, portrayed himself as a victim in a rambling, 80-minute press conference on Sept. 26 in which he complained about mistreatment of Kavanaugh.

The nominee, shown in an NBC News photo at left Thursday snarling his comments at Democrats, delivered a hoked-up temper tantrum that appeared to salvage his hopes for his confirmation following three major accusations of sexual misconduct and Kavanaugh's robotic performance on Monday night during a Fox television interview.christine blasey ford sept 27 2018

It came after Fox News commentators Mike Wallace and Brit Hume had described the nominee's accuser Christine Brasey Ford as highly credible in her earlier sworn testimony. 

The majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a vote on the nomination for 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

Dr. Brasey, right, told the committee that she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh had been  the drunken teenager who had tried to rape her at a party when she was 15, thereby inflicting lifelong emotional trauma.

Several former prosecutors now serving as cable television commentators, including Cynthia Aksne and Daniel Goldman on MSNBC, described the witness's mixture of first-person experience and expertise as a psychologist as the most effective witness that they had ever seen.

 

 

Sept. 29, 2018

Justice Integrity Project, Senators Reach Deal For Kavanaugh Sex Claim Probe

By Andrew Kreig, Sept. 29, 2018. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by a party line 11-10 vote on Sept. 28 but agreed also to let a key member jeff flake onegotiate for up to a week's delay for an FBI investigation before the nomination goes to the full Senate.

In a dramatic reversal Friday, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, right, announced that he sought an FBI probe of sexual misconduct investigations before a vote by the full Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-49 majority.

Two other undecided senators, Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, announced that they would join Flake's position. That would put Kavanaugh's final approval in doubt if other senators vote as expected nearly along party lines.

Related News Coverage

Sept. 26

The Hill, Avenatti releases client’s identity, allegations against Kavanaugh, Tal Axelrod, Sept. 26, 2018. Avenatti claims client has 'credible information' on Kavanaugh, ex-classmate. Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her suit against President Trump released the identity of his client accusing Brett Kavanaugh of being present for a “gang rape” of which she was a victim.

michael avenatti sketchAvenatti tweeted out a sworn testimony from Julie Swetnick in which she declares she met Kavanaugh in “approximately 1980-1981” and attended several house parties for which Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were also present.

Avenatti, who has not ruled out a bid for the White House in 2020, said, “Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation.”

Below is my correspondence to Mr. Davis of moments ago, together with a sworn declaration from my client. We demand an immediate FBI investigation into the allegations. Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation.

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) 10:42 AM - Sep 26, 2018

mark judge twitter“I witnessed Mark Judge [shown at right] and Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively and engage in highly inappropriate conduct, including being overly aggressive with girls and not taking ‘No’ for an answer. This conduct included the fondling and grabbing of girls without their consent,” Swetnick writes.

“I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys ... These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh ... In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present,” she added.

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh nomination: Judge says he is victim of ‘character assassination’ as third woman comes forward, John Wagner, Sept. 26, 2018. Uncertainty looms over Kavanaugh and the GOP after new misconduct allegation.

brett kavanaugh zina bash c span sept 2018Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh [shown in a screenshot from the confirmation hearing] is scheduled to appear Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a high-stakes hearing. The committee will hear from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who says President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers.

Lawmakers from both parties and lawyers for Kavanaugh and Ford maneuvered for advantage on the eve of the hearing, and President Trump weighed in on the fate of his nominee.

12:50 p.m.: Trump attacks Avenatti as ‘a total low-life!’

President Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing a new accuser of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.

“Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” Trump said in a tweet. “He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships - a total low-life!”

Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who was paid by a personal attorney for Trump to remain quiet about an alleged decade-old affair with Trump.

On Wednesday, Avenatti revealed that he is representing Julie Swetnick, who said Kavanaugh was physically abusive toward girls in high school and present at a house party in 1982 where she says she was the victim of a “gang” rape.

12:45 p.m.: Grassley says new accuser won’t affect Thursday’s hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said the emergence of a third accuser would not affect the hearing scheduled Thursday at which the panel will hear from Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Speaking to reporters, Grassley cited Ford’s welfare. “I feel we shouldn’t disadvantage Dr. Ford any more than she’s already been disadvantaged,” he said.

12:30: Kavanaugh says third accuser’s allegations are ‘from the Twilight Zone’

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Wednesday dismissed the allegations of a third accuser as “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone.” Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh is scheduled to appear Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a high-stakes hearing. The committee will hear from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who says President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers.

Lawmakers from both parties and lawyers for Kavanaugh and Ford maneuvered for advantage on the eve of the hearing, and President Trump weighed in on the fate of his nominee.

Roll Call, Trump: Democrats Running ‘Big, Fat Con Job’ on Kavanaugh, John T. Bennett, Sept. 25, 2018. President won’t say whether he thinks accusers are lying.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Senate Democrats of being hellbent on taking down Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying they would have attacked him even if the FBI had returned a “perfect score” after investigating sexual misconduct allegations against him.

“You wouldn’t have gotten one vote” from Democrats, Trump said at a news conference in New York where he has been attending a United Nations conference.

“The told us they’ve investigated Judge Kavanaugh six times. They know him very well,” the president said. “There was … nothing to investigate. They didn’t know the location. They didn’t know time. They didn’t know the year. They didn’t know anything,” he added, referring to the first allegation against the nominee that will be the subject of a Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

washington post logoWashington Post, Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell emerges as GOP choice to question Kavanaugh and accuser at hearing, Sean Sullivan, Josh Dawsey and Rosalind S. Helderman, Sept. 26, 2018 (print edition). Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell has emerged as Senate Republicans’ choice to question Brett M. Kavanaugh and the supreme court graphicwoman who has accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Mitchell, the sex crimes bureau chief for the Maricopa County Attorney’s office in Phoenix, is the leading candidate to query the two at Thursday’s highly anticipated hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the individuals.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it on the record. A registered Republican, Mitchell has worked for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for 26 years.

Rachel Mitchell gives a TV interview in 2011 (Screenshot from ABC 15)

Rachel Mitchell gives a TV interview in 2011 (Screenshot from ABC 15)

Raw Story, GOP’s Kavanaugh questioner Rachel Mitchell comes from a troubled office with a terrible record of rape convictions, Martin Cizmar, Sept. 26, 2018. Wary of having 11 middle-aged or elderly white men interrogate the woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Republicans have instead tapped an Arizona prosecutor to handle the questioning of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Rachel Mitchell works for the Special Victims Division in the Maricopa County attorney’s office in Arizona. Mitchell has a lot of experience, having spent 12 years running the sex-crimes bureau in Phoenix. She’s been with the office for 26 years, the last eight under Bill Montgomery.

Before that, Mitchell worked under ultra-conservative Andy Thomas, who focused heavily on immigration busts and feuded bitterly with the more moderate county officials who fund his office, at one point indicting county officials over their squabbles. Mitchell’s former boss was later disbarred following an abuse of power case.

The agency that Mitchell comes from has come under fierce criticism for its handling of rape cases, and has a poor track record of getting justice for victims in rape, child molestation or domestic violence cases.

Although it’s hard to get county-level statistics, Maricopa County includes Phoenix and it’s sprawling suburbs, and contains most of the state’s population. Maricopa County has more than 4 million residents. The rest of Arizona has less than 3 million residents combined.

In 2016, there were 3,290 rapes reported across Arizona. Police only made 344 arrests as a result.

That clearance rate of Arizona rape cases stands at approximately 10%, well below the national average of 34.5%.

Maricopa County is notorious for disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of federal crimes and pardoned by Donald Trump. But the prosecutor’s office that Arpaio worked with has also had a number of high-profile fails—especially when it comes to sex crimes. Arpaio has been slammed for ignoring rape and child molestation cases so he could pursue a jihad against Latinos. Maricopa County had to pay out massive settlements as a result of Arpaio’s mishandling of rape cases.

That includes an alleged 2014 gang rape that prosecutors declined to take before a jury and several high-profile cases at Arizona State University in Tempe in Maricopa County, which the school has responded to by arguing that expulsion is “too severe” a punishment for rapists.

washington post logoWashington Post, Brett Kavanaugh has no good choices anymore, Deanna Paul, Sept. 26, 2018. Allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct resurfaced days before Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was all but set to sail through his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh categorically denied each claim of misconduct in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and in an interview with Fox News on Monday, vowing to fight the accusations and defend himself.

The controversial nominee is faced with two unattractive options: withdraw or testify at a second hearing Thursday. He has pledged to do the latter, though either leaves his name tarnished.

“It’s difficult to imagine an exit strategy that’s not personally and professionally devastating for Kavanaugh,” Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University Law School professor, told The Washington Post on Tuesday. Those encouraging the federal judge to withdraw are telling him to cut his losses, Turley said. But the losses are quite considerable.

ny times logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh’s Calendar Portrays Party-Filled Summer for Supreme Court Nominee, Nicholas Fandos, Sept. 26, 2018. The Senate Judiciary Committee released the handwritten calendar pages kept by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh from the summer of 1982. Further clouding Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a third woman has come forward to accuse him of misconduct during high school.

brett kavanaugh 1982 calendars released judiciary committeeThe Senate Judiciary Committee released calendar pages [one is shown] from the summer of 1982 on Wednesday that paint an image of a party-hopping Brett M. Kavanaugh in high school, complicating his self-drawn portrait of a diligent student obsessed mainly with sports and reaching the top of his class

At the same time, lawyers for the woman who has accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her that summer, Christine Blasey Ford, gave the committee four affidavits — one from Dr. Blasey’s husband and three from friends — stating that she had told them in recent years that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee had assaulted her in high school.

Released as both sides prepare for an extraordinary public hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, neither disclosure proves or disproves the cases that Dr. Blasey or Judge Kavanaugh have sought to advance, but Democratic senators are likely to use the calendars to question how truthful Judge Kavanaugh has been about his younger days. And although the affidavits suggest that Dr. Blasey’s story has been consistent, Republicans are more likely to focus on the lack of contemporaneous evidence that could corroborate her story.

dianne feinsteinPolitico, Feinstein: Kavanaugh misled about grand jury secrecy in Vince Foster probe, Josh Gerstein, Sept. 26, 2018. The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of misleading the Senate about his handling of grand jury secrets while working for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr two decades ago.

Kavanaugh's nomination has run into trouble in the last two weeks over allegations of sexual assault by two women, but Democrats have also complained that he misled them during his Senate testimony on a number of issues, including his handling of warrantless wiretapping and detainee policy in the George W. Bush administration.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, right, told Politico that she has now identified another area in which she believes Kavanaugh was not truthful in communications with senators. She said that by directing officials to speak to reporters during the investigation of President Bill Clinton, Kavanaugh may have violated grand jury secrecy laws -- even though he told her and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) he never broke those rules.

"According to a memo from the National Archives, Brett Kavanaugh instructed Hickman Ewing, a colleague and deputy counsel in the Starr investigation, to ‘call [Chris] Ruddy’ about matters before a grand jury, which would be illegal to disclose," Feinstein said in a statement to POLITICO. "I asked Judge Kavanaugh in questions for the record whether he had shared ‘information learned through grand jury proceedings.’ His answer, which says that he acted ‘consistent with the law,’ conflicts with the official memo from Mr. Ewing. Disclosing grand jury information is against the law and would be troubling for any lawyer, especially one applying for a promotion to the highest court in the country.”

ny times logoNew York Times, What We Know About Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona Prosecutor Set to Question Kavanaugh’s First Accuser, Matt Stevens, Sept. 26, 2018. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Republican leadership said Tuesday that it had retained Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor specializing in sex crimes, to help question Christine Blasey Ford, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s first accuser.

The move allows Republicans to avoid having the 11 men who are part of the committee and in their party grill Dr. Blasey on Thursday about the alleged sexual assault in high school that she says a young Judge Kavanaugh carried out.

Sept. 25

Rape Charge Against GOP Court Pick?

Palmer Report, Analysis: Former State Department employee is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of rape, Bill Palmer, Sept. 25, 2018. As things stand, three different women are accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault and/or rape, along with conflicting reports of a possible fourth accuser. Only the first two accusers have come forward by name. But now the third accuser is about to do the same, and while we won’t know her name until sometime tomorrow, we are learning details about her background.

michael avenatti sketchThe woman, represented by attorney Michael Avenatti, left, is a former employee of the State Department and the U.S. Mint, according to a new statement made by Avenatti to reporters. This is the woman who is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of participating in multiple gang rapes. She says she’s a victim of it, and Avenatti says he has witnesses lined up who are willing to corroborate her story.

Why does it matter that this woman has worked for the State Department? We don’t believe that a woman’s career path or station in life should have any impact on her believability when it comes to sexual assault accusations. But what may be of importance here is that she has multiple security clearances, which means that she’s survived multiple background checks by the Feds. When it comes to the court of public opinion, she’ll have a strong counterargument to make when Kavanaugh’s defenders point out that he went through federal background checks while climbing the ranks as a judge.

brett kavanaugh prison bar graphic palmer reportPalmer Report, Opinion: The real reason Brett Kavanaugh can no longer survive this, Bill Palmer, Sept. 25, 2018. (Palmer Report graphic at right.) It literally sounded like a broken record. When Brett Kavanaugh gave an interview to Fox News last night, it was ostensibly for the sake of public relations. He was supposed to come off as believable, human, perhaps even a sympathetic victim. Instead he came across more like a robot stuck on repeat. His repeated use of the same handful of terse phrases wasn’t just the stuff of video memes. It also gave away his real problem – and why he can’t survive this process.

Immediately after the interview, Palmer Report documented some of the phrases that Kavanaugh had kept using over and over again. Late last night, Lawrence O’Donnell used his show to string the repeated phrases together, and the result sounded like a glitch in the matrix. But then this evening Chris Matthews crystallized what was wrong here when he played some of the repeated phrases and concluded that “this guy is really lawyered up.”

Kavanaugh’s attorneys should have given him more phrases to work with, though they surely weren’t expecting him to keep repeating the handful of phrases ad nauseum. The interview was even more of a debacle than it needed to be. But the reality here is that there was no way Kavanaugh could have come across as particularly genuine or human, because he had to limit himself to saying things that his criminal defense attorneys signed off on. It’s a reminder that Kavanaugh is trying to win the next battle while losing this one.

Based on how thoroughly he’s relying on his criminal defense team, Brett Kavanaugh clearly fears that he’s going to end up on criminal trial for one or more of the sexual assault accusations that’s being made against him.

He’s not willing to risk legally incriminating himself for the sake of trying to bolster his sinking nomination. So he ended up giving a non-human interview last night, making it failed PR stunt. He’ll do the same during his testimony on Thursday. Kavanaugh can’t survive this nomination battle because it’s no longer his primary concern; prison is.

Rushed Vote Set Friday On Kavanaugh

Vox, The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh even though his accuser hasn’t testified, Li Zhouli, Sept. 25, 2018. The vote’s just one day after a hearing scrutinizing sexual misconduct allegations.

chuck grassley oSenate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), right, has rescheduled a committee vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for this upcoming Friday. That’s just one day after a hearing that will take place on Thursday, which is set to scrutinize sexual misconduct and assault allegations that have been brought against Kavanaugh.

Grassley’s announcement of the committee vote is the latest signal that Republicans are ready to barrel ahead with Kavanaugh’s confirmation, in spite of the recent accusations that have been levied by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. Ford — who has said that Kavanaugh tried to force himself on her while both of them were in high school — is set to testify, along with Kavanaugh, on Thursday. Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied all of the allegations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday emphasized that he was eager to hear from Ford — while simultaneously casting doubt on the legitimacy of her allegations.

More On Supreme Court Battle

lisa murkowski ony times logoNew York Times, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska and a key swing vote, delivered a message: Take the Kavanaugh accusations seriously, Nicholas Fandos, Sept. 25, 2018. Republican Party leaders may be insisting that they will install Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, but Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is offering a blunt warning of her own: Do not prejudge sexual assault allegations against the nominee that will be aired at an extraordinary public hearing on Thursday.

“We are now in a place where it’s not about whether or not Judge Kavanaugh is qualified,” Ms. Murkowski, right, a key swing Republican vote, said in an extended interview in the Capitol Monday night. “It is about whether or not a woman who has been a victim at some point in her life is to be believed.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Accuses Democrats of Running ‘Con Game’ Against Kavanaugh, Mark Landler and Peter Baker, Sept. 25, 2018. Speaking in New York, President Trump disparaged a woman who accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her, saying she was “messed up” and “drunk” at the time.

President Donald Trump officialPresident Trump accused Democrats of orchestrating “a con game” against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh in hopes of blocking his ascension to the Supreme Court and said that one of two women who have accused the nominee of misconduct as a student was “messed up” and “drunk” at the time.

Dispensing again with the restraint that advisers have urged him to exercise, Mr. Trump went beyond defending Judge Kavanaugh into attack mode, saying that Democrats were “making him into something he’s not” as part of a strategy to “delay and obstruct” his confirmation.

“I think it’s horrible what the Democrats have done. It’s a con game,” he said while in New York for the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. “They’re playing a con game,” the president repeated, and added, “They’re playing actually much better than the Republicans.”

deborah ramirez benjamin rasmussen new yorkerMr. Trump singled out the latest accuser, Deborah Ramirez, right, who said in an interview with The New Yorker that Judge Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drinking party at Yale University. “She was totally messed up,” Mr. Trump said. “The second accuser has nothing,” he added. “She admits she was drunk.”

washington post logoWashington Post, White House open to testimony from second Kavanaugh accuser, Sanders says, John Wagner​, Sept. 25, 2018. Deborah Ramirez alleges that the Supreme Court nominee exposed himself at a party when both were Yale University students.

brett kavanaugh ashley kavanaugh martha maccallum fox sept 24 2018

Fox host Martha MacCallum, left, interviews Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his wife Ashley Kavanaugh, a former Bush White House staffer, during a Sept. 24 Fox interview

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh, in emotional interview on Fox News, says he has no intention of bowing out, Sean Sullivan, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner, Sept. 25, 2018. The nationally televised interview marked a new tactic for Brett M. Kavanaugh, who has mostly avoided media attention since being accused of sexual assault.

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Brett Kavanaugh’s Fox News interview transcript, annotated, Aaron Blake, Sept. 25, 2018 (print edition). Facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, Brett Kavanaugh took an unusual step for a Supreme Court nominee on Monday night: Appearing on television. Kavanaugh’s Fox News interview included repeated references to wanting a fair process as he disputes allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez.

Appearing next to his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, he also asserted he had never been blackout drunk and that he was a virgin until “many years” after high school. Below is the full transcript, with annotations and analysis in yellow.

washington post logoWashington Post, Three Yale Law School classmates who endorsed Kavanaugh call for investigation into sexual misconduct claims, Elise Viebeck, Sept. 25, 2018. Three former Yale Law School classmates who endorsed Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh called Tuesday for an investigation into allegations by two women that he engaged in sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

akhil amar colorKent Sinclair, Douglas Rutzen and Mark Osler were among roughly two dozen of Kavanaugh’s law school classmates who lauded Kavanaugh’s qualifications in an Aug. 27 letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Their support for an investigation came as Yale Law professor Akhil Amar, right — who taught Kavanaugh and testified on his behalf before the committee this month — also called for a probe into what he described as “serious accusations” from the women.

washington post logoWashington Post, Conservatives rally in bid to get Kavanaugh nomination across the finish line, Robert Costa, Sept. 25, 2018. Rather than tread cautiously amid sexual assault allegations and the #MeToo movement, conservative forces have gone on the offensive — speaking darkly of a Democratic smear campaign and attacking the credibility of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh’s accusers.

djt brett kavanaugh family 7 9 18 Small

President Trump introduces Brett Kavanaugh as the court nominee along with his wife Ashley Kavanaugh and their two daughters on July 9, 2018.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Judge Kavanaugh’s “golden résumé” has turned into a lead weight, our columnist writes, Carl Hulse, Sept. 25, 2018. President Trump thinks Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh has the perfect pedigree for a spot on the Supreme Court.

brett kavanaugh“They were saying it 10 years ago about him: He was born for the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump exclaimed over the weekend at a rally in Missouri. “He was born for it. And it’s going to happen.”

At the moment of his nomination, Judge Kavanaugh, shown at right, did truly seem like a test-tube version of a Republican Supreme Court nominee. The right schools. The right friends. The right clerkships. The right mentors. The right White House experience. The right appeals court slot. Republican senators said he might be the most qualified nominee ever. It was all set.

Right up until it wasn’t. Now, with his confirmation in such jeopardy that he felt compelled to defend himself in a Fox News television interview on Monday, some of the glittery inside-the-Beltway aspects of his résumé that made him so appealing to his enthusiastic supporters are putting his ascension to the country’s top court in doubt.

Start with Judge Kavanaugh’s schooling, a period that has given rise to the most serious threat to his confirmation: accusations of sexual misconduct. He is the product of the elite Georgetown Preparatory School just outside Washington, as well as Yale University and Yale Law School, proven incubators of Supreme Court justices. Degrees from those institutions are treated as strong evidence of academic rigor and excellence.

But accusations from two women who say they were subjected to sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh during his years at the schools have exposed a dark side of such privileged education. “He has a golden résumé, but appears to be a deeply flawed nominee,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who sits on the Judiciary Committee.

The Intercept, Analysis: How One Senator Cornered Brett Kavanaugh About His Mentor’s Sexually Explicit Emails, Akela Lacy, Ryan Grim, Sept. 25, 2018. Two days from now, Brett Kavanaugh will resume testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As a confirmation vote looms as early as Friday or Saturday, the question of his credibility has never been more critical.

alex kozinski informal wThroughout his confirmation process, Kavanaugh has consistently denied knowledge of his mentor Judge Alex Kozinski’s years of sexual harassment, for which he was finally brought down in December 2017.[The judge, regarded as a feeder to right-wing Supreme Court justice clerkships, is shown in a file photo.]

The news, Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath, was a “gut punch.”

Under follow-up questioning from Sens. Mazie Hirono and Chris Coons, Democrats from Hawaii and Delaware respectively, he expanded his denials to include any knowledge of the email list Kozinski used to distribute pornography and off-color jokes to court employees. That denial is crucial, because if it’s false, it demonstrates that Kavanaugh lied about what he knew of Kozinski’s behavior. And that he’s still lying.

And the answer is knowable. Following the hearing, Coons asked Kavanaugh a set of direct written questions that was met with a tellingly vague response.

ny times logoNew York Times, Mormon Women’s Group Calls for Probe of Allegations Against Kavanaugh, Elizabeth Dias, Sept. 25, 2018. As turmoil grows over sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, casting doubts over his confirmation to the Supreme Court, a group of Mormon women is calling on senators to suspend his confirmation proceedings until a thorough investigation is completed.

jeff flake oThe Mormon Women for Ethical Government, an activist women’s group formed in response to President Trump’s election, issued a statement on Monday aimed at influencing the four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are: Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, left, and Mike Crapo of Idaho.

“Sexual assault must not be normalized or condoned in any way or by anyone, especially those charged with political leadership,” the group said in the statement, which they sent to the four senators and to others on Monday. “We boldly condemn any attempts to justify such inexcusable and reprehensible behavior and demand that our elected leaders set a morally sound example.”

washington post logoWashington Post, White House hit with one-two punch over Kavanaugh and Rosenstein, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey, Sept. 25, 2018 (print edition). As President Trump simmers over the “molasses-like” pace of the confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee, officials are also grappling with the uncertain job status of the deputy attorney general.

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Kavanaugh’s Fox News interview risks contributing to a credibility gap, James Hohmann, Sept. 25, 2018. The Supreme Court nominee’s memory of himself is very different from his portrayal in a yearbook. That could undercut his denials about bigger things.

Brett Kavanaugh did more than just emphatically reject the allegations of sexual assault from Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez during an interview with Fox News on Monday. President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court portrayed his teenage self as a sort of 1980s version of Wally Cleaver, the good kid on the sitcom “Leave it to Beaver.”

“I went to an all-boys Catholic high school where I was focused on academics and athletics, going to church every Sunday … working on my service projects and friendship — friendship with my fellow classmates and friendship with girls from the local all-girls Catholic schools. … I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect

washington post logoted cruz oWashington Post, Ted Cruz and wife shouted out of D.C. restaurant over his support for Kavanaugh, Avi Selk​, Sept. 25, 2018. The senator and his wife were ambushed inside an upscale Washington restaurant. The chanting never stopped. “We believe the survivors!”

Famed Model's Rape Reveal

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: I Was Raped at 16 and I Kept Silent, Padma Lakshmi, Sept. 25, 2018. Ms. Lakshmi (shown below in her Twitter photo) is an A.C.L.U. ambassador for immigration and women’s rights. I understand why a woman would wait years to disclose a sexual assault.

padma lakshmi twitterWhen I was 16 years old, I started dating a guy I met at the Puente Hills Mall in a Los Angeles suburb. I worked there after school at the accessories counter at Robinsons-May. He worked at a high-end men’s store. He would come in wearing a gray silk suit and flirt with me. He was in college, and I thought he was charming and handsome. He was 23.

When we went out, he would park the car and come in and sit on our couch and talk to my mother. He never brought me home late on a school night. We were intimate to a point, but he knew that I was a virgin and that I was unsure of when I would be ready to have sex.

On New Year’s Eve, just a few months after we first started dating, he raped me.

Sept. 24

High Court Battle

republican elephant logo

Justice Integrity Project, Reports: 2 New Kavanaugh Accusers, More GOP Deceptions, Plots, Andrew Kreig, Sept. 24, 2018. Breaking late Sunday were reports of two new sexual misconduct accusers against President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as well as new details suggesting several GOP propaganda plots to win his confirmation by deceptive and otherwise sinister methods.

The new allegations of misconduct come from a former Yale College contemporary of the nominee, as reported by The New Yorker magazine writers Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, and by litigator Michael Avenatti. Avenatti has not named the accuser but made a blockbuster allegation on Twitter, summarized here by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call:

“We are aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C., area during the 1980s” during which Kavanaugh and others “would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them,” Avenatti wrote.

Palmer Report, Opinion: What did they know about Brett Kavanaugh and when did they know it? Bill Palmer, Sept. 24, 2018. This evening we learned, thanks to Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, that unnamed “Senior Republican staffers” became aware last week that their Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had a second accuser named Deborah Ramirez. We also know that in response, the GOP decided to push harder to advance the confirmation process even more quickly, in the hope of confirming him before Ramirez’s accusations could become public.

It leads to a crucial question: which Republican Senators knew about this, and when did they know it?

Over the past several days we’ve all seen Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, as well as committee members Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham, publicly try to push Dr. Christine Blasey Ford into testifying as soon as humanly possible. They were demanding she testify on Monday. When she said she couldn’t make it there before Thursday, they then demanded that she testify on Wednesday.

susan collins lisa murkowski 150x150While this was going on, Palmer Report pointed out that the Republicans were so afraid of the Kavanaugh nomination imminently slipping away, they were literally afraid to give Ford one more day; we just didn’t know specifically why. Now we do. Certain Republican Senators knew about Ramirez, and they knew she could go public at any minute, and they were racing against time.

So here’s the question. Did the entire GOP Senate know about Ramirez, or were certain GOP Senators like Grassley and Hatch trying to keep this information from potential “no” votes in their own party, such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski? (The two are shown on the adjoining photo, with Collins at right.).

Roll Call, Mitch McConnell Reaffirms Vow for Senate to Vote on Kavanaugh, Niels Lesniewski, Sept. 24, 2018. Nothing, it seems, could keep the majority leader from giving the Supreme Court nominee a floor vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not heard anything that should slow confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, pledging to push ahead.

mitch mcconnell2“Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed,” McConnell, left, said on the Senate floor. He was echoing comments he made Friday, before revelations of additional accusations of sexual assault were leveled at Kavanaugh on Sunday.

The Kentucky Republican started with a fiery opening speech blasting the handling of allegations against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee as a “smear campaign” Monday — just a prelude to Thursday’s main event, the hearing where the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from both Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford.

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump calls sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh ‘totally political,’ vows to back him ‘all the way,’ John Wagner​, Sept. 24, 2018. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also weighed in, citing a “vast left-wing conspiracy” against the Supreme Court nominee.

President Trump on Monday dismissed sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as “totally political” and pledged to support his Supreme Court nominee “all the way.”

Trump’s comments, made as he entered United Nations headquarters in New York, were his first since a report Sunday night on a second allegation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, who Trump said is “a man with an unblemished past.”

“There’s a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen for a candidate for anything,” Trump told reporters. “For people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mention it, all of a sudden it happens. In my opinion, it’s totally political.”

Protesters against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and police gather in the Russell Senate Office Building on Sept. 24, 2018 (ABC News photo by Brad Fulton via Twitter)

Protesters against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and police gather in the Russell Senate Office Building on Sept. 24, 2018 (ABC News photo by Brad Fulton via Twitter)

washington post logoWashington Post, 128 arrested after anti-Kavanaugh protest on Capitol Hill, Justin Wm. Moyer, Sept. 24, 2018. Protests Monday against the confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill ended with 128 arrests, authorities said.

Winnie Wong, a liberal activist and senior adviser to the Women’s March, said one protest began on the steps of the Supreme Court around 8:30 a.m. before moving to the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who some believe can be persuaded to vote against Kavanaugh.

After some demonstrators shared stories of sexual assault, about two dozen were arrested outside Collins’s office, Wong said, before protesters moved on to the office of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a critic of President Trump who is retiring and is seen by some as another possible “no” vote on the nominee.

The protest eventually moved to the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. Women in Yale University sweatshirts — Kavanaugh attended law school there — shouted, “We believe the women.”

“This is a group effort led by seasoned activists and organizers,” Wong said. “We are close to victory.”

Ady Barkan, an activist who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and was among those arrested, said protests would continue until Kavanaugh withdrew. “The fact that we are going to win and that Kavanaugh will not be confirmed is proof of how important it is to always fight even when people say there is no chance of winning,” he said.

Palmer Report, Two of Brett Kavanaugh’s defenders withdraw their support, Bill Palmer, Sept. 24, 2018. Now that Deborah Ramirez has become the second Brett Kavanaugh accuser to identify herself by name, it’s prompted two of Kavanaugh’s defenders to withdraw their support. Kavanaugh’s legal team had issued a statement signed by six of his former classmates, all of whom were defending him. But now two of them are making clear that they no longer want anything to do with the statement.

Ronan Farrow revealed just now that Louisa Garry and Dino Ewing, who both signed the statement supporting Brett Kavanaugh, have “approached The New Yorker after the publication of this article and asked that their names be removed from it.” Garry is saying “I cannot dispute Ramirez’s allegations, as I was not present.” Ewing is saying that “I also was not present and therefore am not in a position to directly dispute Ramirez’s account.” So how does this change things?

For one thing, Louisa Garry has been appearing in television commercials in support of the Kavanaugh nomination, so it’s a huge blow that she’s abandoning him. And as Farrow points out in his update, the only people still standing by the pro-Kavanaugh statement are two guys who are accused of having participated in the Kavanaugh-Ramirez incident, the wife of one of the guys, and one other classmate. In other words this “statement of support” is now a lot closer to being a denial from the other people who have been accused.

ny times logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh’s Yearbook Page Is ‘Horrible, Hurtful’ to a Woman It Named, Kate Kelly and David Enrich, Sept. 24, 2018. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and some of his high school friends described themselves in a yearbook as “Renate” alumni. The woman, Renate Schroeder Dolphin, was unaware of these references when she signed a letter defending the judge’s character this month.

Brett Kavanaugh’s page in his high school yearbook offers a glimpse of the teenage years of the man who is now President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: lots of football, plenty of drinking, parties at the beach. Among the reminiscences about sports and booze is a mysterious entry: “Renate Alumnius.”

The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.

Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.

“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” said Sean Hagan, a Georgetown Prep student at the time, referring to Judge Kavanaugh and his teammates. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”

CNN, Ronan Farrow details new allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, CNN host John Berman interviews New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow, Sept. 24, 2018 (video: 6:29 min. video). The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow discusses his article about a second woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior. Kavanaugh has denied all accusations made against

usa today logoUSA Today, What we know about Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault, William Cummings, Sept. 24, 2018. A second woman came forward Sunday to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault, the same day his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, committed to testifying about her own allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Here's what we know about Kavanaugh's second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, and her allegations:

deborah ramirez benjamin rasmussen new yorkerRamirez (shown at right in a portrait by Benjamin Rasmussen for The New Yorker) alleged in an article in The New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both freshmen at Yale University.

According to Ramirez, she and Kavanaugh were among a small group of students playing a drinking game in a dorm room in the university's Lawrence Hall when the alleged incident occurred. Ramirez said the game quickly led to her intoxication. She recalls being on the floor and slurring her words when she alleges a male student exposed himself and shoved his penis in her face. She said she pushed the man away, touching him in the process.

She alleged she remembered Kavanaugh pulling up his pants and laughing. Ramirez told The New Yorker the incident left her "embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated." Ramirez told The New Yorker that she was initially reluctant to come forward because she was intoxicated when the alleged incident occurred and "her memories contained gaps."

Ramirez, 53, was raised a "devout Catholic" in Connecticut, according to The New Yorker. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Ramirez studied sociology and psychology at Yale, where she graduated in 1987, along with Kavanaugh. NBC News reports that she is a board member and volunteer at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump is considering pulling the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, Bill Palmer, Sept. 24, 2018. Over the past sixteen hours, multiple additional women have come forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of everything from sexual assault to serial gang rape. Even as the accusations continue to become more ugly, and the number of accusers continued to grow, Kavanaugh has released a statement this afternoon insisting that he will not withdraw from the nomination process. But behind the scenes, Donald Trump is saying something rather different.

Earlier today, Palmer Report explained how Trump and his White House managed to manipulate the media cycle by floating a phony story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein having resigned or having been fired. This was clearly aimed at distracting the media from the worsening Kavanaugh accusations. After the whole thing rather quickly unraveled, the White House admitted in an official statement that Rosenstein still had his job. Now Vanity Fair is echoing our premise that the phony Rosenstein narrative was indeed a last ditch effort at saving the Kavanaugh nomination – but they have an additional tidbit to go with it.

Here’s the key passage from the Vanity Fair expose: “On Monday morning, a Republican briefed on Trump’s thinking said the president has been considering pulling Kavanaugh’s nomination.” Keep in mind that we wouldn’t be reading a sentence like this unless Trump and/or the Republican in question wanted this out there. So either Trump is already trying to hedge his bets by floating the fact that he’s considering yanking Kavanaugh, or the GOP is trying to nudge Trump into yanking Kavanaugh by revealing that Trump is already considering it.

In any case, if Brett Kavanaugh does end up withdrawing, he’ll continue to publicly insist he’s sticking with the nomination right up until the minute he withdraws. So his denial doesn’t tell us anything, beyond the fact that things have gotten so ugly for him, he felt compelled to issue a denial today.

brett kavanaugh james roche wayne freedman abc news 7

ABC News 7 correspondent Wayne Freedman, right, interviews James Roche, former Yale College freshman roommate of Brett Kavanaugh

ABC News 7, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Yale roommate says he believes second accuser, Wayne Freedman, Sept. 24, 2018. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's roommate from Yale says he believes the second woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Twitter: "Just spoke with #JamesRoche who was Yale roommate of Brett #Kavanaugh. He confirms that the #SCOTUS nominee was  frequently drunk, and incoherently. Says he supports integrity of Debbie Ramirez, the 2nd accuser. #abc7now #KavanaughConfirmation Respects her courage."

James Roche says he was Kavanaugh's roommate in the Fall of 1983. "We shared a two-bedroom unit in the basement of Lawrence Hall on the Old Campus. Despite our living conditions, Brett and I did not socialize beyond the first few days of freshman year. We talked at night as freshman roommates do and I would see him as he returned from nights out with his friends," Roche said in a statement.

"It is from this experience that I concluded that although Brett was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk. I did not observe the specific incident in question, but I do remember Brett frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk."

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘How’d you find me?’: Mark Judge has been holed up in a beach house in Delaware amid a media firestorm, Gabriel Pogrund, Carol D. Leonnig and Aaron C. Davis, Sept. 24, 2015. Mark Judge has been conspicuously absent for more than a week: Named as the only witness to an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, he has not been seen and has said little beyond a statement released by a lawyer saying he recalled no such incident.

mark judge twitterA high school friend of Kavanaugh’s, Judge has been absent from his Maryland residence for days as Democratic lawmakers and accuser Christine Blasey Ford have demanded that Republicans summon him before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions under oath.

On Monday, a Washington Post reporter found Judge, shown in a file photo, holed up in the house of a longtime friend in Bethany Beach, nearly three hours away. A car in the driveway contained piles of clothing, a collection of Superman comics and a package addressed to Judge at the Potomac home where he lived three years ago.

Barbara “Biz” VanGelder, Judge’s lawyer, said she instructed him to leave the D.C. area last week because of an onslaught of criticism and media questions. At the time, the conservative blogger’s life and writings were beginning to come under scrutiny, leading to charges of misogyny and worse.

Judge, 54, has chronicled the debauchery of his 1980s high school years as a student at Georgetown Prep, where he and Kavanaugh were self-proclaimed members of the “100 Kegs or Bust” club.

Sept. 23

Roll Call, Kavanaugh Has Bumpy Week Ahead as Two More Women Come Forward, Todd Ruger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls for stop to the confirmation process. Sept. 23, 2018.

michael avenatti sketchMichael Avenatti, the lawyer who rose to fame by aggressively taking on President Donald Trump on behalf of his client Stormy Daniels, tweeted that he had another woman with an allegation who will be demanding that Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn:

“We are aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C., area during the 1980s” during which Kavanaugh and others “would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them,” Avenatti wrote. Avenatti, left, said he would provide additional evidence in the coming days.

dianne feinsteinSen. Dianne Feinstein of California, right, the committee’s top Democrat, wrote a letter to Grassley on Sunday asking to stop the confirmation process.“

"I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims,” Feinstein said.

ny times logoNew York Times, Christine Blasey Ford Reaches Deal to Testify at Kavanaugh Hearing, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sept. 23, 2018. The woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers has committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, her lawyers said on Sunday. The lawyers said some details — including whether an outside lawyer will question her — still needed to be resolved, but that those issues would not impede holding a hearing.

christine blasey ford headshot croppedThe agreement, reached after an hourlong negotiating session Sunday morning between the lawyers and committee aides, is the latest step in a halting process toward a potentially explosive hearing that will pit the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, against Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court. On Saturday, the two sides reached a tentative agreement for Dr. Ford, shown right in a file photo, to appear on Thursday.

The on-again, off-again talks — with an appointment to the nation’s highest court in the balance — have consumed official Washington, and thrown confirmation proceedings for Judge Kavanaugh, who has vigorously denied Dr. Ford’s allegations, into turmoil. Until last week, Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation seemed all but assured; that is no longer the case.

The New Yorker, Senate Democrats Investigate a New Sexual-Misconduct Allegation Against Brett Kavanaugh, Ronan Farrow (shown at right) and Jane Mayer, Sept. 23, 2018. Deborah Ramirez, a Yale new yorker logoclassmate of the Supreme Court nominee, has described a dormitory party gone awry and a drunken incident that she wants the F.B.I. to investigate.

As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh (shown in his prep school yearbook photo as a senior) was a freshman at Yale University.

brett kavanaugh 1983 yearbookThe offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation.

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.

The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices.

After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Deborah Ramirez accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct – and a third accuser is on the way, Bill Palmer, Sept. 23, 2018. Deborah Ramirez is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct toward her when they were students at Yale, in a new expose published tonight by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer in the New Yorker.

This comes shortly after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford formally agreed to testify before the Senate about her attempted rape accusation against Kavanaugh. And in a sign that the floodgates are open, a third woman is now also seeking to testify to the Senate about Kavanaugh.

michael avenatti sketchYesterday, Michael Avenatti, shown at right, hinted that additional accusers were about to come forward against Kavanaugh. This evening he tweeted that he had retained an unnamed woman as a client, and that she wanted to testify to the Senate about Kavanaugh. When the New Yorker story broke tonight, many observers mistakenly assumed that this was what Avenatti was talking about. But then Avenatti tweeted that his client is not Ramirez.

This means we’re talking about three different women coming forward against Brett Kavanaugh – and the night is still young. Does anyone still believe Mitch McConnell’s claim that he has the votes to confirm this guy?

Roll Call, Kavanaugh Has Bumpy Week Ahead as Two More Women Come Forward, Todd Ruger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls for stop to the confirmation process. Sept. 23, 2018. The same day the Senate Judiciary Committee set a hearing about a decadesold allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, more allegations of sexual misdeeds from women in his past emerged to cause more turbulence for Republican efforts to make him a justice.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who rose to fame by aggressively taking on President Donald Trump on behalf of his client Stormy Daniels, tweeted that he had another woman with an allegation who will be demanding that Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn.

Within minutes, Senate Judiciary Committee staff sent an email to Avenatti asking for information to promptly start an inquiry. Avenatti responded with a bombshell.

“We are aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C., area during the 1980s” during which Kavanaugh and others “would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them,” Avenatti wrote. Avenatti said he would provide additional evidence in the coming days.

brett kavanaugh fox poll sept 22 2018

fox news logo SmallFox News, Fox News Poll: Record number of voters oppose Kavanaugh nomination, Dana Blanton, Sept. 23, 2018. Voter support for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court is down in the wake of Christine Ford’s assault allegations, as more believe her than him.

Currently, 40 percent of voters would confirm Kavanaugh, while 50 percent oppose him, according to a Fox News poll. Last month, views split 45-46 percent (August 19-21).

republican elephant logoThe Intercept, Another Kavanaugh accuser, Ryan Grim, Sept. 23, 2018. Senate Republicans spent the last week pushing Christine Blasey Ford to testify on Monday rather than later in the week, as she had asked for.

We now know that they knew a second allegation, from Brett Kavanaugh’s time at Yale, was coming down the pike, so their bickering about the schedule starts to make a lot more sense.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Incredibly frustrated’: Inside the GOP effort to help Kavanaugh survive allegation, Seung Min Kim and Josh Dawsey, Sept. 23, 2018. In mock questioning sessions, Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh refused to answer some questions that he saw as too personal. The tense preparations underscore the monumental stakes of public testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault. As hearing looms, senators seem unwilling to budge on Kavanaugh.

Just as he did several weeks ago to prepare for his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, Brett M. Kavanaugh was back inside a room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building — again facing questioners readying him for a high-stakes appearance in the Senate.

This time, the questions were much different. An array of White House aides, playing the role of various senators on the Judiciary Committee, quizzed Kavanaugh last week about his sex life and other personal matters in an attempt to prepare him for a hearing that would inevitably be uncomfortable.

washington post logojennifer rubin new headshotWashington Post, Opinion: If Republicans don’t get answers, Democrats will in 2019, Jennifer Rubin, right, Sept. 23, 2018. Whether or not Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh gets confirmed to the Supreme Court, there will be plenty of serious questions about the confirmation process that require answers. Assuming Kavanaugh appears at a hearing this week, Democrats can interrogate him. Moreover, all of this could be reviewed next year if Democrats win the majority in either house of Congress (and claim the subpoena power).

Democrats may be keen to focus on the apparent skullduggery that transpired. If the inquiry takes place next year, conservative lawyer Ed Whelan, Mark Judge and any other witnesses who should have participated in the process may be called. There is plenty to look into.

• Who came up with the mistaken-identity scheme?• Who was aware of it?• Did someone in the White House approve it?

republican elephant logoIf this sounds far-fetched, it is because Republicans took the unbelievable step of pressing forward with a nominee against whom there was a credible claim of sexual assault and decided not to conduct a thorough investigation.

What is truly far-fetched is putting Kavanaugh on the court with witnesses out there who haven’t been interviewed and potential avenues to investigate. There is a reason why we should only put on the court individuals about whom there is no ethical questions whatsoever. The way you insure there are no ethical questions is by completing a thorough investigation. This is a recipe for chaos.

Findings of wrongdoing in the confirmation process itself, if serious enough, are grist for impeachment or professional sanctions. (Only one other Supreme Court justice was impeached, Samuel Chase. He escaped removal in 1805.) There may be other crimes (e.g., witness intimidation, obstruction of justice) committed by third parties or Republicans inside the confirmation process. There may be Senate or White House staff whose conduct warrants their termination.

washington post logoWashington Post, The party of men: Kavanaugh fight risks worsening the GOP’s gender problem, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Robert Costa, Sept. 23, 2018. The moment shows the gulf that has emerged between the parties as they navigate America’s cultural reckoning on sexual assault

The Republican Party’s fight to save President Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee amid allegations of sexual assault has surfaced deep anxieties over the hypermasculine mind-set that has come to define the GOP in the nation’s roiling gender debate.