Note: This year-long daily summary of #MeToo and related sexual assault news has been divided up to encompass below only those news stories beginning in September 2018. For previous months this year, kindly click this link.

October

Oct. 12

washington post logoWashington Post, Pope accepts Wuerl’s resignation amid criticism of handling of abuse claims, Michelle Boorstein, Oct. 12, 2018. Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignation cardinal donald wuerl portrait fullof Washington’s archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl (shown at right), a trusted papal ally who became a symbol among many Catholics for what they regard as the church’s defensive and weak response to clerical sex abuse.

But even as Wuerl becomes one of the highest-profile prelates to step down in a year of prominent abuse scandals, Pope Francis offered the cardinal a gentle landing, praising him in a letter and allowing him to stay on as “apostolic administrator” in the Washington archdiocese until a successor was found.

In his letter, Francis suggested he had accepted Wuerl’s resignation reluctantly, and said he saw in the cardinal’s request the “heart of a shepherd.” Francis did not criticize Wuerl’s handling of abuse cases, and wrote that Wuerl had “sufficient elements” to defend his actions.

Oct. 11

Oct. 11

Justice Integrity Project, Courts Continue Voter Suppression As Trump Celebrates With His Justice In Partisan White House Gala, Hatefest

By Andrew Kreig

The U.S. Supreme Court helped launch the Brett Kavanaugh era on Oct. 10 by curtailing the voting of Native Americans in North Dakota, where a tight Senate race threatens a Democrat who voted against Kavanaugh's recent confirmation.

brett kavanaugh white house promoThe court enabled a new state rule barring voters who use for election purposes Post Office boxes instead of street addresses. Many Native Americans living on reservations use only PO Boxes and have heavily supported Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, below, the incumbent Democrat who is now an underdog in her race.

heidi heitkamp oThe court's refusal to intervene follows its recent practice of avoiding review for the most part of voter suppression and gerrymandering efforts by Republican state officials who have taken major steps recently to reduce voter registrations and polling place en masse in ways that heavily disadvantage Democrats in November.

In the North Dakota case, five votes were needed from the nine justices. Kavanaugh, shown in a White House-promoted political-type photo of a kind unusual for a sitting justice, did not participate for unexplained reasons, presumably because of his busy schedule getting installed onto the court.

Several columns this week describe a looming legal crisis regarding election-rigging in next month's elections and beyond.

Update: Trump Administration Seeks to Stifle Protests Near White House and on National Mall.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast, who documented for the BBC in 2001 how Republicans had stolen the 2000 presidential election by eliminating the names of more than 100,000 suspected Democrats from voter rolls (and not by the few ballots with hanging "chads" described by the American media), published several investigations regarding secret cutbacks in 2018 voter rolls by Republican secretaries of state seeking to tilt next month's elections.

For example, he wrote for Truthout in GOP’s Brian Kemp Purged 1 in 10 Georgia Voters: I’ve Got the Names:

"My lawyer had to threaten Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp with a federal lawsuit to force him to turn over the names of over half a million voters whose citizenship rights he quietly extinguished," Palast began. "This past week, I released the name of every one of these Georgia voters Kemp flushed from voter rolls in 2017."

Yet all such legal actions and reporting is based on the increasingly quaint theory that federal courts will honestly address the election issues and not just endorse Republican vote suppression by 5-4 party line votes by justices installed like Kavanaugh after long involvement in extreme partisan politics, including dirty tricks at election time.

brett kavanaugh election fraud wmr graphicTaking another broad view, investigative reporter Wayne Madsen linked Kavanaugh with presidential election rigging in the United States with Karl Rove and in the Ukraine with Paul Manafort in 2004, as portrayed at right and as described in his column Exclusive Investigative Commentary: Bush backed Kavanaugh to keep election thefts of 2000 and 2004 a secret.

The column, based on Madsen's years of covering election frauds, linked Kavanaugh and Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee to the Bush dynasty and its election-rigging operation headquartered in Chattanooga, TN,  where Corker was mayor before his 2006 election to the senate.

Madsen thereby explained the all-out Bush team pressure that kept such supposed "moderates" as Corker and former Bush appointee Susan Collins as strong Kavanaugh supporters despite their supposed willingness to weigh evidence fairly about  allegations against the nominee. Collins is married to Thomas Daffron, a lobbyist with deep ties to the Bush administration and powerful corporations.

Also, Ohio-based investigative reporters/authors Robert Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman published Will the Trump GOP Strip and Flip America's 2018 Election While the Democrats Fail to Protect the Vote?

djt brett kavanaugh anthony kennedy oct 8 2018 white houseEarlier this week, President Trump invited the newest justice and his family to the White House to reenact the official weekend swearing-in ceremony.

With Trump front and center and denouncing Democrats, the White House ceremony became a highly partisan attack by the president on "mobs" of protesters against the nominee.

Democrats and other protesters must be defeated at the polls in next month's elections to maintain law and order, the president urged as the new justice looked on during the celebration — thereby horrifying both Democrats and others who think presidents and judges should at least pretend to be non-partisan on formal occasions.

The spectacle was an especially flagrant disregard of norms for a non-partisan judiciary independent of party or president. That's because Kavanaugh, doubtless now deeply indebted to Trump, has argued that a president should not have to undergo civil or criminal litigation.

Oct. 9

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Seeks to Make Furor a Campaign Asset, Not a Liability, Peter Baker, Oct. 9, 2018 (print edition). As he prepared to hold a ceremonial swearing-in of Justice Kavanaugh, President Trump dismissed sexual misconduct accusations as “fabricated.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump stokes tensions over Kavanaugh confirmation battle, Ashley Parker and John Wagner, Oct. 9, 2018 (print edition). At a White House ceremony, President Trump apologized to Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his family for the “terrible pain and suffering” they endured after his confirmation was marred by accusations of sexual misconduct.

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Christine Ford’s Corroborating Evidence, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 9, 2018. Throughout the controversy over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, some people were saying that Christine Blasey Ford did not produce “corroborating evidence” to support her accusation that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Therefore, since Kavanaugh was denying that he committed the assault, the argument went, he should be given the benefit of the doubt in what seemed to be a “he-said, she-said” controversy.

But actually Ford did provide corroborating evidence to support the accusation she leveled at Kavanaugh, very powerful corroborating evidence, evidence that was largely ignored by the Senate Judiciary Committee, especially in the haste by Republican committee members to get the controversy over with by rushing to a quick confirmation vote.

Part of the problem, of course, lies in how some people perceive the term “corroborating evidence.” For many who aren’t lawyers, the term means eyewitnesses to the incident in question. What such people fail to realize, however, is that the law provides that there can be corroborative evidence that does not consist of eyewitness testimony.

One thing is for sure though: Contrary to popular opinion, Christine Blasey Ford did provide corroborating evidence to the U.S. Senate that buttressed her accusation against Brett Kavanaugh — powerful corroborating evidence in the form of prior consistent statements that were previously made to several different people and all of which statements were made long before Kavanaugh was even nominated.

brett kavanaugh protest sign veronica monet dcma

Anti-Kavanaugh protester in front of the U.S. Capitol (Veronica Monet photo via DCMA)

OpEdNews, Opinion: The Cultural Conflict of the Century: Conservative Politics and the #MeToo Backlash, Veronica Monet, Oct. 9, 2018. Many of us were horrified to witness how the Republican controlled Senate dealt with Dr. Ford's claims of sexual assault during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Some of us were shocked by the "boys will be boys" and "it's in the past so why talk about it now" assertions from those conservatives who unapologetically stood by their man, Brett Kavanaugh.

As important as Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court was, could it be that we are in the midst of a cultural war that transcends the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in its scope and implications? Might his confirmation be seen as a backlash against the #MeToo movement? Might we be in the midst of an epic conflict between old cultural belief systems and a newly emerging cultural paradigm?

Kavanaugh played by the rules of the conservative culture he ascribes to. According to those rules, male emotions other than anger and self-righteous indignation are a liability and even a self-centered indulgence. There is little empathy for the suffering of self or of others and a lot of disdain for anyone who "breaks the rules."

ny times logopaul krugmanNew York Times, Opinion: The Paranoid Style in G.O.P. Politics, Paul Krugman, right, Oct. 9, 2018 (print edition). Republicans are an authoritarian regime in waiting.

Many people are worried, rightly, about what the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh means for America in the long term. He’s a naked partisan who clearly lied under oath about many aspects of his personal history; that’s as important as, and related to, the question of what he did to Christine Blasey Ford, a question that remains unresolved because the supposed investigation was such a transparent sham. Putting such a man on the Supreme Court has, at a stroke, destroyed the court’s moral authority for the foreseeable future.

But such long-term worries should be a secondary concern right now. The more immediate threat comes from what we saw on the Republican side during and after the hearing: not just contempt for the truth, but also a rush to demonize any and all criticism. In particular, the readiness with which senior Republicans embraced crazy conspiracy theories about the opposition to Kavanaugh is a deeply scary warning about what might happen to America, not in the long run, but just a few weeks from now.

Oct. 8

Supreme Court Swearing-in

djt brett kavanaugh anthony kennedy oct 8 2018 white house

Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, right, ceremonially swears-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as President Donald Trump looks on, in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 8, 2018. Susan Walsh / AP

abc news logoABC News, Trump apologizes 'on behalf of the nation' to Kavanaugh during swearing-in, claims he was 'proven innocent,' Adam Kelsey and Meridith McGraw, Oct. 8, 2018. President Donald Trump apologized to incoming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Monday evening "for the terrible pain and suffering" that he and his family endured during his confirmation process, going so far as to claim that Kavanaugh was "proven innocent" of the sexual assault allegations made against him.

Trump's comments, which he acknowledged as outside of the norm just prior to making them, came at a ceremonial swearing-in event for Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House, two days after Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate and formally sworn-in as a member of the court by Chief Justice John Roberts.

"On behalf of the nation, I'd like to apologize to Brad and the entire a Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you've been forced to endure," Trump said. "Those who stepped forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation. Not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception."

Trump addressed the controversy head-on characterizing the heated political debate over sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh by California professor Christine Blasey Ford and several other women as "violat[ing] every notion of fairness, decency and due process."

"[In] our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty," the president continued. "And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent."

nbc news logoNBC News, Hillary Clinton calls Kavanaugh's ceremonial swearing-in a 'political rally,' Adam Edelman, Oct. 9, 2018. Trump's remarks at the White House event "further undermined the image and integrity of the court," the former secretary of state said.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday ripped President Donald Trump’s unusual handling of the ceremonial swearing-in for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling the display a "political rally" that "further undermined the image and integrity of the court."

hillary clinton gage skidmore peoria azIn an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, parts of which aired Tuesday morning on the network, Clinton (shown in a file photo by Gage Skidmore) said that the way Trump carried out the event "troubles me greatly."

"What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court," Clinton said, "and that troubles me greatly. It saddens me because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government."

"So I don't know how people are going to react to it. I think given our divides it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against," she added, calling Trump “true to form.”

"He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign. Really for many years leading up to the campaign — and he's continued to do that inside the White House," Clinton said.

Trump responded on Tuesday to Clinton's comments, saying, "I guess that's why she lost. She never got it."

GOP Election Scandals

brett kavanaugh election fraud wmr graphic

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Exclusive Investigative Commentary: Bush backed Kavanaugh to keep election thefts of 2000 and 2004 a secret, Wayne Madsen, Oct. 8, 2018 (Subscription required, $30 annually; excerpted with permission.)

karl rove HR"Bush White House aides Brett Kavanaugh and Karl Rove, left, closely coordinated their election fraud operations with two experienced Washington campaign advisers for Republican candidates, Rick Davis, and Davis's partner, Paul Manafort."

wayne madsen trumps bananas coverNote: Former Navy intelligence officer, NSA analyst and defense contractor computer scientist Wayne Madsen for many years has exposed techniques to rig U.S. and international elections, electronically and by other methods. He is the author of 16 books, including the just-published "Trump's Bananas Republic," which portrays administration scandals through the lens of iconic Hollywood movies.

Climate Change

washington post logoWashington Post, World has just over a decade to get control of climate change, U.N. scientists say, Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis. Oct. 8, 2018 (print edition). “There is no documented historic precedent" for the scale of changes required, the body found.

The report warns of dire consequences if nations do not cut their carbon emissions by more than 1 billion tons per year, a figure that is larger than the annual emissions of nearly every country on the planet.

Supreme Court Battle

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: We need to stay angry about Kavanaugh, E.J. Dionne Jr., Oct. 8, 2018 (print edition). But even more, we need to vote, organize and think boldly after this travesty.

Republicans rushed through Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to avoid the possible consequences of an election. They aborted a full investigation because they feared what it might find. They made themselves complicit in a presidential attack on Christine Blasey Ford, a brave woman who asked only that her case against Kavanaugh be taken seriously.

After all these outrages, there will be calls for a renewal of civility, as if the problem is that people said nasty things about one other. But the answer to this power grab cannot be passive acceptance in the name of being polite. The causes and consequences of what just happened must be acknowledged frankly.

brett kavanaugh.judgeLThe conservative struggle for the court began in the 1960s, but it hit its stride in the Bush v. Gore decision after after the 2000 election. Five conservative justices violated the principles they claimed to uphold on states’ rights and the use of equal-protection doctrine to stop a recount of votes in Florida requested by Al Gore, the Democratic nominee. They thus made George W. Bush president.

The pro-Bush justices made abundantly clear that they were grasping at any arguments available to achieve a certain outcome by declaring, “our consideration is limited to the present circumstances.” Translation: Once Bush is in, please forget what we said here.

washington post logoWashington Post, Justices move to repair Supreme Court’s image after fight over Kavanaugh, Robert Barnes, Oct. 8, 2018 (print edition). As Brett M. Kavanaugh prepared for his debut on the high court, his colleagues already had moved quickly to paper over the damage from the bitter and tumultuous confirmation battle.

Oct. 7

 

brett kavanaugh swear in oct 6 2018 ashley

Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as his wife Ashley and two daughters look on, is sworn onto the court by Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Kavanaugh recommended for the court as Bush Administration White House Staff secretary (Supreme Court photo, Oct. 6, 2018). A political precedent used during the Republican installation of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was to rush the swear-in in order to limit the impact of new scandal and protest for the lifetime appointment.

ny times logorepublican elephant logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh Is Sworn In After Close Confirmation Vote in Senate, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Oct. 7, 2018 (print edition). Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday by one of the slimmest margins in American history, locking in a solid conservative majority on the court and capping a rancorous battle that began as a debate over judicial ideology and concluded with a national reckoning over sexual misconduct.

He was promptly sworn in by both Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy — the court’s longtime swing vote, whom he will replace — in a private ceremony.

brett kavanaugh zina bash c span sept 2018

washington post logoWashington Post, Divided Senate confirms Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner, Oct. 7, 2018 (print edition). The Senate voted to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court’s 114th justice on Saturday by one of the narrowest margins in the institution’s history, as police stood guard and protesters’ shouts of “shame, shame” echoed through the Senate chamber.

The 50-to-48 vote capped a brutal confirmation fight that underscored how deeply polarized the nation has become under President Trump, who has now successfully placed two justices on the nation’s highest court, cementing a conservative majority.

With Vice President Pence presiding, senators sat in their chairs and rose to cast their votes, repeatedly interrupted by protesters in the visitors’ gallery who yelled out and were removed by Capitol Police. The Supreme Court announced Kavanaugh would be sworn in later Saturday.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Rock bottom’: Supreme Court fight reveals a country on the brink, Michael Scherer and Robert Costa​, Oct. 7, 2018 (print edition). In the battle over Brett M. Kavanaugh, few of the players emerged from the process unchanged or unblemished, underscoring the uncharted territory of deepening distrust and polarization that now defines the American system.

Oct. 6

GOP Wins Court Battle

republican elephant logo

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Ultimate fighter’: How Trump helped shift momentum in favor of Kavanaugh, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). Relying on a hardball approach that left Democrats shaken and defeated, Republican leaders plowed through the chaos of the last few weeks to bring the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the cusp of confirmation.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The High Court Brought Low, The Editorial Board, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). Don’t let Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh have the last word about American justice.

The task of plugging the holes and patching the rents in the court’s legitimacy now falls to the justices themselves, mainly to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. (shown at left) He john roberts omust know that every decision of political significance rendered by a 5-to-4 majority that includes a Justice Kavanaugh will, at the very least, appear to be the product of bias and vengeance. If he cares about the integrity of the court as much as he claims to, the chief will do everything in his power to steer the court away from cases, and rulings, that could deepen the nation’s political divide.

There’s work the rest of us can do as well.

We can, for one thing, find ways in our own workplaces and communities to assure victims of sexual assault that they will be respected if they come forward, even if so many national political figures are dismissive of them.

And if we disapprove of the direction of the courts, we can put the lessons Mitch McConnell taught us to work — and vote.

It’s worth noting that, of the five justices picked by Republicans, including Judge Kavanaugh, four were nominated by presidents who first took office after losing the popular vote. And the slim majority of senators who said they would vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh on Saturday represent tens of millions fewer Americans than the minority of senators who voted to reject him. The nation’s founders were wise to design the court as a counter-majoritarian institution, but they couldn’t have been picturing this.

Most Americans are not where this Senate majority is. They do not support President Trump. They do not approve of relentless partisanship and disregard for the integrity of democratic institutions. And they have the power to call their government to account.

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).

washington post logoWashington Post, Grassley suggests absence of GOP women on Judiciary Committee is due to its heavy workload, Paul Kane, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s inability to attract Republican women might be caused by its heavy workload, a remark the panel’s chairman tried to retract a few minutes later.

“It’s a lot of work — maybe they don’t want to do it,” Grassley told the Wall Street Journal, NBC News and other outlets, as he headed toward the Senate floor for a speech by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

The committee, which has turned into a partisan hotbed in the past five years, has never had a Republican woman serve on it, even as the Senate’s ranks have doubled from three to six female GOP senators in recent years.

That omission drew more scrutiny during the second round of hearings for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, during which committee Republicans hired a female prosecutor from Arizona to question Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago.

washington post logomitch mcconnell2Washington Post, The politicians and players whose legacies will be shaped by the Kavanaugh fight, Amber Phillips, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). How they navigated the emotionally fraught Supreme Court nomination battle could define their careers. This was a Supreme Court nomination that will go down in the history books. If confirmed, Kavanaugh will have overcome accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, questions about his judicial temperament and surprise delays to his confirmation.

Roll Call, Brett Kavanaugh to Be Rare Beneficiary of Senate Paired Voting, Niels Lesniewski, Oct. 6, 2018. Votes of Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Steve Daines will be offset [With 50-48 confirmation margin projected and no GOP "no" votes].

When the Senate votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, two senators will engage in a practice that’s all but died out. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the only member of the Republican Conference opposed to elevating the current D.C. Circuit Court judge to the Supreme Court, announced Friday that ordinarily she would vote “no.” Instead, Murkowski intends to vote “present” in order to offset the absence of Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who will be in Montana to attend to his daughter’s wedding.

The vote on confirmation is expected late afternoon on Saturday.

lisa murkowski oMurkowski said in her floor speech that she hoped after the bitter debate over Kavanaugh that the Senate could take a few steps back toward a more respectful tone.

“While I voted no on cloture today, and I will be a no tomorrow,” she said Friday evening, “I will, in the final tally, be asked to be recorded as present, and I do this because a friend, a colleague of ours, is in Montana this evening and tomorrow at just about the same hour that we’re going to be voting; he’s going to be walking his daughter down the aisle and he won’t be present to vote, and so I have extended this as a courtesy to my friend.”

“It will not change the outcome of the vote, but I do hope that it reminds us that we can take very small, very small, steps to be gracious with one another and maybe those small, gracious steps can lead to more,” Murkowski said.

Oct. 5

Nobel Peace Prize

denis mukwege nadia murad nobel

washington post logoWashington Post, Nobel Peace Prize awarded to two figures bringing attention to sexual violence in conflicts, Chico Harlan and Max Bearak, Oct. 5, 2018. Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi who was kidnapped and raped by Islamic State militants, has become an outspoken activist on sexual slavery and human trafficking. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, has treated thousands of victims of gang rape at his hospital.

#MeToo Goes Global?

washington post logoWashington Post, A year after it began, has #MeToo become a global movement? Karla Adam and William Booth, Oct. 5, 2018. In some countries, the conversation about sexual harassment — and worse — has toppled powerful men. In others, the movement has all but fizzled out — or never took off to begin with.

Supreme Court Battle

Roll Call, Kavanaugh Nomination Clears Key Hurdle, Final Vote Teed Up, John T. Bennett, Oct. 5, 2018. Embattled federal judge Brett Kavanaugh moved one step closer to becoming the ninth Supreme Court justice and providing a decisive fifth conservative vote Friday when the Senate voted to tee up a final up-or-down vote.

lisa murkowski oIn a vote that broke mostly along party lines after several deeply partisan weeks that culminated with a FBI investigation into sexual misconduct charges against Kavanaugh dating to his high school days, the chamber voted to end debate on his nomination, 51-49.

There were a couple of party defections. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, right, voted against cutting off debate, while Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., voted “yes” to cut off debate. The result means the Senate is poised to decide his fate in a high-stakes Saturday vote.

Roll Call, Susan Collins Will Vote ‘Yes’ on Kavanaugh Nomination, Staff report, Oct. 5, 2018. Maine Republican had kept her position on the Supreme Court nomination under wraps. Sen. Susan Collins will vote “yes” on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, one of the last remaining hurdles to the high court susan collins ofor President Donald Trump’s nominee.

Earlier on Friday, the Maine Republican, left, voted to cut off debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination, helping her leadership clear a key hurdle and setting up a final confirmation vote on Saturday. Collins is one of only two Republicans senators serving who voted to confirm Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom were nominated by former President Barack Obama. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is the other one.

Roll Call, Joe Manchin a Yes on Kavanaugh Nomination and Might Be Only Democrat, Staff report, Oct. 5, 2018. Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to joe manchin othe Supreme Court, and might end up the only Democrat to do so.

“I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life. However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently democratic donkey logocompleted FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him. I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court,” Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin announced his decision moments after Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, virtually guaranteeing the federal circuit court judge’s ascent to the high court.

whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, Exclusive: Kavanaugh Father-Son Cancer Powder Keg, Doug Vaughan, Oct. 5, 2018. If Justice Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, sooner or later he may be asked to weigh some damning evidence — that his own father advocated for a product that he knew was carcinogenic to both mothers and fetuses. Unless he recuses himself.

The ironies are piquant: While the son attended private, single-sex religious schools and adopted the traditional Catholic opposition to abortion, and even birth control, on the grounds the government should regulate women’s use of their own bodies and reproduction, the father made millions from the industry that marketed and sold female personal hygiene products — while keeping the government from guarding the consumers’ health and safety.

It’s no exaggeration that, if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, stuff like baby powder will have smoothed his slide into a seat on the highest court in the land.

More than 10,000 active claims in US courts, mostly by women, allege that they got cancer from regular use of talcum products like baby powder. In one case last summer, a jury in Missouri awarded $4.7 billion to a group of 20 such women who sued the biggest manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson — for promoting its products while hiding evidence of the risks to women, their reproductive organs, and their babies.

Sooner or later, one of these cases is likely to come to the Supreme Court. If he’s confirmed by the Senate, and if he fails to recuse himself, Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be asked to consider evidence that his father, Ed, helped J&J market such products — even though they knew they were carcinogenic. Kavanaugh Sr.’s former employer is one of the named defendants in some of the biggest class-action cases filed so far.

ny times logoNew York Times, Senate Moves Toward Showdown Vote on Kavanaugh Confirmation, Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Oct. 5, 2018. Republican leaders were increasingly confident that the Senate would narrowly vote to cut off debate on Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination and move to a final confirmation on Saturday. But with four senators, including three Republicans, still undecided, Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation was still not assured.

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, The Looming Degradation of the Supreme Court, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 5, 2018. With Republican senators dutifully lining up to support President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, it is increasingly likely that conservative lawyer and judge Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. At the same time, in its determination to “win,” the Republican Party will have brought not only shame to itself but also a degradation in prestige to the highest court of the land.

A couple of days ago, more than 500 law professors from more than 160 law schools across the nation had signed a public letter opposing Kavanaugh’s appointment. As a trial lawyer for 12 years before I joined the libertarian movement and who still is authorized to practice law in my home state of Texas, I was absolutely stunned. In all my life, I had never seen that happen. Sure, law professors have their own political philosophies and affiliations but I had never seen so many of them come together to take a public stand against a particular Supreme Court nominee, especially one who sits as a judge on the federal court of appeals.

Imagine my shock when that number increased a couple of days later to 2,400 law professors opposing the Kavanaugh nomination! The term used by the New York Times expressed my reaction: “Incomprehensible!”

That was on top of the withdrawal of support for Kavanaugh’s nomination immediately after he testified by the American Bar Association, which has 400,000 members, and the dean of the Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh got his law degree. What was phenomenal about this was that both the ABA and the Yale law school dean had previously supported Kavanaugh’s appointment.

Then, in what I believe is also an unprecedented act, a retired Supreme Court justice, John Paul Stevens, came out and declared that Kavanaugh lacks the required temperament to be a Supreme Court justice, which is what those 2,400 law professors are also saying.

Contrary to what conservative supporters of Kavanaugh have maintained, the primary issue in the Kavanaugh controversy does not revolve around the issue of whether a lawyer’s actions as a teenager should disqualify him from later serving on the Supreme Court. That, of course, is a interesting issue, but it isn’t the issue at hand. If Kavanaugh had confessed to sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford as a 17-year-old, expressed remorse for it, apologized, and sought forgiveness, then the Senate would be faced with that issue: Should what he did 36 years ago disqualify him from serving on the highest court in the land?

christine blasey ford high schoolInstead, there are three primary issues in this controversy: (1) Did Kavanaugh commit the sexual assault on Christine Blasey Ford (shown as a schoolgirl) and, if so, should that make a difference with respect to his appointment to the Supreme Court? (2) Did he commit perjury with his denial of having committed the offense and, equally important, with respect to other matters in his sworn testimony and, if so, should that make a difference to his appointment to the Supreme Court? and (3) Does Kavanaugh have the necessary temperament to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court?

As the controversy has unfolded, it has become painfully clear that perjury just isn’t important to conservatives, at least to conservatives who aren’t lawyers. Time and time again, in addressing the controversy, they ether have glossed over the possibility that Kavanaugh committed perjury or made it clear that it just doesn’t matter to them. It’s no big deal. Let’s just have a quick, 3-day, cursory, sham investigation, confirm the guy, and then “move on.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: If Kavanaugh is confirmed, impeachment could follow. Here’s how, Deanna Paul, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). Whether Kavanaugh returns to the D.C. Circuit or, as appears increasingly likely, is confirmed to the Supreme Court, impeachment proceedings could follow. They would be contingent on Democrats regaining control of the House, the only body that can bring an article of impeachment.

brett kavanaugh“Much of Washington has spent the week focusing on whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Lisa Graves wrote in a Slate column on Sept. 7, more than a week before the New Yorker published the then-anonymous sexual assault claims of Christine Blasey Ford. “After the revelations of his confirmation hearings, the better question is whether he should be impeached from the federal judiciary. I do not raise that question lightly, but I am certain it must be raised.”

Graves wrote that Kavanaugh, right, had misled the Judiciary Committee about the stolen documents that Graves had written as chief counsel for nominations for Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) when he was the chairman of the committee. Kavanaugh, she wrote, “lied. Under oath. And he did so repeatedly.” Therefore, she concluded, “he should not be confirmed. In fact, by his own standard, he should clearly be impeached.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh: I said things I ‘should not have said’ at hearing, Eli Rosenberg, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the judge tacitly acknowledges the questions being raised about his conduct and emotions. john paul stevens scotus photo portrait

washington post logoWashington Post, Retired Justice Stevens calls Kavanaugh’s hearing performance disqualifying, Robert Barnes, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday that he no longer believes Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, citing Kavanaugh’s heated performance during a Senate hearing last week.

Stevens, 98 (shown in a file photo), made the comments in Boca Raton, Fla., before a group of retirees, according to the Palm Beach Post and the journalist who interviewed Stevens at the event.

washington post logoWashington Post, The rise and the reckoning: Inside Brett Kavanaugh’s circles of influence, Marc Fisher, Ann E. Marimow and Michael Kranish, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). The story of President Trump’s embattled choice for the Supreme Court is a classic Washington tale of a young man who grew up surrounded by people in high places, keenly aware of protecting his image. He told a friend in college that he didn’t plan to buy stocks as an adult because he had to avoid conflicts if he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps as a judge.

brett kavanaugh 1983 yearbookKavanaugh’s story is also one of the power and insularity of wealth. He grew up in an idyll of country clubs and beach retreats, private schools and public prominence. The only child of a lobbyist and a judge, he had parents who pushed him hard, teachers who assured him that he faced no limits, and friends whose families knew the art of making problems go away quietly.

That Kavanaugh (shown in a prep school yearbook photo) would achieve greatness seemed certain. Some of his classmates called him “The Genius.” They liked him because he was smart and fun. Women found him thoughtful and empathetic. Men said he was a guy’s guy — a walking encyclopedia of sports, a good pal, always up for a beer.

More On Susan Collins Vote

george hw bush and son

ryan grim CustomThe Intercept: Analysis: Sen. Susan Collins and Brett Kavanaugh Are Both in the Bush Family Inner Circle. That Helps Explain Her Vote, Ryan Grim, right, and Akela Lacy, Oct., 5, 2018. The announcement Friday by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was about family. Namely, the Bush family.

George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush [shown above in a file photo] have both been welcomed into the ranks of the resistance to President Donald Trump, but their most consequential action since his election has been to help lift Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court.

susan collins oCollins, left, is an honorary member of the Bush family. She got her start in politics as a congressional aide to Rep.-turned-Sen. William Cohen. The Maine Republican was close to George H.W. Bush, who has long maintained a presence in the state. At the end of the first Bush administration, Collins was appointed New England regional director of the Small Business Administration. In 1996, she was elected to the Senate to replace her mentor, Cohen.

Kavanaugh, too, has longstanding ties to the Bush family. He served as an attorney for George W. Bush’s campaign, playing a major role in the legal battle between Bush and Al Gore. He then served as staff secretary in the Bush White House, a position of intimate influence — the staff secretary attends most Oval Office meetings and is a trusted sounding board for the president.

In the weeks after Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault during his high school and college years, Bush personally called wavering senators, lobbying on the nominee’s behalf. Collins, who had said she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, was one of those wavering senators. In August, HuffPost reported, citing a source close to Collins’s staff, that Collins had assured the White House that she would support Kavanaugh if he were nominated. (She has denied that.)

Collins has since said that the decision was a difficult one, though there was no hint of that agonizing in her Senate floor speech Friday, which was a full-throated defense of Kavanaugh and a prosecution of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations.

In the end, Collins suggested that she hoped Kavanaugh’s nomination would restore the faith of Americans in the Supreme Court, easing partisan tensions and decreasing the number of 5-4 decisions the court handed down. It’s difficult to rationalize the idea that a nomination as contentious as this would usher a return to a more harmonious era of bipartisan collaboration.

Palmer Report, Opinion: The sheer insanity of what Susan Collins just did, Bill Palmer, Oct. 5, 2018. Why? It’s the only question left to ask after GOP Senator Susan Collins not only voted for screaming liar and alleged serial sex offender Brett Kavanaugh, but made a point of doing it in the most jarring and self defeating manner possible. It raises uncomfortable and scary questions about what might really be going on here.

susan collins official SmallSusan Collins has never been a party loyalist. In the past two years alone, she’s cast multiple deciding votes against the GOP on major issues, including the attempted Obamacare repeal, and the original Senate Intelligence Committee decision to investigate the Trump-Russia scandal. So no matter how many social media posts might claim that “Collins voted this way because she always votes the party line,” that’s a factually false statement. No, this has to be about something else.

If Susan Collins had decided that she needed to cast a very unpopular “yes” vote on Kavanaugh for the sake of her reelection prospects (translation: billionaire conservative donors), she could have quietly cast her vote and hoped people might forget by 2020. Instead, she took outlandish steps to make sure people never forget what she did today. There are simply not enough pro-Trump extremists in Maine to give her even a remote chance at reelection.

One of the meekest people in the Senate knowingly ended her career today with both proverbial middle fingers in the air. It was one of the ugliest things that American politics has ever seen, and it simply made no sense. Is she being blackmailed, or did she just snap today?

Time, 'Such a Slap in the Face.' Sexual Assault Survivors Who Met With Susan Collins Feel Betrayed She'll Vote for Kavanaugh, Charlotte Alter, Oct. 5, 2018. Last Thursday night, time logo ogAmanda O’Brien sat on a bus for 10 hours to get from Maine to Washington D.C. to meet with Sen. Susan Collins and share her opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The bus was full of sexual assault survivors, who shared their stories with their seat mates as they crawled toward the Capitol.

O’Brien, who wore black like the rest of the survivors, tried to prepare herself. When she and a handful of other survivors got to the Senator’s office on Friday, she told Senator Collins that she had been sexually assaulted for years as a young child. She told her because of the impact of the assault, she later became the victim of domestic violence. She told her Senator things she has rarely told anyone, things she would still rather not repeat.

But on Friday afternoon, Collins announced her intention to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh, all but ensuring that Trump’s pick will sit on the Supreme Court, despite Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that he pinned her to a bed and tried to rape her when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh denies Ford’s allegation.

Oct. 4

ny times logoNew York Times, Two Key Republicans Signal Satisfaction With F.B.I.’s Kavanaugh Inquiry, Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Oct. 4, 2018. Two key undecided senators signaled Thursday that they are satisfied with the F.B.I.’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Senate Republican leaders were increasingly confident that he would be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

jeff flake oSenators Jeff Flake of Arizona, right, and Susan Collins of Maine did not say that they will vote for Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee.

But after a closed-door briefing in which Republicans were told that no witnesses corroborated the accounts of Judge Kavanaugh’s main accusers, both made positive remarks. A yes vote from both would secure Judge Kavanaugh’s seat on the highest court in the land.

Roll Call, Amy Schumer, Emily Ratajkowski Among Hundreds Arrested Protesting Kavanaugh, Griffin Connolly, Oct. 4, 2018. Demonstrators flocked to Hart Senate Office Building after USCP cordons off East Front. The U.S. Capitol Police arrested hundreds of people protesting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s pending confirmation in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday.

Protesters initially planned to hold their rally on the East Front of the Capitol, but USCP cordoned off the area Thursday morning. So the thousands of demonstrators streamed into the Hart building, chanting and singing against Kavanaugh, whom multiple women have accused of sexual assault.

Roll Call, Heidi Heitkamp Will Vote No on Kavanaugh Nomination, Niels Lesniewski, Oct. 4, 2018. North Dakota Democrat is in a tight re-election campaign. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat leading Roll Call’s list of most vulnerable senators on the ballot this fall, announced Thursday that she’ll vote against confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the heidi heitkamp oSupreme Court. “The process has been bad, but at the end of the day you have to make a decision, and I’ve made that decision,” the North Dakota Democrat told WDAY, the ABC affiliate in Fargo, N.D. “I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh.”

Heitkamp explained her decision to opposed Kavanaugh in light of her decision last year to support President Donald Trump's first nominee to the high court, Neil neil gorsuch headshotGorsuch, left.

“I voted for Justice Gorsuch because I felt his legal ability and temperament qualified him to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is different. When considering a lifetime appointment to Supreme Court, we must evaluate the totality of the circumstances and record before us. In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday’s hearing called into question Judge Kavanaugh’s current temperament, honesty, and impartiality. These are critical traits for any nominee to serve on the highest court in our country,” she said.

Heitkamp’s decision to oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court means that Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia is the only member of the Democratic caucus potentially favoring the confirmation of Kavanaugh.

ny times logoNew York Times, White House Sends F.B.I. Interviews on Kavanaugh to Senate, Peter Baker, Nicholas Fandos, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael S. Schmidt, Oct. 4, 2018 (print edition). The White House sent summaries of the interviews, expressing confidence that they would not stop Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The material was conveyed in the middle of the night, just hours after Senate Republicans set the stage for a pair of votes later in the week.

FBI logoSenior White House officials, after reviewing summaries of interviews conducted by the F.B.I., are increasingly confident that the information collected would ease the path for senators to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a person briefed on the findings said Thursday morning.

The material was conveyed to Capitol Hill in the middle of the night, just hours after Senate Republicans set the stage for a pair of votes later in the week to move to approve Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. A statement issued by the White House around 2:30 a.m. said the F.B.I. had completed its work and that it represented an unprecedented look at a nominee.

ny times logoNew York Times, Analysis: Trump and G.O.P. Lash Out at Kavanaugh’s Accuser. But at What Risk? Peter Baker, Oct. 4, 2018 (print edition). For more than two weeks he held christine blasey ford sept 27 2018back. Against all his instincts, President Trump for the most part resisted directly attacking the woman whose sexual assault allegation has jeopardized his Supreme Court nomination. The accuser was to be treated with kid gloves, like “a Fabergé egg,” as one adviser put it.

But Mr. Trump could resist only so long and told aides it was time to turn up the heat. So when he revved up a political rally this week by mocking Christine Blasey Ford, right, he indulged his desire to fight back and galvanized his conservative base even at the risk of alienating the very moderate Republicans he needs to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh. Signed, 1,200+ Law Professors (and Counting), Oct. 4, 2018. We have differing views about Kavanaugh’s qualifications. But we are united in believing he does not have the right judicial temperament.

The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4. It will be updated as more signatures are received. Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.”

ben sasse o croppedOmaha World-Herald, In emotional speech, Ben Sasse says he told Trump to nominate a woman to Supreme Court, Joseph Morton, Oct. 4, 2018. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., right, delivered an emotional floor speech Wednesday night rejecting suggestions that the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is about whether lawmakers care about women.

“A Supreme Court confirmation vote isn’t a grand choice about whether we love our daughters or whether we trust our sons,” Sasse said. “That is not the choice before us. This is a consent decision about one person for one seat.”

Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, revealed that before the nominee had been announced he urged President Donald Trump to nominate a woman to the seat.

Part of his argument at the time, Sasse said, was that the Senate is poorly prepared to handle potential allegations of sexual harassment and assault that might come forward. Sasse choked up at times during the speech that lasted a little less than 20 minutes. He decried the circus surrounding the process, cable news and die-hard partisans seeking to use the nomination for cynical political aims.

He also had harsh words for Trump, particularly the president’s mocking of Ford during a Tuesday night political rally and his previous statements questioning why Ford did not report the incident at the time.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Here’s a list of people the FBI did NOT interview, Greg Sargent, Oct. 4, 2018. Okay with this, Flake and Collins? You’ll be shocked to hear that the White House has already pronounced the FBI report entirely exonerating for Kavanaugh, claiming that it is now “fully confident” Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

FBI logoBut a lot of new reporting has now emerged that starkly illustrates just how much about the new allegations was not investigated by the FBI. It’s important to note that this probably was not a failing on the FBI’s part but rather was the result of restrictions the White House placed on the probe, a process that itself remains shrouded in disingenuous rhetorical games.

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: The Trump-Kavanaugh Look-Alike Theory, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 4, 2018. In deciding to go on the attack in the Kavanaugh confirmation debate by openly and publicly mocking Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally for purported “inconsistencies” in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Trump might not realize that he has created an enormous inconsistency in his own position.

Actually, “contradiction” would be a better word to use. Moreover, Trump might not realize that he has left his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, hanging out on a limb all by himself.

washington post logoWashington Post, Celebrating kegs and insulting girls: Inside Mark Judge’s 1980s Georgetown Prep underground paper, Ian Shapira, Oct. 4, 2018. The Unknown Hoya, co-founded by Judge, featured heavy drinking, a stripper-fueled bachelor party and slurs about Holton-Arms girls.

News Media / Propaganda Tools?

washington post logoWashington Post, That Facebook group you joined years ago? It might now be supporting Brett Kavanaugh, Tony Romm, Oct. 4, 2018. Many of the Facebook groups that seem to facebook logoadvocate for Brett M. Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court -- and some of those defending Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault in the 1980s -- actually amassed their followers months or years before Washington’s most politically charged controversy unfolded, according to Facebook’s records, offering yet another sign that public outcry on social media isn’t exactly what it appears to be.

Oct. 3

washington post logoFBI logoWashington Post, White House prepares to send new FBI report on Kavanaugh to Senate, Seung Min Kim, John Wagner and Josh Dawsey, Oct 3, 2018. The latest FBI probe updating the Supreme Court nominee’s background check was set to arrive Wednesday night on Capitol Hill, according to two people familiar with its release. White House officials have been briefed on the findings, they said. The developments came as Senate Democrats suggested that past FBI background checks of Brett M. Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior.

washington post logoWashington Post, As FBI check nears its end, probe appears to have been highly curtailed, Matt Zapotosky, Robert O'Harrow Jr., Tom Hamburger and Devlin Barrett, Oct 3, 2018.  The FBI has interviewed six witnesses and has not been allowed to probe the nominee's youthful drinking, opening it up to criticism over what some will view as a lackluster investigation.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion; 650 law professors: The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh, staff report, Oct. 3, 2018. The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4. It will be updated as more signatures are received.

Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”

We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.

The question at issue was of course painful for anyone. But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners. Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as “a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators.

As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. As Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.

We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.

bill palmerPalmer Report, Opinion: One of Brett Kavanaugh’s key GOP Senate defenders suddenly sounds nervous about holding a vote, Bill Palmer, right, Oct. 3, 2018. We all witnessed Republican Senator John Cornyn use his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee last week to try to help a mentally unstable Brett Kavanaugh through his testimony. There is no doubt that Cornyn, who is as corrupt as they come, is a “yes” vote. But now congressional reporter Chad Pergram says that Cornyn suddenly doesn’t want to rush the Kavanaugh vote, and wants to “do it one step at a time” instead. So what’s going on here?

So does John Cornyn know something that Mitch McConnell doesn’t? Or are they simply unable to agree on how to play their increasingly weak hand? McConnell has been trying to bully the likes of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins into voting “yes” even though they’re clearly not “yes” votes, but last night Murkowski all but laughed at McConnell’s tactics. We still don’t know how this vote is going to turn out, but it doesn’t appear the GOP does, either.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Trump and McConnell sink to desperate new lengths to protect Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, Oct. 3, 2018. Just how dirty is Brett Kavanaugh? All you have to do is take a look at the desperate lengths Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are going to in the name of not only protecting Kavanaugh from the FBI investigation, but keeping the final FBI report hush-hush.

christine blasey ford sept 27 2018Dianne Feinstein has confirmed that, as expected, the FBI will not be allowed to interview Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (right) – but that’s just the half of it.

It’s fairly clear why the FBI isn’t allowed to interview Ford. It’s not to prevent her from telling her story, which she’s already done before the Senate; the FBI has full access to her congressional testimony. Instead, by blocking the FBI from speaking with Ford, Trump and McConnell are also blocking the FBI from speaking with Kavanaugh – which is the entire point. Kavanaugh has already revealed himself to be a pathological liar, and if he lies to the FBI, he’ll go to prison. But the real panic move here is with the report itself.

USA Today and others are now reporting that there will only be one copy of the FBI report on Brett Kavanaugh, and that Senators will each have to take turns reading it. Senate Democrats will still be able to quickly leak the ugliest parts of the report to the public. But the goal here is, obviously, to prevent the public from seeing the full text.

This confirms that, even with the limitations placed on the FBI investigation by Trump and McConnell, they still expect that the FBI report will paint Brett Kavanaugh in a terrible light. This means that Trump and McConnell are playing with an even weaker hand here than we thought.

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Taunts Christine Blasey Ford at Rally, At an event in Mississippi, Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker, Oct. 3, 2018 (print edition). President Trump mocked the woman who accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault. He imitated her, exaggerating her responses at last week’s hearing. The crowd cheered.

washington post logojeff flake oWashington Post, ‘Just plain wrong’: Flake, Collins criticize Trump’s attack on Ford, John Wagner and Seung Min Kim​, Oct. 3, 2018. Republican Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), right and Susan Collins (Maine) are considered crucial to the confirmation prospects of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.

washington post logoWashington Post, Breaking: Senate Democrats suggest past FBI background checks on Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior, John Wagner and Seung Min Kim, Oct. 3, 2018. Senate Democrats suggested in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman on Wednesday that past FBI background checks on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior, contrary to Republican claims.

In the letter, eight of the 10 Democrats on the Judiciary panel challenged the accuracy of a tweet from the majority Republicans on Tuesday that said: “Nowhere in any of these six FBI reports, which the committee has reviewed on a bipartisan basis, was there ever a whiff of ANY issue — at all — related in any way to inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse.”

The Democrats said the information in the tweet is “not accurate,” and urged the GOP to correct them. Aides to the committee chairman, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), did not return an immediate request for comment.

washington post logojennifer rubin new headshotWashington Post, Opinion: Senators, if you think you are ‘appalled’ now, just wait, Jennifer Rubin, right, Oct. 3, 2018. Appearing on the “Today” show, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reacted to President Trump’s mocking of Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally Tuesday night. “There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. But to discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right … It’s kind of appalling.”

susan collins oThis echoes the reaction of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) when Trump first attacked Ford by tweet, saying if the attack was “that bad,” the teen Ford would have gone to the police. Collins, left, said: “I was appalled by the president’s tweet.”

There is plenty to appall:

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s baseless allegation that he was the victim of a smear stemming from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss; Kavanaugh’s obnoxious retorts to Democratic senators, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling for Klobuchar to apologize; Republicans’ objections to any investigation of Ford’s claims; Republicans’ repeated, false assertion that there is no corroboration for Ford’s accusation (ignoring her polygraph, her prior remarks, Kavanaugh’s calendar entry for July 1); Republicans’ decision to hide behind a female “assistant” (as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to prosecutor Rachel Mitchell) and then discard her in favor of hysterical rants; apparent efforts to curtail the FBI investigation; Ed Whelan’s defamatory accusation aimed at a classmate of Kavanaugh’s; and Kavanaugh’s seeming mischaracterization of his drinking habits and high school references to sex and drinking.

Oct. 2

Oct. 2

Justice Integrity Project, Pomp, Piety, MIAs Mark Annual DC Red Mass On Justice

By Andrew Kreig

Prominent members of the scandal-stricken Roman Catholic legal leadership in the District of Columbia convened on Sunday for the annual Red Mass that provides a spiritual kick-off to the new Supreme Court term and the legal community's public aspirations for justice.

The ceremony was majestic as usual but unfolded before a slightly smaller audience than normal and under the shadow of unfolding scandal involving the local Catholic-reared Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

cardinal donald wuerl portrait fullCardinal Donald Wuerl, left, was absent from the mass, which he has normally led for most of his 12-year tenure in Washington. Instead, he has recently been awaiting possible sanction from the Vatican for his alleged role in covering-up sexual offenses by priests in Pittsburgh, one of the cardinal's previous postings.

As usual, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts led a delegation from the court to the ceremonies at the historic Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and a subsequent brunch.

But Roberts was accompanied by only two of the associate judges, Republican Catholic Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer, a Democrat of the Jewish faith.

This editor has attended the Red Mass and brunch a number of times previously and so is in position to comment on its history, inspiring ceremonial and spiritual aspects, as well as some of the embarrassing but largely unspoken undercurrents.

red mass 2018 straight cover MediumThe event first launched in 1928 at the St. Andrews Church in New York City, in 1953 at St. Matthews in the District of Columbia and in a number of other metro areas around the United States.

The event in the nation's capital has attracted the U.S. presidential attendance and more commonly during recent years a majority of the Supreme Court Justices, sometimes including multiple non-Catholics.

The Court in recent years has included six justices reared as Roman Catholics and three Jewish members. Kavanaugh, schooled at the Jesuit school Georgetown Prep, would be another Catholic if confirmed.

But his status is in peril following numerous claims of sexual assault and lying under oath that are surfacing. Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing (as we and others have reported extensively elswhere, including here) and was not reported as present at the mass on Sunday.

Publically, the mass unfolded as a spiritual and civic occasion framed by the magnificant cathedral and stirring Biblical readings, sacred music and other religious trappings.

washington post logoWashington Post, FBI gets longer leash on Kavanaugh probe as McConnell signals vote is imminent, Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Seung Min Kim and Matt Zapotosky, Oct. 2, 2018 (print edition). The inquiry will include sexual misconduct allegations from a third woman against Brett M. Kavanaugh. But the FBI won’t conduct an unfettered review of his youthful drinking.

FBI logony times logoNew York Times, The People the F.B.I. Has Interviewed in the Kavanaugh Investigation (and Those It Hasn’t), Karen Yourish and Troy Griggs, Oct. 2, 2018 (print edition). Republicans offered the bureau four witnesses; Democrats have called for more than a dozen additional people to be interviewed.

People who were on the Republicans’ list and have been interviewed:

-- Deborah Ramirez, Yale classmate, The second woman to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct; she said he exposed himself to her at a dorm room party.

-- Mark Judge, Judge Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate, Named by Dr. Blasey and a third accuser as being a key witness to the alleged sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh. “I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes,” he said.

-- P.J. Smyth, Georgetown Prep classmate; Dr. Blasey said he was at the house party, “I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct.”

-- Leland Keyser, Dr. Blasey’s high school friend, Said she does not remember being at the party during the summer of 1982 but believes Dr. Blasey.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘The trauma for a man’: Male fury and fear rises in GOP in defense of Kavanaugh, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, Oct. 2, 2018 (print edition). Trump slams Democrats for 'trying to destroy' Kavanaugh (shown below in a file photo of his testimony).

brett kavanaugh screen grab 9 5 2018 at 3 56 pmThe sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh have sparked a wave of unbridled anger and anxiety from many Republican men, who say they are in danger of being swept up by false accusers who are biased against them.

From President Trump to his namesake son to Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), the howls of outrage crystallize a strong current of grievance within a party whose leadership is almost entirely white and overwhelmingly male — and which does not make a secret of its fear that demographic shifts and cultural convulsions could jeopardize its grip on power.

This eruption of male resentment now seems likely to play a defining role in the midterm elections just five weeks away, contrasting with a burst of enthusiasm among women propelling Democratic campaigns and inspired by the national #MeToo reckoning over sexual assault and gender roles.

Legal Schnauzer, In anonymous letter to Sen. Kamala Harris, woman says Kavanaugh groped her, slapped her, forced her to perform oral sex, and raped her in backseat of car, Roger Shuler, Oct. 2, 2018. A woman states in an anonymous letter that Brett Kavanaugh forcibly kissed her, groped her, digitally penetrated her, slapped her, forced her to perform oral sex, and raped her multiple times in the backseat of a car, according to a Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) transcript released yesterday.

The transcript, which is embedded at the end of this post, is from an interview SJC staff members conducted with Kavanaugh on Sept. 26. Kavanaugh apparently had an unnamed attorney present on his end of the line during the interview.

When Kavanaugh is asked for a response to the letter, he replies: "Nothing -- the whole thing is ridiculous. Nothing ever -- anything like that, nothing. I mean, that's -- the whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn't happen, not anything close."

Oct. 1

washington post logoFBI logoWashington Post, Confusion over limits of FBI inquiry sparks new round of combat over Kavanaugh, Mike DeBonis and Josh Dawsey, Oct. 1, 2018 (print edition). The investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh will focus on two accusers, but the White House says it opposes a “fishing expedition” that could take a broader look at his credibility and behavior.

Palmer Report, Senate transcript reveals Brett Kavanaugh allegedly raped a woman in the back of a car, Bill Palmer, right, Oct. 1, 2018. With the FBI having finally received bill palmerthe green light a few hours ago to conduct an unrestricted investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, we’re now learning that he’s been accused brett kavanaugh 1983 yearbookof having raped a woman in the back of a car.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took this accusation seriously enough that it questioned Kavanaugh (shown at left in a prep school yearbook photo) about it during private hearings – and the transcript just surfaced publicly.

The woman in question, whose identity is not known, sent a letter to Senator Kamala Harris, spelling out her accusations. The Senate Judiciary Committee read the letter to Brett Kavanaugh, asking him to respond to it. Here’s the key passage from the woman’s letter. Fair warning, this is sexually explicit and disturbing:

Kavanaugh and a friend offered me a ride home. I don’t know the other boy’s name. I was in his car to go home. His friend was behind me in the backseat. Kavanaugh kissed me forcefully. I told him I only wanted a ride home. Kavanaugh continued to grope me over my clothes, forcing his kisses on me and putting his hand under my sweater. ‘No,’ I yelled at him.

The boy in the backseat reached around, putting his hand over my mouth and holding my arm to keep me in the car. I screamed into his hand. Kavanaugh continued his forcing himself on me. He pulled up my sweater and bra exposing my breasts, and reached into my panties, inserting his fingers into my vagina. My screams were silenced by the boy in the backseat covering my mouth and groping me as well.

Kavanaugh slapped me and told me to be quiet and forced me to perform oral sex on him. He climaxed in my mouth. They forced me to go into the backseat and took turns raping me several times each. They dropped me off two blocks from my home. ‘No one will believe if you tell. Be a good girl,’ he told me.

Brett Kavanaugh’s response, according to the transcript: “Nothing — the whole thing is ridiculous. Nothing ever — anything like that, nothing. I mean, that’s — the whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn’t happen, not anything close.”

This interview took place six days ago, and the transcript was just released today. You can read the entire exchange starting on page thirteen.

us senate logoU.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Transcript of staff interview with Judge Brett Kavanaugh on allegations of sexual misconduct, Alderson Court Reporting, released on Oct. 1, 2018, dated Sept. 26, 2018 (19 pages with four-page index). 

Roll Call, Mitch McConnell: Brett Kavanaugh Floor Vote This Week, Lex Samuels, Oct 1, 2018.  Majority leader again decries Democrats for delay and obstruction. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is insisting the vote on confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will take place before week’s end.

mitch mcconnell2The Kentucky Republican, speaking on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, said the Democrats chose to hold the allegations against Kavanaugh “in reserve” in order to derail the nomination.

He spoke about how the Democrats who first received the allegations handled them. He specifically mentioned a law firm with “politically connected lawyers” that McConnell says Democrats advised Kavanaugh’s accuser to hire. Those lawyers are set to hold a fundraiser for Democrats this week, McConnell said.

McConnell continued by expressing doubt that Democrats would be happy with the one-week investigation and that he expects “soon enough the goal-posts will be on the move once again.”

He compared the Democrat’s handling of the allegations to McCarthyism saying, “that they just want to delay this matter past the election.”

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Elite colleges and a culture of rape, Wayne Madsen, Oct. 1, 2018 (Subscription required; excerpted with permission). The sexual assault allegations brought against Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, opens a window into the world of elite schools that do not bear the words "State," "A&M," "Community," or "Prep" in their names. This is a world of privilege, where money and family legacy matter the most.

Kavanaugh testified about his admittance to Yale, "I have no connections there," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee, adding, "I got there by busting my tail." Not exactly. The john kelly 1Yale undergraduate yearbook from 1928 shows that Everett Edward Kavanaugh, Judge Kavanaugh's grandfather, was a Yale graduate.

And sexual assaults of underage girls, like Christine Blasey Ford, were not some "fad" of the 1980s. Our colleague, John Kelly, left, a veteran of NBC News, where he worked with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, and CBS News, where he reported on Watergate for Walter Cronkite, brought to our attention his New York Post reports from 1960.

Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Trump’s Sham FBI “Investigation” of Kavanaugh, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 1, 2018. On the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on whether to send President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate for a vote on confirmation, Republican senators agreed to do so on the condition that the FBI conduct a further background investigation of Kavanaugh.

jacob hornberger headshotWhat’s wrong with Trump’s severe limitation on the FBI’s further background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh? It doesn’t permit the FBI to investigate the possibility that Kavanaugh has committed a brand new offense — the offense of perjury, which is a federal felony offense.

Kavanaugh supporters emphasize that he has been the subject of several FBI background checks already. They miss two critically important points:

One, those background checks were conducted before the FBI had any information regarding the sex assault that Ford has accused him of. Two, those background checks were conducted before Kavanaugh’s testimony last Thursday. Why is that important? Because there is the possibility that Kavanaugh committed perjury during his testimony at that hearing.

For some laymen (i.e., non-lawyers) perjury might seem like no big deal and certainly not enough to keep a lawyer or a judge from becoming a Supreme Court justice. As I explain in my article, “Summon Mark Judge to Testify in Kavanaugh Hearing,” to every member of the legal profession perjury is an extremely grave offense, especially for a lawyer or a judge, and a clear justification for disqualifying any lawyer or judge who has committed perjury from serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In fact, as I state in my article, in my opinion that is precisely the reason why the American Bar Association, which has 400,000 members, and the dean of the Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh got his law degree, immediately withdrew their support for his nomination after Ford and Kavanaugh testified until an additional background investigation was conducted.

oenearthlogoOpEdNews, Opinion: Sex, Lies, and Hypocrisy: Kavanaugh's Glass House, Carl Petersen, Oct. 1, 2018. Much like Dr. Christine Ford, Monica Lewinsky's life was turned upside down by the glare of someone else's spotlight.

While Brett Kavanaugh asserted that engaging in sexual relations with Bill Clinton turned "her life into a shambles," from Lewinsky's point of view it was his boss, Kenneth Starr, "who turned [her] 24-year-old life into a living hell."

Looking back on the 1990s with the experience of the #MeToo era, there are questions that should have been asked about the most powerful man in the world having sexual relations with an employee.

monica lewinsky may 1967Lewinsky, left, has always maintained that the relationship was consensual, but "power imbalances -- and the ability to abuse them -- do exist even when the sex has been consensual." As a society, have we established where the lines are?

Unfortunately, Kavanaugh (shown below right during his snarling Senate confirmation testimony Thursday)did not seem interested in this line of questioning. Instead, he was infatuated with the most unimportant part of the story - the details of the sex acts.

brett kavanaugh nbc cropped sept 27 2018Given this history, one has to wonder what Lindsey Graham was thinking as he bloviated that if Kavanaugh was looking "for a fair process, [then] he came to the wrong town at the wrong time." When does he think that this poisoned, political atmosphere began?

bill clinton wIf the nominee thinks that the "confirmation process has become a national disgrace," how does he feel today about what he put Lewinsky through and what it did to her and her family? If "the idea of going easy on [Clinton, left] at the questioning [was] abhorrent to [him]," his current outrage should be directed at the Republican majority in the Senate.

By not investigating all of the accusations, they are the ones who are avoiding the responsibility of providing informed consent to his lifetime nomination to the highest court in the land.

Of course, this ignores the important distinction between Kavanaugh's apparent obsession with Clinton's sex life and the charges that may derail his assertion to the Supreme Court; if Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is telling the truth, then Kavanaugh acted without consent. This alleged attempted rape represents "callous and disgusting behavior that has somehow gotten lost in the shuffle."

washington post logoWashington Post, In memo, outside prosecutor argues why she would not bring criminal charges against Kavanaugh, Seung Min Kim, Oct. 1, 2018 (print edition). The outside prosecutor Senate Republicans hired to lead the questioning in last week’s hearing about the sexual assault allegations against Brett M. Kavanaugh is arguing in a new memo why she would not bring criminal charges against the Supreme Court nominee.

rachel mitchell 2011 screenshotIn the five-page memo, obtained by the Washington Post, Rachel Mitchell (shown in a file photo) outlines more than half a dozen reasons why she thinks the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford — who has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a house in suburban Maryland when they were teenagers in the early 1980s — has some key inconsistencies.

“A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that,” Mitchell writes in the memo, sent Sunday night to all Senate Republicans. “Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.”

Mitchell continued: “For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the [Senate Judiciary] Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”

The memo is likely to prompt significant pushback from Democratic senators, who have argued that Ford is not on trial and that Kavanaugh is merely interviewing for a job. But the memo is clearly aimed at assuaging the concerns of a handful of GOP senators who are on the fence about whether to vote to confirm Kavanaugh and are considering whose story — Ford’s or Kavanaugh’s — to believe. The FBI is now investigating Ford’s accusations, as well as those of a second woman, Deborah Ramirez.

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Prosecutor says Kavanaugh report is what ‘reasonable prosecutor’ would say. It’s not, Deanna Paul, Oct. 1, 2018. Rachel Mitchell said no “reasonable prosecutor” would bring the case. She’s wrong. A fair prosecutor would investigate every lead before reaching that conclusion.

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Vatican’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints about ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick reveals a lot about the Catholic Church, Michelle Boorstein​, Oct. 1, 2018. The story behind the four complaints to Rome about the former archbishop of Washington helps explain why the allegations against him remained hidden for so long.

 

U.S. Politics

Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Dark Money, Director/Producer Kimberly Reed, Oct. 1, 2018 (premiere, 85 mins.). Check local listings. Synopsis: Dark Money, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials.

The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Through this gripping story, Dark Money uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. Official Selection, 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

kimberly reed dark money producer claire jonesDirector/Producer Kimberly Reed (shown at right) has had featured work on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, NPR, The Moth and in Details magazine. One of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film," she directed and produced Prodigal Sons, which landed on many best of the year lists, screened at more than 100 film festivals and garnered 14 audience and jury awards, including a FIPRESCI Prize. Reed was recognized as one of Out magazine's "OUT100" and was number one on Towleroad's "Best LGBT Characters of the Film Year" list. She also produced, edited and wrote Paul Goodman Changed My Life and produced The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson. Reed is a fourth-generation Montanan.

September

Sept. 30

ny times logoNew York Times, Details of F.B.I.’s Kavanaugh Inquiry Show Its Restricted Range, Michael D. Shear, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt
Sept. 30, 2018 (print edition). The F.B.I. will interview four witnesses about sexual assault claims against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as part of a background check, not a full-fledged criminal investigation. The White House will decide the breadth of the inquiry and can order further investigation based on the findings from the four interviews.

washington post logoWashington Post, Amid fight over Kavanaugh, annual Red Mass for Supreme Court skips the politics, Julie Zauzmer, Sept. 30, 2018. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has touted his Catholic faith throughout his nomination hearings, was not spotted at the annual service.

As the nation focuses on the bitter fight over Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, Washington’s Catholic cathedral held its annual Red Mass honoring Supreme Court justices and the judiciary on Sunday — with nary a word about the debate over whether to confirm President Trump’s pick.

Kavanaugh has touted his Catholic faith throughout his nomination hearings, including on Thursday when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to an allegation that he sexually assaulted a high school classmate in the early 1980s. But Kavanaugh, who was invited to the Mass as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was not spotted in the pews.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, another figure of controversy at the moment, was also absent from the special Mass that he would typically lead.

Instead, Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville celebrated the Mass in the ornate St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and Monsignor Peter Vaghi preached a homily that focused on the Holy Spirit and on the Declaration of Independence.

“Could there not be a better time, both in our church and our nation, to benefit from the healing power of the Holy Spirit?” Vaghi said in his only nod to current controversies. “It is a power that treats the anger and divisions that so need the healing touch of our God if we are to continue our respective missions with love, genuine love for each other, and effectiveness.”

Each year, the cathedral hosts the Red Mass, named for the red garments that clergy wear in attendance at the start of the Supreme Court’s fall term. Supreme Court justices, local judges, and members of Congress and the Cabinet regularly attend. At this year’s Mass, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen G. Breyer attended, along with Anthony M. Kennedy, whose retirement from the court created the vacancy that Trump nominated Kavanaugh to fill.

bill palmerPalmer Report, Analysis: Jeff Flake just said something on 60 Minutes that’s really bad news for Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, right, Sept. 30, 2018. The FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh only exists thanks to GOP Senator Jeff Flake and the heroes who pushed him into calling for it. Flake warned everyone up front that he’s still planning to support Kavanaugh in the full Senate vote unless the FBI probe turns up something disqualifying.

jeff flake oNow he’s defining the parameters of what would be disqualifying – and it’s really bad news for Kavanaugh.

Jeff Flake, left, made a point of putting himself in front of the cameras tonight when he appeared on 60 Minutes with his friend, Democratic Senator Chris Coons.

During the interview, Flake was asked this question: “If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the Committee, nomination’s over?” Flake could have tried to hedge his bets or be vague about it, in the hope of giving himself wiggle room. Instead his answer consisted of only two words: “Oh yes.”

Palmer Report, Analysis: Deborah Ramirez has already dropped the FBI hammer on Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, Sept. 30, 2018. Even as controversy and chaos swirl around the scope of the FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the FBI is moving forward very quickly.

deborah ramirez benjamin rasmussen new yorkerDeborah Ramirez, right, was interviewed by the FBI earlier today, according to a CNN report this evening. Not only that, she provided the FBI with a list of witnesses who can corroborate her sexual assault accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

This is crucial in legal terms, and in the court of public opinion, because it prevents this from being a “he said, she said” situation. With witnesses saying that they saw Kavanaugh assault Ramirez, it makes it far harder for swing voters like Flake, Collins, and Murkowski to adopt a “we’ll never know what happened” stance.

washington post logoWashington Post, Kellyanne Conway: ‘I’m a victim of sexual assault,’ Alex Horton​, During an appearance on CNN, Sept. 30, 2018. The White House adviser suggested conservatives have become targets for political score settling.

Sept. 29

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.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Thank You, Jeff Flake. Maybe America Can Now Learn the Truth. Editorial Board, Sept. 29, 2018 (print edition). An attack of conscience by one Republican senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona, quickly reinforced by some wavering colleagues, compelled the Senate leadership and the White House to accede to common sense by commissioning an F.B.I. inquiry into the allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

washington post logoWashington Post, FBI reaches out to 2nd woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Shane Harris, Matt Zapotosky, Tom Hamburger and Seung Min Kim​, Sept. 29, 2018. The FBI has begun contacting people as part of an additional background investigation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, including a second woman who alleges that the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her, according to people familiar with the unfolding investigation.

deborah ramirez benjamin rasmussen new yorkerThe bureau has reached out to Deborah Ramirez, a Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s who alleges that he shoved his genitals in her face at a party where she had been drinking and become disoriented. It was not clear that agents had yet interviewed Ramirez (shown at right in a photo by Benjamin Rasmusseen The New Yorker).

But the FBI is moving quickly to contact people as part of the new background investigation, which President Trump ordered on Friday under pressure from key members of his party.

Palmer Report, Analysis: Donald Trump begins backing down after he’s caught trying to rig FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, Sept. 29, 2018. Earlier this evening, multiple major news outlets reported that Donald Trump had been caught trying to secretly place severe and absurd restrictions on the FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including forbidding the FBI from investigating the claims made by Julie Swetnick. Trump could only have gotten away with this if no one found out until it was too late to matter. Now that he’s been caught, predictably, he’s already begun backing down.

After the news broke, Trump’s Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah released a statement insisting that the FBI was free to investigate any and all aspects of the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Because Trump and his White House have publicly staked themselves to this, Trump is not going to be able to keep the investigation limited.

In fact, because one of Trump’s official spokespeople just publicly told the FBI that it’s free to interview Swetnick, for all we know, the FBI may have taken this as an excuse to call Swetnick right now.

nbc news logoNBC News, White House limits scope of the FBI's investigation into the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Ken Dilanian, Geoff Bennett, Kristen Welker, Frank Thorp V, Hallie Jackson and Leigh Ann Caldwell, Sept. 29, 2018. The FBI has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, a White House official confirmed to NBC News. The White House is limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, multiple people briefed on the matter told NBC News.

While the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s, those people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. A White House official confirmed that Swetnick's claims will not be pursued as part of the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh.

julie swetnickFord said in Senate testimony Thursday that she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. Ramirez alleged that he exposed himself to her when there were students at Yale. Kavanaugh has staunchly denied allegations from Ford, Ramirez, below left, and Swetnick, right.

deborah ramirez yale croppedInstead of investigating Swetnick's claims, the White House counsel’s office has given the FBI a list of witnesses they are permitted to interview, according to several people who discussed the parameters on the condition of anonymity.

They characterized the White House instructions as a significant constraint on the FBI investigation and caution that such a limited scope, while not unusual in normal circumstances, may make it difficult to pursue additional leads in a case in which a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the FBI has "free reign" in the investigation. "They’re going to do whatever they have to do," he said. "Whatever it is they do, they’ll be doing — things that we never even thought of. And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine."

Breaking News: Trump orders limits on FBI probe of Kavanaugh. Accuser Julie Swetnick's attorney responds:

"If true, this is outrageous," wrote Avenatti. "Why are Trump and his cronies in the Senate trying to prevent the American people from learning the truth? Why do they insist on muzzling women with information submitted under penalty of perjury? Why Ramirez but not my client?"

bill palmerPalmer Report, Analysis: FBI is already ripping into Brett Kavanaugh’s life tonight, Bill Palmer, right, Sept. 29, 2018. How much can the FBI accomplish in the week it’s been given to investigate the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh? Let’s just say that the bureau is hitting the ground running, with a vengeance. Not only is the FBI investigating multiple sexual assault accusations, it’s been seeking to conduct key interviews as soon as tonight.

This is important for two reasons. First, it confirms what Mitch McConnell’s office stated earlier this evening, which is that the FBI has been given the authority to investigate all the accusations, and not just those made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Second, it demonstrates just how quickly the FBI is working on this. The sooner it can interview Kavanaugh’s various accusers, the sooner it can use their responses to zero in on which other potential witnesses and physical evidence to pursue. The FBI already has a leg-up even before these interviews, because Ford just finished giving detailed public testimony, while Ramirez and Swetnick have also gone public in detail.

All of this can be – and surely already is being – used to help guide the investigation even before the accuser interviews can be conducted.

ap logoAssociated Press via Yahoo, Trump cites Kavanaugh to rally voters, staff report, Sept. 29, 2018. President Donald Trump is turning his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh into a rallying cry for Republicans to vote in November. He said at a West Virginia rally that they can help reject the "ruthless and outrageous tactics" he says Democrats used against the judge.

Trump won the state in 2016 by 42 percentage points and remains popular there.

Kavanaugh, the federal appeals judge Trump nominated to the nation's highest court, appeared headed for confirmation until California professor Christine Blasey (blah-zee) Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in Maryland in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denied her accusations and those of two other women since have accused him of sexual misconduct.

During his rally, President Donald Trump also poked fun at Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, considered a possible challenger to Trump in 2020. Booker is a former mayor of Newark, the state's largest city. Trump told the crowd that Booker "ran Newark, New Jersey into the ground" and asked: "now he wants to be president?"

washington post logoWashington Post, Partisan politics, Kavanaugh’s defiant words put Supreme Court in unwelcome spotlight, Robert Barnes and Carol D. Leonnig​, Sept. 29, 2018. The Senate’s partisan warfare over Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination and Kavanaugh’s own denunciations of his political enemies have drawn scrutiny.

The political underpinnings of the court — conservative justices nominated by Republican presidents, liberal ones named by Democrats — are never far from the surface. But justices on both sides strive to stress that ideological rather than partisan concerns account for their disagreements.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Kavanaugh is lying. His upbringing explains why, The elite learn early that they’re special — and that they won’t face consequences, Shamus Khan, Sept. 29, 2018.  Shamus Khan, the chair of the sociology department at Columbia University, is the author of “Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School.”

Brett Kavanaugh is not telling the whole truth. When President George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006, he told senators that he’d had nothing to do with the war on terror’s detention policies; that was not true. Kavanaugh also claimed under oath, that year and again this month, that he didn’t know that Democratic Party memos a GOP staffer showed him in 2003 were illegally obtained; his emails from that period reveal that these statements were probably false.

How could a man who appears to value honor and the integrity of the legal system explain this apparent mendacity? How could a man brought up in some of our nation’s most storied institutions — Georgetown Prep, Yale College, Yale Law School — dissemble with such ease? The answer lies in the privilege such institutions instill in their members, a privilege that suggests the rules that govern American society are for the common man, not the exceptional one.

washington post logoWashington Post, New Kavanaugh inquiry draws FBI into partisan tug of war, Matt Zapotosky, Sept. 29, 2018 (print edition). The FBI has grown accustomed to its work being viewed through sharply partisan lenses. But President Trump’s order for a “supplemental investigation” of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh presents challenges.

washington post logoWashington Post, Details in Kavanaugh’s 1982 calendar entry could be scrutinized in FBI probe, Michael Kranish, Joe Heim and Emma Brown, Sept. 29, 2018 (print edition).  Democrats have seized on the scrawled notes as possible evidence that could support Christine Blasey Ford’s charge that the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her.

washington post logobrett kavanaugh flagWashington Post, American Bar Association had concerns in 2006 about Kavanaugh, Avi Selk, Sept. 29, 2018 (print edition). The ABA flagged concerns of possible bias just before the Senate made Brett M. Kavanaugh a federal judge.

washington post logoWashington Post, An elevator confrontation, a meeting in a phone booth: Sen. Flake’s Friday drama, Elise Viebeck, Sean Sullivan and Paul Kane, The deal to delay a vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was made behind closed doors — by two senators crammed into an old-fashioned phone booth built for one.

The deal to delay a final vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was made behind closed doors Friday — by two senators crammed into a battered, old-fashioned phone booth built for one. 

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘I was demanding a connection’: Ana Maria Archila reflects on confronting Jeff Flake over Kavanaugh nomination, Elise Viebeck, Sept. 29, 2018 (print edition).  Ana Maria Archila had never told her father that she was sexually abused as a child. But after she confronted a U.S. senator about President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the video started going viral, she thought it was time to share her story.

“I always carried the fear that my parents would feel that they had failed in taking care of me if I told them,” Archila (co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy in New York) said Friday night in a phone interview with The Washington Post.

The encounter on Friday morning between Archila, a second woman and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has already become an iconic moment in the debate over Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. With a CNN camera behind them broadcasting live, Archila and Maria Gallagher blocked the doors of an elevator for about five minutes in an effort to confront Flake about his just-announced support for Kavanaugh, who is facing several allegations of sexual misconduct.

Catholic Priests, Dean

washington post logocardinal donald wuerl portrait fullWashington Post, Abuse settlement from 2005 with Cardinal Wuerl’s name raises questions, Michelle Boorstein and Julie Zauzmer, Sept. 29, 2018 (print edition). Cardinal Donald Wuerl, shown at right, who has said that he didn’t know about sexual misconduct complaints involving Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, was named in a 2005 settlement agreement that included allegations against McCarrick, according to the accuser and documents obtained by The Post.

washington post logoWashington Post, Catholic U. dean suspended after comment about woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Susan Svrluga, Will Rainford, dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service, apologized after he made a Twitter post that suggested one of the Supreme Court nominee's accusers "was not the victim of sexual assault.”

“Swetnick is 55 y/o,” Rainford posted Wednesday on his @NCSSSDean Twitter account. “Kavanaugh is 52 y/o. Since when do senior girls hang with freshmen boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with&by her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be victim & she the perp!”

Teresa Crenshaw, a social worker who graduated from the master’s degree program at the school in 2017, said she was “really alarmed that he had the audacity to say those things because as social workers, we know we work one-on-one with survivors every day. . . . I’m appalled by what he has said.”

Sept. 28

Supreme Court Battle

 

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.

jeff flake oRoll Call, After Last-Second Talks to Delay, Judiciary Committee Advances Kavanaugh Nomination, John T. Bennett, Sept. 28, 2018. Flake joins other Republicans to set up floor vote despite call for delay. The Senate Judiciary Committee, after a gut-wrenching spectacle of a hearing Thursday and last-second negotiations among Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., right, and panel Democrats to delay a floor vote, voted to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the chamber floor despite multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.

The Friday vote was along party lines, 11-10, with all Democrats voting against him after siding with Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the panel for four hours Thursday about her contention that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and intended to rape her in the early 1980s. She told the panel she came forward because she does not believe he should be a high court justice with a lifetime appointment.

“I think it would proper to delay the floor vote for up to but more than one week in order to let the FBI to do an investigation limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there,” Flake said before the roll was called.

bill palmerPalmer Report, Analysis: Confirmed: FBI is now allowed to criminally pursue Brett Kavanaugh for lying to the Senate, Bill Palmer, right, Sept. 28, 2018. We’re already learning that the FBI is now allowed to pursue criminal charges against Kavanaugh if it’s determined that he lied under oath to the Senate.

Halfway through a lengthy new exposé from the Washington Post, we find this sentence regarding the the FBI investigation in question: “If investigators uncover evidence that Kavanaugh lied to lawmakers during hearings or on his background-check forms, that could spark a criminal investigation in which law enforcement could use the full extent of its legal powers.”

brett kavanaugh prison bar graphic palmer reportThis confirms Palmer Report’s earlier premise that once the FBI begins an investigation like this, there really are no limits to the FBI’s ability to follow the evidence to any and all federal crimes. By our count, Kavanaugh [shown in a Palmer Report graphic] appeared to commit at least four separate provable instances of perjury during his televised Senate testimony, even before the sexual assault accusations surfaced. He lied extensively about the circumstances under which he received and forwarded stolen emails, and among other issues.

This may help explain why Senate Democrats uniformly pushed so hard for an FBI investigation. Even if the FBI can’t prove within the next seven days that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, it can quickly and easily prove that he committed felony perjury.

ny times logoadam liptakNew York Times, A Bitter Nominee, Questions of Neutrality, and a Damaged Supreme Court, Adam Liptak, right, Sept. 28, 2018. In the first round of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings early this month, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh kept his cool under hostile questioning, stressed his independence, and exhibited the calm judicial demeanor that characterized his dozen years on a prestigious appeals court bench.

“The Supreme Court,” he said, “must never be viewed as a partisan institution.”

His performance on Thursday, responding to accusations of sexual misconduct at a hearing of the same Senate committee, sent a different message. Judge Kavanaugh was angry and emotional, embracing the language of slashing partisanship. His demeanor raised questions about his neutrality and temperament, and threatened the already fragile reputation of the Supreme Court as an institution devoted to law rather than politics.

“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” he said, “fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”

In a sharp break with decorum, Judge Kavanaugh responded to questions about his drinking from two Democratic senators — Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — with questions of his own about theirs. He later apologized to Ms. Klobuchar.

brett kavanaugh nbc sept 27 2018 cropped reuters jim berg

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, 2018 (Reuters photo by Jim Berg via NBC News)

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh hearing turns partisan as GOP senators lash out at treatment of nominee, Seung Min Kim, Ann E. Marimow, Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck, Sept. 28, 2018 (print edition). Sen. Graham rejects allegations, rips Democrats in a furious speech.

“To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I’ve seen in my time in politics,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh called his confirmation process a “national disgrace” and denied sexual assault allegations, which Christine Blasey Ford detailed in testimony earlier.

Deadspin via YouTube, Humor/Advocacy: Here’s Brett Kavanaugh Mentioning Beer During His Senate Hearing (34 mins.), Staff report, Sept. 28, 2018.

washington post logochristine blasey ford sept 27 2018Washington Post, 3 takeaways from the Kavanaugh hearing so far, Amber Phillips​, Sept. 28, 2018 (print edition). Republicans struggled to show they are taking it seriously. Meanwhile, Christine Blasey Ford, shown at right, cut a sympathetic, down-to-earth figure.

1. This isn’t going well for Republicans

2. Meanwhile, Ford came across as credible, emotional and sympathetic

3. Republicans' decision to hand their questions over to a female prosecutor is seeming questionable.

ny times logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh Denies Sexual Assault Charges and Attacks Democrats in Scathing Testimony, Staff report, Sept. 28, 2018 (print edition). At an extraordinary hearing, Brett M. Kavanaugh denied that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school. In an angry statement to the Senate Judicial Committee he said the Supreme Court confirmation process had become “a national disgrace.”

The Sun, 'Hard To Believe';  Who is Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, how old is Brett Kavanaugh’s wife and when did they get married? Nicola Stow, Sept. 28, 2018. Ashley Kavanaugh has defended her husband amid allegations of misconduct made against him.

Ashley Kavanaugh, 42, is a US public official and former political aide. She served as Personal Secretary to President George W. Bush, shown at right, from the start of his Presidency to 2004. Prior to that, she served as an assistant to Bush during his tenure as Governor of Texas and also during his presidential campaign.

George W. Bush HRAshley is currently town manager of Chevy Chase Section Five, Maryland. She graduated from Abilene Cooper High School in 1993 and attended the University of Texas.

Kavanaugh -- a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia -- married Ashley Estes in 2004 and they have two children, Liza and Margaret. She met her husband while working in the Bush White House in 2001, when she served as the president’s personal secretary.

Ashley was quick to appear on television to defend her husband amid the accusations made against him. In a Fox News interview, Ashley said the claims were "hard to believe." She told the network: "I know Brett. I've known him for 17 years," she said. "He's decent, he's kind, he's good. I know his heart. This is not consistent with Brett."

The Hill, Jesuit magazine calls for Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn, Tal Axelrod, Sept. 27, 2018. The editors of America Magazine, a Jesuit publication, called on President Trump to withdraw Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The piece was published after Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her in 1982 at a house party, testified before of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the allegations.

The editors wrote a piece in July praising Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy and Kavanaugh’s pro-life stance.

“Judge Kavanaugh is a textualist who is suspicious of the kind of judicial innovation that led to the court’s ruling in Roe. That decision removed a matter of grave moral concern—about which there was and remains no public moral consensus—from the democratic process,” they wrote at the time.

Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit high school.

The magazine’s reversal reflects the tumult into which sexual misconduct allegations have thrown Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.

JIP Editor's Note: We excerpt the column below to debunk the right-wing propaganda smearing sexual assault victim Christine Brasey Ford. We do not endorse the obviously false claims that are being made against her.

christine blasey ford sept 27 2018Media Matters, Right-wing conspiracy theorists now claim Christine Blasey Ford is “deeply tied to the CIA,” Sarah Wasko, Sept. 28, 2018. Conservative radio host and conspiracy theorist Michael Savage is promoting a rapidly spreading conspiracy theory that professor Christine Blasey Ford, right, who says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school, has “deep” connections to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Savage has pushed incredibly bizarre conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric, and he has been closely connected to President Donald Trump and the White House. He pushed the latest conspiracy theory on Twitter and his website:

IS DR. FORD DEEPLY TIED TO THE CIA? — Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) 2:59 PM - Sep 27, 2018 Savage’s conspiracy theory makes three claims about Ford’s connections to the CIA, all of which are false or baseless:

1. The post claims that Ford “happens to head up the CIA undergraduate internship program at Stanford University.” This claim seems to originate from a conspiracy theory website, brassballs.blog, that drew this conclusion because Stanford does have an undergraduate CIA internship program, and Ford, who is a psychology professor at nearby Palo Alto University, is also listed as an “affiliate” in the “psychiatry and behavioral sciences” department at Stanford. The blog post argues that it is suspicious that Ford’s contact information has been deleted from her Stanford profile page, although the more likely explanation is that it has been removed due to the threats and harassment that Ford has received since coming forward.

2. The theory draws another connection between Ford and the CIA via her brother’s previous work for law firm BakerHostetler. A previous Ford-related conspiracy theory connected her brother’s work at BakerHostetler to Fusion GPS, a research firm involved in the ongoing Russian collusion investigation. However, Ford’s brother left BakerHostetler six years before Fusion GPS was ever founded. Savage’s conspiracy theory repeats this false claim and goes even further, claiming that three CIA-controlled businesses are located in the same building as BakerHostetler. There is no evidence these businesses are connected to the CIA -- in fact, one, Red Coats, Inc., is a janitorial company that does not even share office space with BakerHostetler.

3. Savage’s post also claims that Ford is the granddaughter of Nicholas Deak, who worked with the CIA during the Cold War. According to his 1985 Washington Post obituary, Deak only had one child, a son named R. Leslie Deak. But as the conspiracy theory’s second claim also notes, Ford’s father is actually Ralph Blasey Jr.Savage’s false claim is rapidly spreading, and was promoted during Alex Jones’ September 28 broadcast. The conspiracy theory is also indicative of how search platforms like Google amplify such clear falsehoods. A Google search for “Christine Ford CIA” done in a private browsing window aggregated YouTube videos pushing the conspiracy theory and Savage’s website as the top results:

washington post logoWashington Post, Several Democrats walk out of Kavanaugh meeting in protest, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner, Sept. 28, 2018. Senate committee decides along party lines to vote on nomination this afternoon. Red-state Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly said he would vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. The Republicans had been courting him as well as Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Look at me when I’m talk­ing to you!’: Crying protester confronts Sen. Flake after he says he'll vote for nominee, Lindsey Bever​, Sept. 28, 2018. Two women tearfully and loudly confronted the Arizona Republican in an el­e­va­tor, tell­ing Sen. Jeff Flake that he was dis­miss­ing the pain of sex­ual as­sault survivors.

After Sen. Jeff Flake’s announcement that he would, in fact, vote to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, the emotional debate over the confirmation spilled into the halls of Congress, on live television, as two women tearfully and loudly confronted the Arizona Republican in an el­e­va­tor, tell­ing Flake that he was dis­miss­ing the pain of sex­ual as­sault survivors.

“What you are doing is allowing some­one who ac­tu­al­ly vio­lat­ed a woman to sit in the Su­preme Court,” one woman shout­ed during a live CNN broadcast as Flake was making his way to a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. “This is hor­rible. You have chil­dren in your fam­i­ly. Think a­bout them.”

bill palmerPalmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump’s pal Alan Dershowitz shockingly tries to put the brakes on Brett Kavanaugh nomination, Bill Palmer, right, Sept. 28, 2018. After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave credible and compelling testimony yesterday alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her, and Kavanaugh responded by having a mental breakdown during his own subsequent testimony, various entities called for a halt to the nomination so an FBI investigation could be conducted.

Not surprisingly, the American Bar Association was among them. Shockingly, so was Donald Trump’s pal Alan Dershowitz.

Not long before midnight eastern time, it was widely reported that the ABA had sent a letter to Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, arguing that the FBI must step in and help determine whether Kavanaugh or Ford is telling the truth. This is a major development, but perhaps not surprising.

On the one hand, with the Brett Kavanaugh nomination now rapidly shaping up as a stain on American history, it’s possible that Alan Dershowitz may simply be trying to avoid taking one more reputational hit as he continues to turn into more of a Trump shill.

On the other hand, maybe Dershowitz really is trying to talk Trump into moving on from Kavanaugh, for fear that pushing any further forward could backfire.

Democrats Threatened With Senate Reprisals

lindsey grahamRoll Call, Lindsey Graham to Democrats: ‘I’ll Remember This,’John T. Bennett, Sept. 28, 2018. South Carolina senator could be Judiciary chairman next year if GOP holds Senate.

Lindsey Graham, right, who could become Senate Judiciary Committee chairman next year, warned his Democratic colleagues Friday that he will remember how they handled the Brett Kavanaugh saga.

“If I am chairman, next year, I’m going to remember this,” the South Carolina Republican said before a planned vote on the Supreme Court nominee.

“There’s the process before Kavanaugh and the process after Kavanaugh. If you want to vet the nominee, you can. If you want to delay things until after the election, you cannot. If you try to destroy somebody, you will not get away with it.”

CNN, Democrats seize on circumstantial July 1 theory for Kavanaugh and Ford, Zach Wolf, Sept. 28, 2018. CNN Sen. Jeff Flake demanded a potentially week-long pause on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh Friday so the FBI could do a limited investigation in to the sexual assault allegation levied against him by Christine Blasey Ford in searing testimony Thursday.

Vox, Every time Ford and Kavanaugh dodged a question, in one chart, Alvin Chang, Sept. 28, 2018. There was a striking difference in style — and substance. There were several noticeable differences between the Senate testimony of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.

The most obvious was the tone each took. Ford was polite and quiet in recounting her accusation against Kavanaugh; he was angry and loud in his denials of the allegations against him.

Beyond the style of their testimonies, there was a striking difference in the content of their words. Both Ford and Kavanaugh fielded questions from senators and the prosecutor hired by Republicans, Rachel Mitchell.

washington post logoWashington Post, Here’s where Kavanaugh’s sworn testimony was misleading or wrong, Philip Bump, Sept. 28, 2018. From obvious falsehoods about his drinking to misrepresentations of exonerating evidence.

The Intercept, Kavanaugh’s High School, Georgetown Prep, Warned Parents in 1990 of “Sexual or Violent Behavior” at Parties, Jon Schwarz and Camille Baker, Sept. 28, 2018. According to a 1990 article in the Washington Post, the headmasters from seven prestigious Washington, D.C.-area private schools sent a joint letter that year to parents, warning them that their children had developed a party culture that included heavy drinking leading to “sexual or violent behavior.”

One of the schools was Georgetown Prep, from which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh graduated in 1983. Christine Blasey Ford, who during congressional testimony on Thursday described being sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in 1982, attended another of the schools, Holton-Arms.

The Post article also reported that before the letter was sent, Georgetown Prep had individually “held a conference with parents to discuss the problem of unsupervised parties.”

Malcolm Coates, then the headmaster of the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, is quoted as saying that the schools decided to write the letter jointly “to give it more impact. … The fact that seven schools decided it was enough of a problem to address it is significant.”

Other Scandal Claims

Seattle Times, Seattle woman says state Sen. Joe Fain raped her in 2007; Fain denies allegation, Heidi Groover, Mike Baker and Joseph O’Sullivan, Sept. 28, 2018. A Seattle woman said Thursday that prominent Washington state Sen. Joe Fain raped her after her college graduation in 2007. Fain denied the accusation and called for an investigation into the alleged incident.

The woman, Candace Faber, tweeted about Fain on Thursday afternoon and later issued a statement saying “we cannot heal without accountability.” The tweet came after hours of televised testimony on sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Faber said in her tweet that the assault occurred the night she graduated from Georgetown University. She had previously written a post about being assaulted by someone serving in the Washington state Legislature, but did not include a name.

In that earlier account, posted online in June, she described how she and the lawmaker met “at the Capitol” and spent a night out drinking and kissing. She wrote that she helped the drunken man return to his hotel room. In the room, she wrote, he pulled down her dress “so hard the straps tore.”

She wrote that she pushed him away and said “stop, stop, stop” before eventually relenting. She later asked him for a kiss goodbye, she wrote, and wondered whether she should go to the hospital.

Fain, a Republican from Auburn, denied Faber’s account in a text message to The Seattle Times. “I absolutely deny what Ms. Faber is accusing me of,” Fain said. “Any allegation of this serious nature deserves to be heard and investigated for all parties involved. I invite and will cooperate with any inquiry. I ask everyone to show respect to Ms. Faber and to the process.”

Sept. 27

Supreme Court Battle

brett kavanaugh nbc sept 27 2018 cropped reuters jim berg

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, 2018 (Reuters photo by Jim Berg via NBC News)

Roll Call, Jeff Flake Straddling the Fence on Kavanaugh Ahead of Friday Vote, Niels Lesniewski, Sept. 27, 2018. Arizona Republican isn’t committing to supporting Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Jeff Flake, seen as a key swing vote who could either put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court or kill his chances, is not committing to voting for the nominee at a Friday morning Judiciary Committee markup.

The Arizona Republican sounded very conflicted Thursday evening following a meeting of the Senate Republican Conference after the Judiciary panel spent nearly nine hours Thursday hearing from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her at a party decades ago when they were both in high school.

New York Magazine, Opinion: Why Brett Kavanaugh’s Hearings Convinced Me That He’s Guilty, Jonathan Chait, Sept. 27, 2018. I think Brett Kavanaugh is probably lying about having sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, and many other things, and has decided from the beginning to say what he has to in order to fulfill his career ambition.

There is, however, at least some, small chance that he is telling the truth when he professes his innocence. And that small chance gives me some sympathetic human reaction to his emotional testimonial. If he is somehow innocent, as he claims, he has been subject to a horrifying and humiliating ordeal.

That, however, does not justify confirming Kavanaugh to a lifelong position on the Supreme Court. He has, for one thing, all but abandoned the posture of impartiality demanded of a judge. A ranting Kavanaugh launched angry, evidence-free charges against Senate Democrats. Why they took this revenge against Kavanaugh, rather than the first justice who was appointed after the 2016 elections, when Democrats’ anger over both the election and the treatment of Merrick Garland ran hotter, he did not say. Kavanaugh does not seem able to imagine even the possibility that Democrats actually believe the women accusing him of sexual assault. He is consumed with paranoid, partisan rage.

The method Republicans have used to defend Kavanaugh has consisted of suppressing most of the evidence that could be brought to bear in the hearing, and then complaining about the lack of evidence. “Unless something new comes forward, you have just an emotional accusation and an emotional denial without corroboration,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. Conservative columnist Kimberly Strassel argued, “The standard here isn’t where you ‘look’ or ‘sound’ ‘credible.’ It is whether you provide evidence.”

washington post logochristine blasey ford sept 27 2018Washington Post, 3 takeaways from the Kavanaugh hearing so far, Amber Phillips​, Sept. 27, 2018. Republicans struggled to show they are taking it seriously. Meanwhile, Christine Blasey Ford, shown at right, cut a sympathetic, down-to-earth figure.

1. This isn’t going well for Republicans2. Meanwhile, Ford came across as credible, emotional and sympathetic3. Republicans' decision to hand their questions over to a female prosecutor is seeming questionable.

ny times logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh Denies Sexual Assault Charges and Attacks Democrats in Scathing Testimony, Staff report, Sept. 27, 2018. At an extraordinary hearing, Brett M. Kavanaugh denied that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school. In an angry statement to the Senate Judicial Committee he said the Supreme Court confirmation process had become “a national disgrace.”

Roll Call, Kavanaugh Comes Out of Gate Angry, Says Confirmation Process Is ‘National Disgrace,’ John T. Bennett, Sept. 27, 2018. An angry Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, facing sexual assault allegations, opened up his testimony Thursday by calling the situation a “national disgrace.”

He lamented that his name and that of his family have been “totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false … accusations.”

Three women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault or sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. Christine Blasey Ford, his first accuser who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier Thursday, has accused the nominee of sexually assaulting her at a party in the 1980s when the two were in high school.
Supreme Court nominee aggressively foists blame on Democrats, accuses them of character assassination.

washington post logoWashington Post, Chuck Grassley’s heavy-handed stewardship of a very delicate hearing, Aaron Blake​, Sept. 27, 2018. Republicans have taken pains to prevent their 11 white, male committee members from talking. Grassley, though, has no choice.

HuffPost via Yahoo, Man Who Pushed To Ask Bill Clinton Sexually Explicit Questions Bemoans Dirty Politics, Amanda Terkel, Sept. 27, 2018. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh came out swinging on Thursday, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that his confirmation process had become a “national disgrace” and bemoaning the partisan politics around it.

“The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy,” he said angrily in his opening remarks. “Since my nomination in July, there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation.”

The dirty politics Kavanaugh is alleging should be no surprise to him, since he spent part of his career in that world.

Kavanaugh cut his teeth in Washington working for what Democrats consider to be the most brazen and partisan crusade in modern politics: Ken Starr’s investigations into President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. He spent more than three years working for the independent counsel, who was looking into various scandals surrounding Clinton and his wife, Hillary.

Kavanaugh personally urged Starr to expand the Whitewater investigation to include looking at the death of White House staffer Vince Foster, a controversy that was a partisan attempt to use a man’s death to go after the Clintons.

Foster died by suicide in 1993, a conclusion reached by U.S. Park Police (his body was found in a park) and the FBI. In fact, multiple investigations concurred that it was a suicide.

Yet in March 1995, after those reviews, Kavanaugh called for a “full-fledged investigation” into Foster’s death. That inquiry helped validate right-wing conspiracy theorists who believed that the Clintons killed Foster, and the matter outraged Foster’s family.

During the Monica Lewinsky inquiry, Kavanaugh pressed Starr to ask Clinton sexually graphic questions about his relationship with the White House intern.

washington post logoorrin hatch oWashington Post, Ford finishes her testimony, Kavanaugh to testify, Seung Min Kim, Ann E. Marimow, Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck​, Sept. 27, 2018. Sen. Hatch, right, calls Christine Blasey Ford an ‘attractive’ witness.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the longest-serving member of the Senate, was asked whether Ford was “credible” in her testimony. “I don’t think she’s un-credible." he said. "I think she’s an attractive, good witness."

ny times logoNew York Times, Nomination in the Balance as Kavanaugh and His Accuser Testify, Catie Edmondson, Sept. 27, 2018. Christine Blasey Ford, shown in a file photo, is set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about her accusation that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Since Dr. Blasey came forward, two christine blasey ford headshot croppedmore women have accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at parties in high school and in college. 

An hour before the hearing, Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, held a news conference in support of Dr. Blasey, flanked by trauma experts who spoke of the difficult and often hostile cultural attitudes faced by survivors of sexual abuse.

patty murray oMs. Murray, left, was one of a number of female senators who was emboldened to run for office after watching Anita F. Hill testify in 1991, and she referenced that experience directly, calling on her colleagues to learn from their past mistakes.

“In 1991, I and millions of women across the country watched as Anita Hill was interrogated and attacked and the Senate failed this crucial test,” Ms. Murray said. holton arms school logo“Twenty-seven years later, in 2018, we need to do better and we certainly should not do worse.”

As Ms. Murray delivered her remarks, dozens of protesters supporting Dr. Blasey poured into the Hart Senate Office Building, chanting “we won’t go back” and wearing shirts that said “Believe Women.” Four young women, wearing their Holton-Arms uniforms, walked through the Hart office buildings hallways, arms linked together.

senate gop judiciary

Republican U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Members

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans

  • chuck grassley officialChuck Grassley, Iowa, Chairman, right.
  • Orrin Hatch, Utah.
  • Lindsey Graham, South Carolina.
  • John Cornyn, Texas.
  • Mike Lee, Utah.
  • Ted Cruz, Texas.
  • Ben Sasse, Nebraska.
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona.

washington post logoWashington Post, Who is Julie Swetnick, the third accuser? Michael E. Miller, Steve Hendrix, Jessica Contrera and Ian Shapira, July 27, 2018. The 55-year-old is an experienced web developer in the Washington area and has held multiple security clearances for her work on government-related networks.

julie swetnickJulie Swetnick, right, who Wednesday became the third woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, is an experienced Web developer in the Washington area who has held multiple security clearances for her work on government-related networks.

The child of two government bureaucrats — her father worked on the lunar orbiter for NASA and her mother was a geologist at the Atomic Energy Commission — has spent most of her life around Washington. Now 55, she grew up in Maryland and graduated in 1980 from Gaithersburg High School, located in a far less affluent section of the same county where Kavanaugh lived and attended an exclusive prep school.

Swetnick’s father, 95, said Wednesday he was shocked to learn from a Washington Post reporter that his daughter had made the explosive allegations.

ny times logoNew York Times, What We Know About Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona Prosecutor Set to Question Kavanaugh’s First Accuser, Matt Stevens, Sept. 27, 2018 (print edition). 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. Rachel Mitchell, right, is shown during a TV interview in 2011 (Screenshot from ABC 15.)rachel mitchell 2011 screenshot

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.

Trump Psyche

Donald Trump (Defense Department photo by Dominique Pineiro)

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump laments #MeToo as ‘very dangerous’ for powerful men, Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker, Sept. 27, 2018 (print edition). President Trump, shown in a file photo, cast doubt on the credibility of three women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and other women who have claimed sexual abuse by prominent men.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Give it to me’: Trump lets loose with 81 minutes of bluster, falsehoods and insults, Ashley Parker, Sept. 27, 2018 (print edition). What was perhaps most remarkable was just how transparent and revealing the 45th president of the United States continues to be.

Media News

kirsten powers michael caputo cnn sept.26 2018

CNN guest commentators Kirsten Powers and Michael Caputo, right, squared off on the show of Anderson Cooper, left.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘I called out his victim blaming and he lost it,’ says Kirsten Powers after Michael Caputo’s CNN meltdown, Allyson Chiu, Sept. 27, 2018. Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign aide turned political strategist and conservative pundit, was thrust into the spotlight after having what many are calling a “meltdown” during a heated panel discussion about the controversial allegations against Kavanaugh on Anderson Cooper’s “AC360” Wednesday night.

Sept. 26


Sept. 26

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.

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, shown above, 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.

Her affidavit states:

“I witnessed Mark Judge 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 [shown at right], 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 mark judge twitterone of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present,” she added.

Avenatti wrote: "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."

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.

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.

washington post logosupreme court graphicWashington 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 woman 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.

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.

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.

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.”

Sept. 25

Cosby, 'America's Dad,' Sentenced

washington post logobill cosbyWashington Post, Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, Staff report, Sept. 25, 2018. Cosby's sentencing follows an April conviction on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a Temple University basketball official he was mentoring.

Dozens of women have publicly accused Cosby, right, of sexual assault in incidents dating from the 1960s and through the 2000s. The prosecution had requested a 5- to 10-year sentence for the 81-year-old entertainer. Cosby has vowed to appeal.

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.

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.

More On Kavanaugh

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 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.

washington post logogerman flagWashington Post, German report documents more than 3,600 abuse cases within the Catholic Church, Luisa Beck and Chico Harlan​, Sept. 25, 2018. A report to be released Tuesday documents the sexual abuse of more than 3,600 people by 1,670 clergy members within Germany's Catholic Church over a period of 68 years — and even those numbers probably underestimate the scale of the problem, the authors say.

Abuse of that magnitude constitutes one of the largest Catholic Church scandals in Europe. But at the same time, it is not altogether surprising to many church watchers. Evidence of widespread abuse and its coverup has been found in every jurisdiction that has launched an investigation. Australia, Chile and several U.S. states are part of the growing list.

Famed Model Speaks Out

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

republican elephant logo

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.

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.

While 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 susan collins lisa murkowski 150x150they 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 photos, with Collins at right.)

ny times logoNew York Times, Brett Kavanaugh, Facing New Allegations, Vows He Will Not Withdraw, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sept. 24, 2018. Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, facing mounting allegations of sexual impropriety and growing doubts over his confirmation to the Supreme Court, vowed on Monday to fight the "smears," saying he will not withdraw his nomination.

"These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse," he wrote in a letter to the senior Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination — if allowed to succeed — will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service."

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process," he continued. "The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed."

[Read Judge Kavanaugh's letter.]

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.

Vanity Fair, "The Strategy Was to Try and Do Something Really Big": Trump Wanted to Nuke Rosenstein to Save Kavanaugh's Bacon, Gabriel Sherman, Sept. 24, 2018. At the beginning of one of the most consequential weeks of Donald Trump's presidency, an enormous smoke bomb was detonated in the news cycle when Axios, deeply wired in Trump's West Wing, reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had resigned.

Quickly, a head-spinning array of conflicting accounts were put forth: had he been fired? Was he heading to the White House to be fired—or was he going to a regularly scheduled meeting? Finally, Sarah Huckabee Sanders brought a measure of clarity by tweeting that whatever was going to happen to Rosenstein would happen on Thursday, when the president returned from New York.

For all the morning's madness, there may have been an underlying logic. Over the weekend, as Brett Kavanaugh's prospects appeared increasingly imperiled, Trump faced two tactical options, both of them fraught. One was to cut Kavanaugh loose. But he was also looking for ways to dramatically shift the news cycle away from his embattled Supreme Court nominee. According to a source briefed on Trump's thinking, Trump decided that firing Rosenstein would knock Kavanaugh out of the news, potentially saving his nomination and Republicans' chances for keeping the Senate. "The strategy was to try and do something really big," the source said. The leak about Rosenstein's resignation could have been the result, and it certainly had the desired effect of driving Kavanaugh out of the news for a few hours.

The confusion surrounding Rosenstein's tenure may not give Kavanaugh a reprieve. In public, Trump continues to voice support for his embattled Supreme Court nominee, telling reporters at the United Nations earlier this morning that he stands with Kavanaugh "all the way." But in private, Trump is growing increasingly frustrated by being mired in a deteriorating political situation beyond his control. On Monday morning, a Republican briefed on Trump's thinking said the president has been considering pulling Kavanaugh's nomination.

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.

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, 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 said he would provide additional evidence in the coming days.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, 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.

Details below.

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.

A few sticking points between the two sides remain, according to people familiar with the talks. One is who will testify first, Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh. Republicans have rejected the idea that the judge would appear first. But perhaps the biggest sticking point is whether senators on the Judiciary Committee will question Dr. Ford themselves, or use an outside lawyer or a committee aide, most likely a woman.

ronan farrowThe New Yorker, Senate Democrats Investigate a New Sexual-Misconduct Allegation Against Brett Kavanaugh, Ronan Farrow (shown at right) and Jane Mayer (shown below at left), 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 was a freshman at Yale University.

jane mayer 2008The 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?

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).

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?

If 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. T

here 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.

ny times logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh Was Supposed to Be a Midterm Boon for G.O.P. Not Anymore, Jonathan Martin, Sept. 23, 2018. No Republican Senate candidate has been as aggressive in using the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh as a political weapon as Josh Hawley, the Missouri attorney general who is in an intensely tight race against Senator Claire McCaskill.

josh hawley missouriA former Supreme Court clerk, Mr. Hawley, right, made his first campaign commercial about control of the court, and he assailed Ms. McCaskill for refusing to say if she would support Judge Kavanaugh. And after the accusation of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh last week, Mr. Hawley denounced Democrats for staging an "ambush."

Yet in Missouri and other politically competitive battleground states, leaders in both parties are increasingly doubtful that Mr. Hawley and other Republicans can wield the Kavanaugh nomination as a cudgel without risking unpredictable repercussions in the midterm elections.

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.

Sept. 22

High Court Battle

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).

washington post logoWashington Post, Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford say she has accepted Senate Judiciary Committee request to testify against Kavanaugh, christine blasey ford headshot croppedWashington Post Staff, Sept. 22, 2018. The Senate Judiciary Committee and lawyers for Ford have been in negotiations for days about whether she would appear before the panel. Ford, shown at right in a file photo, has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s when both were teenagers.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, had given Ford until 2:30 p.m. to respond to a revised offer to testify at a Wednesday hearing. Her lawyers asked the committee for a call later Saturday to work out other specifics.This is a developing story. It will be updated.

Newsweek, Former Trump Aide Jason Miller Accused of Secretly Administering Abortion Pill, Alexandra Hutzler, Sept. 22, 2018. Jason Miller is now engaged in a custody battle with A.J. Delgado. In new court filings, Delgado accuses Miller of secretly giving another woman with whom he newsweek logohad an affair an "abortion pill" after she got pregnant.

Former Donald Trump aide Jason Miller has been accused of secretly administering an "abortion pill" to a woman he got pregnant during an affair, new court documents show.

jason millerThe court filing, obtained and reported on by Splinter, alleges that Miller, shown in a file photo below at right, had an affair with a woman he met at a strip club in Orlando, Florida in 2012. As a result of the affair the woman got pregnant, at which point Miller is accused of giving her with an abortion pill without her knowledge or consent. The woman claims that the pill caused her to lose the baby and nearly cost her her life.

The documents allege that the affair happened when Miller was working for a Republican advertising firm Jamestown Associates. He would often bring clients to Rachel's Gentleman's Club in Orlando, where he allegedly met the woman he would later get pregnant. She is only identified in the court filing as "Jane Doe."

The filing goes on to claim that Miller showed up at Jane Doe's apartment with a smoothie in hand.

"Unbeknownst to Jane Doe, the Smoothie contained an abortion pill. The pill induced an abortion, and Jane Doe wound up in a hospital emergency room, bleeding heavily and nearly went into a coma," the document reads.

As a result of the pill the child died and Jane Doe herself was "hospitalized for two days, the abortion pill possibly reacting with potential street drugs in her system at the time she drank the Smoothie."

Miller's attorney denied these allegations, telling Splinter in a statement: "To be clear, there is no validity to the false accusations made in Ms. Delgado's filing."

jason miller aj delgadoThese allegations were made in court filings made by the legal team of A.J. Delgado, Miller's ex-lover who is suing for custody of their son. Delgado, shown with Miller in file photos, began her affair with Miller in October 2016, after he told her he had separated from his wife. But Miller had never separated from his wife and was, in fact, expecting a child with her when Delgado found out that she was pregnant from their affair. Now, Delgado and Miller are locked in a custody battle.

Miller was Trump's spokesman during his 2016 campaign and a member of the president's transition team. When his affair with Delgado was made public, Miller was essentially forced to turn down a job as the White House communications director. Delgado was also a former Trump campaign staffer.

In previous court filings, Delgado has also accused Miller of sexual and physical abuse, which Miller has also denied.

washington post logoWashington Post, Senate panel to give Kavanaugh accuser more time to decide whether to testify, Sean Sullivan, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner, Sept. 22, 2018 (print edition). Earlier Friday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) set a deadline of 10 p.m. for Christine Blasey Ford to decide whether to testify about her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. But after the deadline passed, Grassley said on Twitter that he "granted another extension" to Ford: "I want to hear her."

washington post logoWashington Post, '100 Kegs or Bust': Kavanaugh friend, Mark Judge, has spent years writing about high school debauchery, Marc Fisher and Perry Stein, Sept. 22, 2018 (print edition). The high-court nominee's accuser says Mark Judge was there and should have to testify. Judge says he does not remember the party and never saw his buddy behave like that.

As Christine Blasey Ford tells it, only one person can offer eyewitness confirmation of her account of a sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh: Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's friend and classmate at Georgetown Prep.

mark judge twitterFord says Judge, shown at right, watched Kavanaugh attack her at a high school party in the early 1980s and then literally piled on, leaping on top of her and Kavanaugh. Judge says he does not remember the party and never saw his buddy behave like that. Ford's legal team has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to compel Judge to testify.

A review of books, articles and blog posts by Judge — a freelance writer who has shifted among jobs at a record store, substitute teaching, housesitting and most recently at a liquor store — describes an '80s private-school party scene in which heavy drinking and sexual encounters were standard fare.

Twitter @ChuckGrassley, Grassley Tweets Kavanaugh on extension to accuser, Chuck Grassley (Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and Republican from Iowa), Sept. 21, 2018.). "Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It's not my normal approach to b indecisive 11:42 PM - 21 Sep 2018."

NBC News, Spokesman for GOP on Kavanaugh nomination resigns; has been accused of harassment in the past, Heidi Przybyla, Sept. 22, 2018. An adviser for nbc news logothe Senate Judiciary Committee has resigned amid questions from NBC News about a previous sexual harassment complaint.

A press adviser helping lead the Senate Judiciary Committee's response to a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has stepped down amid evidence he was fired from a previous political job in part because of a sexual harassment allegation against him.

Garrett Ventry, 29, who served as a communications aide to the committee chaired by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, had been helping coordinate the majority party's messaging in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford's claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago at a high school party. In a response to NBC News, Ventry denied any past "allegations of misconduct."

After NBC News raised questions about Ventry's employment history and the sexual harassment allegation against him, Judiciary Committee Spokesman Taylor Foy replied in a statement: "While (Ventry) strongly denies allegations of wrongdoing, he decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee." Ventry also resigned Saturday from the public relations company where he had been on a temporary leave of absence to work for the Judiciary Committee, a company spokesman told NBC News.

Republicans familiar with the situation had been concerned that Ventry, because of his history, could not lead an effective communications response. Ventry worked as a social media adviser in 2017 in the office of North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell, who fired Ventry after several months. Sources familiar with the situation said Ventry was let go from Bell's office after parts of his résumé were found to have been embellished, and because he faced an accusation of sexual harassment from a female employee of the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican staff.

NBC News, Spokesman for GOP on Kavanaugh nomination resigns; has been accused of harassment in the past, Heidi Przybyla, Sept. 22, 2018. An adviser for nbc news logothe Senate Judiciary Committee has resigned amid questions from NBC News about a previous sexual harassment complaint.

A press adviser helping lead the Senate Judiciary Committee's response to a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has stepped down amid evidence he was fired from a previous political job in part because of a sexual harassment allegation against him.

Garrett Ventry, 29, who served as a communications aide to the committee chaired by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, had been helping coordinate the majority party's messaging in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford's claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago at a high school party. In a response to NBC News, Ventry denied any past "allegations of misconduct."

garrett ventry croppedAfter NBC News raised questions about Ventry's employment history and the sexual harassment allegation against him, Judiciary Committee Spokesman Taylor Foy replied in a statement: "While (Ventry) strongly denies allegations of wrongdoing, he decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee."

Ventry, shown in his Twitter photo, also resigned Saturday from the public relations company where he had been on a temporary leave of absence to work for the Judiciary Committee, a company spokesman told NBC News.

Republicans familiar with the situation had been concerned that Ventry, because of his history, could not lead an effective communications response. Ventry worked as a social media adviser in 2017 in the office of North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell, who fired Ventry after several months. Sources familiar with the situation said Ventry was let go from Bell's office after parts of his résumé were found to have been embellished, and because he faced an accusation of sexual harassment from a female employee of the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican staff.

Sept. 21

washington post logochristine blasey ford high schoolWashington Post, Trump, in overt attack on Kavanaugh accuser, questions her credibility, John Wagner and Seung Min Kim​, Sept. 21, 2018. President Trump contended that Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, would have reported the attack to law enforcement if it "was as bad as she says."

Trump's tweets came as lawyers for Ford (shown in a high school photo) continued negotiations about conditions under which she might testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

senate gop judiciary

Republican U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Members

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans

  • chuck grassley officialChuck Grassley, Iowa, Chairman, right.
  • Orrin Hatch, Utah.
  • Lindsey Graham, South Carolina.
  • John Cornyn, Texas.
  • Mike Lee, Utah.
  • Ted Cruz, Texas.
  • Ben Sasse, Nebraska.
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona.

ENews.com, Lili Reinhart and More Celebrities Join #WhyIDidn'tReport Movement, Cydney Contreras, Sept. 21, 2018. Celebrities are sharing their own experiences with sexual harassment or assault as part of the #WhyIDidn'tReport movement.

On Friday, actresses like Lili Reinhart and Ashley Judd took to Twitter to reveal why they chose not to go to the authorities after suffering from sexual harassment or assault. These women were inspired by Alyssa Milano after she protested the treatment of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

In Ford's defense, the actress tweeted, "Hey, @realDonaldTrump, Listen the f--k up. I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell my parents." She then encouraged women to share their own stories with #WhyIDidn'tReport.

Her statements came after President Donald Trump tweeted, "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"

Celebrities are sharing their own experiences with sexual harassment or assault as part of the #WhyIDidn'tReport movement. Soon after, the hashtag began trending on Twitter and celebrities spoke out about the trauma they endured.

Lili Reinhart, who rose to fame because of her role as Betty in Riverdale, tweeted she was to afraid to come forward with her claims, "Because I didn't want to lose my job or make people think I was a drama queen."

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi also revealed her experiences from over the years. "I was 7 the first time I was sexually assaulted. He was a relative of my mom's second husband. I told my folks and they sent me away," the TV personality shared. She continued, "The second time I was 16 years old and a virgin. He was my boyfriend. 'Date rape' wasn't discussed in the 80's. I was horrified and ashamed."

Padma's experiences and sentiments were echoed by Ashley Judd, who also endured sexual abuse from a young age. "The first time it happened, I was 7. I told the first adults I came upon. They said 'Oh, he's a nice old man, that's not what he meant,'" Judd revealed. "So when I was raped at 15, I only told my diary. When an adult read it, she accused me of having sex with an adult man."

Similarly, Daryl Hannah went through a similar experience, even after reporting the incident. "I did, it didn't matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still get blamed," the actress said.

Other celebrities showed solidarity for the thousands of people who came forward with their stories by highlighting their braveness.

"If you want to see who the leaders are of #MeToo look no further than the thousands of people sharing their #WhyIDidntReport stories. This movement will not be derailed by anyone. It is decentralized collective power which is why it has limitless strength," Patricia Arquette said.

Roll Call, Senate Judiciary Committee Postpones Monday Kavanaugh Hearing, Todd Ruger, Sept. 21, 2018. The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed its hearing, set for Monday, that would have featured Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexually attacking her decades ago.

republican elephant logoAnd in a sign that Senate Republicans are playing hardball to get Ford to agree to their terms to testify, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination in the event there is no deal with Ford.

The notice included no reschedule date and came out amid reports that the panel and Ford's attorneys did not meet a panel-set 5 p.m. deadline to agree to terms.

ed whelan croppedPolitico, PR firm helped Whelan stoke half-baked Kavanaugh alibi, Eliana Johnson, Sept. 21, 2018. CRC Public Relations, a powerhouse conservative firm, guided Ed Whelan, right, on a bad Twitter adventure.

It turns out that the Keystone Cops detective work by conservative legal activist Ed Whelan — which set Washington abuzz with the promise of exonerating Brett Kavanaugh, only to be met by mockery and then partially retracted — was not his handiwork alone.

CRC Public Relations, the prominent Alexandria, Virginia-based P.R. firm, guided Whelan through his roller-coaster week of Twitter pronouncements that ended in embarrassment and a potential setback for Kavanaugh's hopes of landing on the high court, according to three sources familiar with their dealings.

republican elephant logoAfter suggesting on Twitter on Tuesday that he had obtained information that would exculpate Kavanaugh from the sexual assault allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford, Whelan worked over the next 48 hours with CRC and its president, Greg Mueller, to stoke the anticipation.

A longtime friend of Kavanaugh's, Whelan teased his reveal — even as he refused to discuss it with other colleagues and close friends, a half dozen of them said. At the same time, he told them he was absolutely confident the information he had obtained would exculpate the judge.

The hype ping-ponged from Republicans on Capitol Hill to Kavanaugh's team in the White House, evidence of an extraordinarily successful public relations campaign that ultimately backfired when Whelan's theory — complete with architectural drawings and an alleged Kavanaugh doppelgänger — landed with a thud on Twitter Thursday evening.

Media News: Sinclair Promos For Kavanaugh?

djt boris epshteyn sinclair kavanaugh sept 21 2018 Custom 2

President Trump sat down for an interview with Sinclair's chief political analyst, Boris Epshteyn, who has never disagreed with the president in his commentary (screenshot).

Media Matters, Opinion: In an interview with Sinclair, Trump touts Kavanaugh's "unblemished record" and says he thinks he will be confirmed, Pam Vogel, Sept. 21, 2018. Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner and operator of local TV stations in the country, regularly broadcasts pro-Trump propaganda segments created by an ex-Trump staffer into the homes of millions of Americans. And now those segments include an interview with President Donald Trump himself, in which he was given a friendly platform to discuss his continued support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite a report that he committed sexual assault.

The media company's chief political analyst, Boris Epshteyn, has been producing regular commentary segments, called "Bottom Line With Boris," for Sinclair for more than a year. Epshteyn had previously worked in the Trump White House on the communications team, after doing stints on the Trump inaugural committee and on the Trump campaign. Epshteyn also served as a Trump media surrogate throughout the campaign and first days of the Trump presidency. Epshteyn is personal friends with the president's sons Eric and Donald Jr., and he has been spotted at Trump International Hotel multiple times, including with Don Jr. in June. He also may or may not have signed a nondisparagement agreement while he was working on the campaign, which could legally prevent him from criticizing Trump.

For a chief political analyst, Epshteyn offers takes that are notably unoriginal. At best, he regurgitates Trump talking points or touts some vague, imaginary bipartisan ideals that involve being nicer to Trump. At worst, he defends the most upsetting, racist things Trump does. In fact, in a recent interview on a National Review podcast, Epshteyn could not think of a single issue about which he had disagreed with the Trump administration in any of his commentary segments. What's more: These segments ultimately air on an estimated 100 TV news stations under Sinclair's control, exploiting the trust people have in their local news.

Given the president's penchant for granting interviews to sycophants, it was only a matter of time before Trump himself made an appearance on "Bottom Line with Boris."

On September 21, Epshteyn shared the first of what will likely be several must-run segments featuring excerpts from his sit-down with the president. This one is focused on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court and professor Christine Blasey Ford's account of sexual assault by Kavanaugh when they were both in high school. In the segment, Trump largely repeats broad White House talking points about making sure Ford is heard, and then pivots to touting Kavanaugh's "unblemished record." Trump also says he believes Kavanaugh will ultimately still be confirmed.

BORIS EPSHTEYN: The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is facing last-minute turmoil over allegations that he committed sexual assault decades ago. I spoke with President Trump about this in a one-on-one, exclusive interview. Here's what he shared.

[INTERVIEW CLIP BEGINS]

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think they've been very respectful of Dr. Ford, extremely respectful. I think they're doing the right thing. They want to give her a voice, if she wants to take it. They're talking now about timing. It's already been delayed a week. That's a long time. This is the U.S. Senate we're talking about.

EPSHTEYN: Right.

TRUMP: I can only say this: Let her speak. But Brett Kavanaugh is one of the finest people you'll ever meet. I think it's been extremely hard on him and his family. When I look at what's happening -- here's a man with an unblemished record, and to be going through this all of a sudden. So I won't say anything now. All I'm saying is that -- let it play out. Let her have open voice. And let's see what happens.

This year, Epshteyn has aired interviews with seven other members of the Trump administration, eight Republican congressmen, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The appearances include: then-Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Council of Economic Advisers Chair Kevin Hassett, and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI). DeSantis, McCarthy, Rooney, and Duffy are all on ballots this year.

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh accuser open to testifying later next week, dismisses theory of a different attacker, Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey and Emma Brown, Sept. 21, 2018 (print edition). A lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford said she "wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety." Brett M. Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination was roiled further by tweets from a friend who named another classmate as Ford's possible attacker.

djt brett kavanaugh family 7 9 18 Small

President Trump introduces U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, shown with family, as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court on July 9, 2018 (White House photo)

Center for American Progress, Opinion: Kavanaugh's Credibility Chasm, Jake Faleschini and Jesse Lee, Sept. 21, 2018. Amid a crisis in Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination process, new reports suggest that President Trump's nominee may have been personally involved in a public relations effort to shift blame for sexual assault allegations made against him onto another specific individual with unsubstantiated speculation from an ally.

This alone would demonstrate a deep breach of integrity and credibility and would be disqualifying in itself for a position on the highest court in the land. Unfortunately, it also aligns with an entire career using dishonest tactics and statements to advance his personal ambition.

In Judge Brett Kavanaugh's first words on the national stage as a Supreme Court nominee, he made two plainly false statements in quick succession. In a vacuum, they might be dismissed as overly effusive pleasantries; in fact, they were part of a decades-long pattern of defaulting toward deception whenever useful.

"Mr. President, thank you. Throughout this process, I've witnessed firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary," Kavanaugh stated. This immediately stood as a refutation of Trump's previous nominee Neil Gorsuch, who had in fact condemned Trump's well-known, ruthless attacks on the judiciary, reportedly leaving Trump outraged. Kavanaugh was making clear there that he would offer no such dissent. In fact, Kavanaugh later refused to echo Gorsuch's criticism of Trump in his own hearing.

Later in his initial statement, Kavanaugh said, "No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination." Again, this claim is ridiculous on its face and is reminiscent of early Trump Cabinet meetings where attendees would heap superlative praise upon Trump. But it also spoke to a deeper deception: In fact, Trump had explicitly promised to choose his nominee off of a pre-approved list from conservative advocacy groups, a list to which Kavanaugh's name had mysteriously been added just months before.

More generally, though, Kavanaugh's statement shows he opts to say what is best in the moment in order to advance his career. This is even if those statements were objectively — even obviously — misleading. However, this is no new tactic for Kavanaugh. As shown below, this has been a hallmark of his entire career.

  • Leaking information for Ken Starr
  • Accessing stolen documents
  • Warrantless wiretapping
  • Judicial Nominations
  • Sexual harassment allegations against Judge Alex Kozinski
  • Roe v. Wade
  • Presidential Power

Kavanaugh began his career as a political operative willing to use whatever deceptive means necessary — from leaking in the special counsel's office to dealing with stolen documents in court fights while in the White House. Worse than that, though, when he attempted to transition into a career in the judicial branch, he neither changed his ways nor owned up to his past behavior. Instead, he repeatedly misled the Senate about his prior deceptions, from one confirmation hearing to the next.

Kavanaugh may have rightly believed that, with the Senate controlled by other partisan Republicans, lying and misconstruing facts regarding his record would have no consequence. Indeed, Senate Republicans have blocked any review of the vast majority of his record, so this list of false and misleading statements represents only a small portion of the total.

But, as his Supreme Court confirmation process comes to a head — hinging precisely on whether his denials of credible accusations against him should be believed — Kavanaugh's record of almost casual deception has caught up with him. The American people simply have no reason to believe him.

Another GOP Pervert Scandal?

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), MN Rep. Jim Knoblach ends campaign ahead of MPR abuse allegations story, Nina Moini and Briana Bierschbach, Sept. 21, jim knoblach2018. Republican state Rep. Jim Knoblach, right, abruptly ended his re-election campaign Friday as MPR News prepared to publish detailed accusations from his daughter of inappropriate behavior toward her since childhood.

The announcement came hours after an attorney for Knoblach denied the allegations in an interview.

Knoblach, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, declined to be interviewed after being approached more than a week ago.

In a written statement, Knoblach called the allegations "indescribably hurtful" and said he would work toward healing his family.

republican elephant logo"I love my children more than anything, and would never do anything to hurt them. Her allegations are false," Knoblach wrote. "I and other family members have made repeated attempts to reconcile with her in recent years, but she has refused."

The timing of his exit could make his St. Cloud-area seat, already a top target for Democrats, impossible for Republicans to hold, barring some kind of court intervention or a write-in campaign by a substitute candidate. Knoblach was seeking a ninth term and was being challenged by Democratic candidate Dan Wolgamott, also of St. Cloud. Knoblach plans to serve out his term.

More #MeToo News

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: I was sexually assaulted. Here's why I don't remember many of the details, Patti Davis, Sept. 21, 2018. Patti Davis, the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, describes an attack from 40 years ago at a prominent music executive's office. She says she never told anyone for decades. And it doesn't surprise her, she writes, that for more than 30 years, Christine Blasey Ford didn't talk about the assault she accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of committing.

It doesn't surprise me one bit that for more than 30 years, Christine Blasey Ford didn't talk about the assault she remembers, the one she accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of committing.

It's important to understand how memory works in a traumatic event. Ford has been criticized for the things she doesn't remember, like the address where she says the assault happened, or the time of year, or whose house it was. But her memory of the attack itself is vivid and detailed. His hand over her mouth, another young man piling on, her fear that maybe she'd die there, unable to breathe. That's what happens: Your memory snaps photos of the details that will haunt you forever, that will change your life and live under your skin. It blacks out other parts of the story that really don't matter much.

ABC News, Female sailors at highest risk of sexual assault, Defense Department finds, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Sept. 21, 2018. Newly released data from the Department of Defense shows female sailors are at the highest risk of sexual assault, compared to women serving in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The risk is highest on U.S. Navy ships, including on a majority of the nation's aircraft carriers, the data shows.

Military installations in the Washington, D.C., region were typically associated with the lowest risk of sexual assault for men and women.

The findings were published on Friday in a RAND Corporation study, commissioned by the Pentagon, that used data collected in 2014 through more than 170,000 surveys of active duty service members. The study identified the 15 lowest-risk and highest-risk installations for men and women in each service.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Assault survivors speak out, Multiple letter writers, self-identified as sexual assault victims, Sept. 21, 2018. In Kathleen Parker's Sept. 16 op-ed, "Last-minute accusations won't doom Kavanaugh," Ms. Parker wrote: "So here we are debating an adolescent boy's qualifications to become a Supreme Court justice. What's next, his potty training?"

Given that Ms. Parker's opinion piece was written before Christine Blasey Ford's public statements about Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, I'm hoping she reconsiders this flip statement.

At 16, I was sexually assaulted. Sexual assault never leaves you — it alters every next step you take for life. Running on a path alone? No, thank you. Parking garages at night? Opening the door when alone? No.

— Susan Scott, Arlington

washington post logoWashington Post, GOP congressman jokes about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped — by Abraham Lincoln, Reis Thebault, Sept. 21, 2018. A South Carolina congressman kicked off an election debate Thursday with a joke — which got a few laughs inside the room, but drew condemnation from observers across the state and country who didn't find it funny at all.

ralph norman south carolina"Did y'all hear this latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings?" Rep. Ralph Norman (R), right, asked the audience at a Kiwanis Club in Rock Hill, S.C., referring to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln."

At 85, Ginsburg is the oldest Supreme Court justice and its preeminent liberal dissenter.

The comment from Norman, who is running for reelection in November, comes at the height of the controversy surrounding sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, who has denied the accusations. Elsewhere, Republicans have taken a cautious approach to commenting on the allegations, wary of the potential political fallout if their party is seen as dismissive of Kavanaugh's accuser.

Norman's off-color attempt at humor drew swift criticism, and many felt the congressman was making light of women who come forward to talk about their experience with sexual violence.

washington post logoWashington Post via Philly.com, In 1992, Cory Booker admitted to groping a high school classmate and issued a call for sexual respect, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Sept. 21, 2018. When he was in high school, Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat and possible White House contender, groped his classmate as they kissed. He reached for her breast, and when she swatted his hand away, he made another attempt.

cory booker official profileThe incident resurfaced this week as Booker joined calls for an FBI investigation into the allegation of high-school-era sexual assault leveled by Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.

But the skeleton in Booker's closet seized on by outlets such as Fox News and the Daily Caller wasn't really in his closet. The senator himself chose years ago to air the issue, marking a notable contrast with instances in which accusations of impropriety burst forth as a result of media investigation or opposition research.

In 1992, Booker, then a student at Stanford University, wrote a column for his college newspaper in which he recounted the groping and used his own behavior to underscore, in starkly personal terms, how his views had shifted on gender and sexual respect. He credited his work as a peer counselor with the transformation.

"After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my 'mark,'" he wrote. "Our groping ended soon and while no 'relationship' ensued, a friendship did. You see, the next week in school she told me that she was drunk that night and didn't really know what she was doing."

"Senator Booker's Stanford Daily column has been the focus of disingenuous right-wing attacks that have circulated online and in partisan outlets for the past five years," a spokeswoman for Booker said in an email. "These attacks ring hollow to anyone who reads the entirety of the column, which is in fact a direct criticism of a culture that encourages young men to take advantage of women – written at a time when so candidly discussing these issues was rare – and speaks to the impact Senator Booker's experience working to help rape and sexual assault survivors as a college peer counselor had on him."

Sept. 20

aj delgado jason miller

Philly.com, Ex-Trump staffer Jason Miller out at CNN after abortion allegation, Rob Tornoe, Sept. 21, 2018. Jason Miller, a former Trump staffer who parlayed his time on the president's campaign to land a paid contributor job at CNN, announced on Saturday night he was leaving the network following explosive allegations he impregnated a woman and drugged her with an "abortion pill."

The claims were made in court documents filed on Sept. 14 by A.J. Delgado, also a former Trump staffer, whom Miller impregnated during an extramarital affair that took place during the 2016 presidential campaign. Delgado claims prior to their affair, Miller also impregnated a different woman after meeting her at an Orlando, Fla., strip club in 2012.

According to Delgado, when the woman found out she was pregnant, Miller gave her a smoothie dosed with an abortion pill without her knowledge, leading to the pregnancy's termination. The court documents, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, were first obtained by Splinter.

Miller, who is married with two young daughters, said in a statement posted on Twitter the allegations made by Delgado are "false and defamatory," and said, "none of this is in any way true."

Miller and Delgado have been locked in a legal battle over custody of their son, William. In an August 2017 profile published in the Atlantic, Delgado claims that Miller asked on two separate occasions if "there was any chance I'd terminate the pregnancy." Miller denied that claim.

Miller isn't the only pro-Trump contributor who has run into an issue while working for CNN. Back in August, Paris Dennard was suspended after the Washington Post reported he had been fired from a previous job for alleged sexual harassment. Pennsylvania native and former Reagan White House staffer Jeffrey Lord was fired in August 2017 after using a Nazi reference in a tweet directed at the president of the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters.

These pro-Trump commentators, most of whom signed non-disclosure agreements during their time with the Trump campaign (Miller admitted to signing an NDA), were once described by CNN CEO Jeffrey Zucker as "characters in a drama," with the intention of hitting a viral nerve or making a memorable appearance that can be debated over and over again throughout the day.

JIP Editor's Pick: Top Commentaries

washington post logojennifer rubin new headshotWashington Post, Opinion: Republicans, be forewarned: Kavanaugh's accuser has options, Jennifer Rubin, right, Sept. 20, 2018. Trump, whom a flock of women has accused of harassment and assault, and the all-male Republican contingent on the Senate Judiciary Committee might think they have Ford cornered. The reality is that she has many options, some of which are far more dangerous to Republicans than what she has demanded, namely an FBI investigation.

Ford might choose to appear on Monday, and make a powerful opening statement accusing Republicans of running a sham investigation. Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), shown screaming at a Democrat during the hearing, has figured out it would be a good idea to interview her in advance of Monday's hearings, but the staffers conducting the interview would be unlikely to have the ability or the will to follow up on investigative leads.

Ford can use the hearing to put the senators, who have behaved shabbily, on defense.

republican elephant logoFord has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people. She can sit down for an interview with a respected TV journalist. She can say whatever she wants, make certain that experts are heard and even recount the much more extensive investigative efforts undertaken when Hill stepped forward. To make her case to the American people and convince them that she is sincere, honest and credible, Ford doesn't need the Senate.

Ford also might have the ability to go to local police to investigate if the White House refuses to activate the FBI. The Hill reports: "Can Brett Kavanaugh be investigated for an attempted rape he allegedly committed over three decades ago? In Maryland, it's entirely possible under the law, according to some experts.

washington post logoWashington Post, 'These are the stories of our lives': Prep school alumni hear echoes in assault claim, Joe Heim, Sept. 20, 2018 (print edition). Lettina Lanyi remembers. It was 1986, and she was in eighth grade.

christine blasey ford high schoolLanyi has thought about that night often since Sunday, when Christine Blasey Ford (shown at right in a high school photo) publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she was a 15-year-old student at Holton-Arms School and he was a 17-year-old student at Georgetown Prep. She has thought about stories of male entitlement and drunken sexual assault she heard from classmates while she was a student at Prep's Bethesda neighbor, Stone Ridge of the Sacred Heart, and the many more stories she has heard in the years since their graduation.

There was a lot of shame and stigma then if a girl was raped, so girls tried to hide it. They didn't tell anyone," Lanyi said. "The term 'date rape' wasn't something that even existed then. So if it happened, it was always kind of the girl's fault."

Lanyi's recollection of a private school culture suffused by alcohol and drugs — and frequent if unreported sexual assault or misbehavior — is widely shared by students who attended those schools in the 1980s. It was, they recalled, an era marked by excess and illegality that went widely unchecked by parents and school leaders who were unaware or uninterested in cracking down on the behavior.

On Tuesday, Lanyi helped launch an online letter of support for Ford from women and men who grew up in the upper Northwest Washington neighborhoods and Maryland suburbs that fed into the exclusive private schools and country clubs during the same era that Ford and Kavanaugh attended their schools.

The letter's message to Ford is unambiguous: "We believe you. Each one of us heard your story and not one of us was surprised. These are the stories of our lives and our friends' lives." More than 300 people signed the letter, including graduates of Stone Ridge, Georgetown Prep, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Gonzaga and many others.

A similar letter of support for Ford from Holton-Arms graduates bore 925 signatures Wednesday, including from actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Class of 1979. The letters came in response to a missive Friday signed by 65 women supporting Kavanaugh after the assault allegations emerged but before Ford came forward.

"We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect," read the letter, from women who attended schools including Visitation, Stone Ridge and Holton-Arms. This story is based on interviews with two dozen former students, many of whom asked not to be identified because of how tightly knit and powerful the alumni from those schools are, and because they fear retribution or harassment for speaking out on the allegations engulfing Kavanaugh's nomination.

Roll Call, Judiciary Staffer's Tweets Fuel Fight Over Kavanaugh Accuser, Todd Ruger, Sept. 20, 2018. 'Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh,' committee's chief staffer says.

Amid a pitched partisan battle over how the Senate handles an allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman decades ago as a teenager, liberal groups on Thursday seized on comments from a Judiciary Committee staffer to paint the process as a sham.

Mike Davis, the committee's chief staffer for nominations, tweeted twice overnight about his key role in the committee's review of Christine Blasey Ford's allegation, as well as criticism of Ford's attorneys and his desired outcome of the process.

"Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh. #ConfirmKavanaugh #SCOTUS," Davis tweeted at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

wayne madsen new headshotWayne Madsen Report (WMR), Opinion: Kavanaugh and Georgetown Prep: Pedophilia acceptance, Wayne Madsen, Sept. 20, 2018 (subscription required, with excerpt below by permission). Investigative reporter and author Wayne Madsen, right, is a former Navy intelligence officer who was appointed to be a temporary FBI special agent during a period in the 1980s to help convict his Navy commanding officer on pedophilia charges.

Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's dubious nominee for the Supreme Court, not only faces questions about his views on a woman's right to choose her own health decisions and his own questionable past treatment of women, but his elite high school.

Georgetown Preparatory High School in North Bethesda, Maryland has been a hotbed for Roman Catholic sex abuse of minors. As a member of the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh would become the court's fifth Catholic judge. His decisions on cases involving the cover-up of child sex abuse by religious organizations and politically powerful individuals could dictate for decades to come how the nation deals with the issue of sex abuse of minors.

More on Kavanaugh

Esquire, Opinion: We Learned Something New About Brett Kavanaugh's College Days. Spoiler: It's Not Great! Charles P. Pierce, Sept. 20, 2018. Plus, there's apparently a "certain look" he requires of his clerks.

What's new with our future Supreme Court justice? One thing we have learned as things have spun out of control completely is that Brett Kavanaugh, in his own prep-school, Ivy League, highly credentialed way, is one strange dude.

Sept. 19

'This Incident Did Happen'

christine blasey ford high schoolThe New Civil Rights Movement, 'This Incident Did Happen': Woman Says She Knew Kavanaugh and 'Many of Us Heard About It in School,' David Badash, Sept. 19, 2018. Christine Blasey Ford's high school who have signed on to a letter supporting her has come forward to say Brett Kavanaugh did sexually assault Christine Blasey in high school. Dr. Ford is shown at right in high school. She says she was 15 at the time she was attacked.

In postings to Facebook and Twitter, which she says she has since deleted because the media is contacting her and she is unsure of how to move forward, Christina King writes that at the time, 'many of us heard about it in school and Christine's recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know the accusation is true.'

King, who has also been identified as Christina King Miranda, says drinking in those days at these private Catholic prep schools was 'out of control.'

See also, OpEdNews, 'This Incident Did Happen': Woman Says She Knew Kavanaugh and 'Many of Us Heard About It in School, Rob Kall (Founder and publisher of prominent progressive site OpEdNews that has extensive social media capabilities), Sept. 19, 2018. Quick Link: 'This Incident Did Happen.'

Raw Story, Former Georgetown Prep classmate calls Kavanaugh accusations 'story I know was repeated dozens of times,' Sarah K. Burris, Sept. 19, 2018. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault while in a room with friend Mark Judge. Judge has since come to Kavanaugh's defense with emphatic declarations about their lives at Georgetown Prep. But one fellow classmate is calling Judge out for his history of victim-shaming.

According to a Facebook post by Eric Ruyak, Judge went on the attack after Ruyak alleged a priest from Georgetown Prep molested him.

"For those of you who don't know, I went to Georgetown Prep, where both Kavanaugh and Gorsuch went as well," wrote Ruyak. "When I came forward with allegations regarding Gary Orr, a former priest, sexually assaulting me…Mark Judge (Kavanaugh's friend in this who despicable story of sexual assault) reached out to alums saying that Gary Orr was a great priest and that I had obviously been corrupted by liberalism into a homosexual and therefore was most definitely lying."

Years later, Orr admitted to raping many children and Georgetown Prep confessed to the incident in a letter to parents and students. "There are inevitable feelings of sadness, disbelief and anger, which are the same emotions I have been struggling with," Rev. William L. George, president of Georgetown Prep. said in a letter.

Palmer Report, Classmate corroborates Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, Sept. 19, 2018. After Senate Republicans blinked by agreeing to delay the committee confirmation vote for Brett Kavanaugh until his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford could testify, she decided to up the ante by demanding that the FBI criminally investigate the matter before she testifies. Now a former classmate of Ford is corroborating her accusations, raising the stakes even further.

Cristina King Miranda made a lengthy post on social media, in which she stated that "This incident did happen. Many of us heard about it in school." In legal terms this is a big deal. Miranda didn't personally witness the incident in question. But because people were talking about the incident shortly after it happened, it means one of two things. Either Ford was telling people about the incident back then, or someone else at the party witnessed it and was aware of it back then. At the least, this proves that this is not some story that Ford has fabricated in adulthood.

Miranda has since deleted her original post, before tweeting this explanation: "Hi all, deleted this because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews from The Wash Post, CNN, CBS News. Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading." She then added "To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That's it. I don't have more to say on the subject."

Congressman Ted Lieu, a former JAG prosector, retweeted Miranda's letter and added this: "Additional evidence below that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is telling the truth about having been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh." In other words, this is indeed an important legal development. If Dr. Ford is successful in leveraging her testimony into an FBI investigation, Miranda is precisely the kind of witness the FBI would want to speak with. It's also a reminder that if the FBI does start investigating Brett Kavanaugh, the odds are that he will end up in prison – particularly when you throw in his recent felony perjury – and he's familiar enough with the federal criminal justice system to know that his freedom would be at stake.

Grassley Threat

chuck grassley oRoll Call, Grassley Says Monday Hearing Not Likely Without Kavanaugh Accuser, John T. Bennett, Sept. 19, 2018. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, right, said Wednesday a planned Monday hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would likely not go on without accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Asked about Ford saying she wouldn't appear on Monday, the chairman indicated it would not go on without the accuser present because the nominee would not know the full scope of allegations against him. Any decision to cancel that session, Grassley said, will be made at the "last" possible minute.

Other Notable #MeToo Claims

ny times logoNew York Times, Mavericks and Mark Cuban Sanctioned by N.B.A. Over Handling of Sexual Harassment, Scott Cacciola, Sept. 19, 2018. An investigation determined Cuban could have done more to address misconduct among team officials. The owner agreed to donate $10 million to charities in lieu of a fine.

mark cuban mavsMark Cuban (shown in a file photo), the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will pay $10 million to women's leadership and domestic-violence organizations under an agreement with the N.B.A. announced Wednesday to address sexual harassment and other improper conduct among employees in the team's front office.

The payment, and other reporting, staffing and leadership changes, are a result of a monthslong investigation into accusations against several employees, including the former team president and chief executive, Terdema Ussery.

Cuban did not face accusations of misconduct, but the investigation found his supervision severely lacking, and he agreed to the payment, avoiding a fine. Still, the payment by far exceeds the amount of any fine the league has imposed on a team or owner.

ny times logoNew York Times, New York Review of Books Editor Is Out Amid Uproar Over #MeToo Essay, Cara Buckley, Sept. 19, 2018.  Ian Buruma, the editor of The New York Review of Books, left his position on Wednesday amid an uproar over the magazine's publication of an essay by a disgraced Canadian radio broadcaster who had been accused of sexually assaulting women.

"Ian Buruma is no longer the editor of The New York Review of Books," Nicholas During, a publicist for the magazine, wrote in an email.

The essay's author, Jian Ghomeshi, who was acquitted of sexual assault charges in 2016, lamented his status as a pariah, "constantly competing with a villainous version of myself online."

It caused immediate furor, with some criticizing what they saw as a self-pitying tone, and soft pedaling of the accusations, which included slapping and choking, and had come from more than 20 women, rather than "several," as Mr. Ghomeshi wrote. Mr. Buruma drew further censure by giving an interview that many interpreted as showing a lack of interest in the accusations against Mr. Ghomeshi.

Sept. 18.senate gop judiciary

Republican U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Members

Yahoo News, Analysis: Republican men — and not a single GOP woman — will be Christine Blasey Ford's interrogators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Alexander Nazaryan, Sept. 18, 2018. Next week, Christine Blasey Ford will likely face intense questioning from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the truthfulness of her accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, who she says attempted to rape her during a party in the 1980s. Her turn on Capitol Hill could decide Kavanaugh's suddenly uncertain fate, as well as the Supreme Court's direction for a generation.

republican elephant logoFord will face questions from the 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Ford will face questions from the 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, all of them men, with an average age of 62. (The chairman, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the second-oldest sitting senator, is 85.) In the committee's 202-year history, it has not had a single Republican woman. Four of the 10 Democrats are women, including ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who is a few months older than Grassley. The committee has never been chaired by a woman.

The spectacle of Ford, 51, being interrogated about her sexual history by older men could present an uncomfortable sight that the White House may take great pains to avoid. The outrage over that discrepancy, however, is already building. "In the year 2018, a group of white men has essentially complete control over lifetime nominations to an entire branch of government," tweeted Robert Reich, the former Labor secretary and current Berkeley professor. The message was retweeted more than 2,000 times

In the last 40 years, use of the judiciary to advance ideological goals has rendered the process of nominating judges highly political, with nominees evaluated on a narrow range of cultural issues, notably abortion, gun control and, until recently, gay marriage. That has tended to turn the Senate Judiciary into a hotbed of assertive ideologues, including, recently, Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz. GOP women have made their contributions elsewhere, effectively ceding judicial nominations to their male counterparts.

cnn logoCNN, Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying, Sophie Tatum, Sept. 18, 2018. The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault says the FBI should investigate the incident before senators hold a hearing on the allegations.

In a letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and obtained by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys argue that "a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions."

The letter from Ford's lawyers notes that despite receiving a "stunning amount of support from her community," Ford has also "been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats" and has been forced to leave her home.

"We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and Ranking Member Feinstein to discuss reasonable steps as to how Dr. Ford can cooperate while also taking care of her own health and security," the letter from Ford's lawyers said.

"What we're saying is there should be an investigation because that's the right thing to do," Ford's attorney Lisa Banks told Cooper.

"She is prepared to cooperate with the committee and with any law enforcement investigation," she added.

The letter comes after a day of uncertainty about whether the hearing scheduled for Monday would even take place, as Republicans continued to emphasize their repeated efforts to reach out to Ford.

Democrats have pushed back on the hearing. All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter on Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and White House counsel Don McGahn arguing that the FBI should conduct an investigation prior to a hearing.

washington post logoWashington Post, Democrats protest plan to limit witnesses at new Kavanaugh hearing, John Wagner, Seung Min Kim and Robert Costa, Sept. 18, 2018. No. 2 Senate Republican sharply questions credibility of Kavanaugh accuser·​The No. 2 Republican in the Senate on Tuesday sharply questioned the credibility of the woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, as GOP leaders indicated they will limit witnesses at next week's hearing to just the Supreme Court nominee and his accuser.

john cornyn o SmallSpeaking to reporters, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), right, said he was concerned by "gaps" in the account of Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor in California, who told The Washington Post in an interview published Sunday that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed on her back, groped her and put his hand over her mouth at a house party in the early 1980s when the two were in high school.

"The problem is, Dr. Ford can't remember when it was, where it was, or how it came to be," Cornyn told reporters at the Capitol late Tuesday morning.

When asked whether he was questioning the accuser's account — which Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied — Cornyn said, "There are some gaps there that need to be filled."

His comments came shortly after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) outlined a plan to limit testimony at Monday's planned hearing to that provided by Kavanaugh and Ford — which brought cries of protest from Democrats.

They insisted that other witnesses also be called, including Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ford said witnessed the assault. "What about other witnesses like Kavanaugh's friend Mark Judge?" ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California said in a statement. "What about individuals who were previously told about this incident? What about experts who can speak to the effects of this kind of trauma on a victim? This is another attempt by Republicans to rush this nomination and not fully vet Judge Kavanaugh."

Speaking to reporters later, Grassley defended his plan. "We've had two people that want to tell their story and that's what we're gonna do," he said. Pressed about the precedent of the Hill hearing, Grassley said: "You're talking about history. We're not looking back. We're looking forward."

Kavanaugh was at the White House on Tuesday for a second day in a row, but Trump said he has not spoken to him.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Is there a Kavanaugh doppelganger? Kathleen Parker, Sept. 18, 2018. In one of Brett M. Kavanaugh's responses to allegations that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl when he was in high school, a charge he has denied "categorically and unequivocally," he suggested that, perhaps, this was a case of mistaken identity.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), a member of the Judiciary Committee, reiterated this notion, saying that perhaps the accuser was "mixed up." And on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board also floated the possibility of mistaken identity.

As crazy as that sounds, it wouldn't be unheard of. And, given the high regard in which Kavanaugh has been held throughout his life, including during high school, it would make the most sense. Could there be a Kavanaugh doppelganger?

JIP Editor's note: This column prompted 1.9 thousand reader comments as of Sept. 23, many if not most of them highly critical. Many of the recent ones alleged that the column may have been the first attempt by right-wing think tank president and longtime GOP operative Ed Whelan, a friend of Kavanaugh's, Whelan's public relations company CRC Public Relations and / or the Trump White House to help Kavanaugh by accusing an innocent classmate (whom Whelan and CRC later named) as having attacked Ford at the party. Thus, the first reader comment listed as of Sept. 23 was: "Did Ms. Parker collude with Ed Whelan or CRC Public Relations in writing this article? The reading public wants to know the truth."

ny times logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh and His Accuser Will Both Testify Monday, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Sept. 18, 2018 (print edition). The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, under mounting pressure from senators of his own party, will call President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault before the committee on Monday for extraordinary public hearings just weeks before the midterm elections.

chuck grassley oSenator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, told reporters Monday afternoon that the chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley, right, Republican of Iowa, told senators there would be an "opportunity" for senators to hear from Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a public setting where senators would be able to ask questions. Both have said they are willing to testify. A Senate Republican aide confirmed that it would be on Monday, effectively delaying a planned committee vote on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, which had been scheduled for this Thursday.

The hearings will set up a potentially explosive public showdown, one that carries unmistakable echoes of the 1991 testimony of Anita Hill, who accused the future Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in an episode that riveted the nation and ushered a slew of women into public office. They will play out against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, which has energized Democratic women across the nation.

anita hill 2013 documentary poster

Brandeis University professor Anita Hill, as portrayed in the 2013 documentary "Anita" based on her experiences testifying against future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right, Anita Hill, Sept. 18, 2018. The Senate Judiciary Committee has a chance to do better by the country than it anita hill clarence thomas time scandaldid nearly three decades ago.

Select a neutral investigative body with experience in sexual misconduct cases that will investigate the incident in question and present its findings to the committee. Outcomes in such investigations are more reliable and less likely to be perceived as tainted by partisanship. Senators must then rely on the investigators' conclusions, along with advice from experts, to frame the questions they ask Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey. Again, the senators' fact-finding roles must guide their behavior. The investigators' report should frame the hearing, not politics or myths about sexual assault.

Do not rush these hearings. Doing so would not only signal that sexual assault accusations are not important — hastily appraising this situation would very likely lead to facts being overlooked that are necessary for the Senate and the public to evaluate. That the committee plans to hold a hearing this coming Monday is discouraging. Simply put, a week's preparation is not enough time for meaningful inquiry into very serious charges.

WUSA (Washington, DC), Brett Kavanaugh high school yearbook raises new questions about Supreme Court nominee, Staff report, Sept. 18, 2018. Brett Kavanaugh's high school yearbook has pages dedicated to each graduating high school senior. Kavanaugh's page includes references to the "Keg City Club" and "100 kegs or bust."

Amid accusations of sexual assault against a woman while in high school, the high school yearbook of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has prompted more questions about his character.

brett kavanaugh flagKavanaugh, shown in a file photo, graduated from Bethesda's Georgetown Prep high school in 1983.

Washington, D.C.-area attorney Seth Berenzweig received the yearbook from a woman who did not want her name revealed. Berenzweig says she brought it forward after seeing Judge Kavanaugh's repeated denial of engaging in inappropriate behavior with a then 15-year-old girl at a high school party.

"The question of integrity and character and fitness," said Berenzweig. "There's information here that appears to potentially be inconsistent with what the judge said earlier this morning."

The yearbook has pages dedicated to each graduating high school senior. Kavanaugh's page includes references to the "Keg City Club" and "100 kegs or bust."

"[He's] someone who apparently may have had a reputation for some heavy drinking," said Berenzweig. Kavanaugh's page also includes a reference to the 'Devil's Triangle', one possible interpretation of which is slang for a sexual situation involving two men and a woman.

The allegations against Kavanaugh are that he attempted to sexually assault a woman at a high school party during his junior year. Published reports and the alleged victim's recollection is that another Georgetown Prep student, and friend of Kavanaugh's, named Mark Judge was also present in the room during the alleged assault. Lawyer says excerpts from Brett Kavanaugh's high school yearbook raises questions. Judge's yearbook page includes this quote, "Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs." His page also references "100 kegs or bust" and "Alcoholics Unanimous [Founder]."

mark judge twitterRoll Call, Mark Judge, Possible Witness to Alleged Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Assault, Does Not Want to Testify, Niels Lesniewski, Sept. 18, 2018. The third person identified by Christine Blasey Ford as having been present in the room during what she alleged was a sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh wants no part of the Judiciary Committee proceedings. Mark Judge is shown at right.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Susan Collins just threw a big monkey wrench into the GOP's Brett Kavanaugh plot, Bill Palmer, Sept. 18, 2018. Even after the Republican leadership announced last night that it was agreeing to delay the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it was clear the GOP was still playing games. This was set up as a rush job in which Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would each quickly testify on Monday before any real investigating could be done. Now Republican Senator Susan Collins has thrown a big monkey wrench into that plan.

susan collins oHere's what Susan Collins, right, tweeted this afternoon: "I'm writing to the Chairman & RM of Judiciary Cmte respectfully recommending that at Monday's hearing, counsel for Prof. Ford be allocated time to question Judge Kavanaugh & counsel for the Judge be granted equal time to question Prof. Ford, followed by questions from Senators. Such an approach would provide more continuity, elicit the most information & allow an in-depth examination of the allegations." Wait, so what is she up to?

She has clearly decided that she wants Monday's testimony to be something of substance, where Kavanaugh can be grilled by a legal professional in front of the cameras. Collins has to know that Kavanaugh, who has already proven himself to be an inept and self-contradictory witness on various matters, would fare poorly in such a scenario.

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump says he feels 'badly' for Kavanaugh: 'This is not a man who deserves this,' Seung Min Kim, Robert Costa and John Wagner, Sept. 18, 2018.  President Trump said during a news conference at the White House that he supports the congressional hearing on an allegation that Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman in high school, because there shouldn't be any doubt about his innocence. Trump also blamed Democrats for not bringing the allegation forward sooner.

Sept. 17

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify, her lawyer says, John Wagner, Sept. 17, 2018. A lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who said Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when the two were in high school, said Monday that Ford is willing to testify about the allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"She is. She's willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth," lawyer Debra Katz said on NBC's "Today" show when asked if her client would speak publicly about President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, which have roiled his confirmation process. The White House indicated Monday that it is continuing to stand by Kavanaugh but expects Ford will offer testimony to the Judiciary Committee.

Roll Call, Kavanaugh Would Testify Against Sexual Assault Allegation, John T. Bennett, Sept. 17, 2018. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said Monday he would testify to give his side of the story of an alleged 1982 incident when a California professor says he sexually assaulted her.

"This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone," Kavanaugh said in a statement released by the White House.

"Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity."

The Hill, Alumnae of Kavanaugh accuser's high school express support for her, Justin Wise, Sept. 17, 2018. Alumnae of Christine Blasey Ford's high school are circulating a letter to show their support for her, after Ford came forward with sexual misconduct accusations against President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

"We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and are grateful that she came forward to tell her story," a draft letter from alumnae of Holton-Arms, a private girls school in Bethesda, Md., reads, as first reported by HuffPost. "It demands a thorough and independent investigation before the Senate can reasonably vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to a lifetime seat on the nation's highest court."

The letter, which says it's from more than 200 alumnae from classes 1967 through 2018, added that Ford's allegations about Kavanaugh are "all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton."

"Many of us are survivors ourselves," it said. HuffPost reported that the letter had received three dozen additional signatures as of Monday morning.The report comes just a day after Ford detailed her allegations against Kavanaugh for the first time to The Washington Post.

Sept. 16

Kavanaugh Accuser Speaks Out

washington post logoWashington Post, Writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault, Emma Brown​, Sept. 16, 2018. Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Kavanaugh attacked her more than three decades ago when they were each in high school, an allegation the Supreme Court nominee has flatly denied.

brett kavanaughEarlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.

Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both "stumbling drunk," Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

"I thought he might inadvertently kill me," said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing."

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh's friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist's notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh's name but say she reported that she was attacked by students "from an elitist boys' school" who went on to become "highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington." The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist's part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

Reached by email Sunday, Judge declined to comment. In an interview Friday with The Weekly Standard, before Ford's name was known, he denied that any such incident occurred. "It's just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way," Judge said. He told the New York Times that Kavanaugh was a "brilliant student" who loved sports and was not "into anything crazy or illegal."

On Sunday, the White House sent The Post a statement Kavanaugh issued last week, when the outlines of Ford's account first became public: "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time."

For weeks, Ford declined to speak to The Post on the record as she grappled with concerns about what going public would mean for her and her family — and what she said was her duty as a citizen to tell the story.

Axios Sneak Peek, What's next: The politics of Kavanaugh's crisis, Jonathan Swan, Sept. 16, 2018. What was previously an allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh by an unidentified person — without a lot of details or evidence — is now backed by a name, a specific allegation and therapist's notes. A senior Republican official involved in Kavanaugh's confirmation privately admitted to me that they felt queasy when they read The Washington Post story.

And there was one sign tonight that these allegations could actually derail Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court — which was previously a sure thing. jeff flake oJeff Flake [the Arizona Republican at right] told the WashPost's Sean Sullivan that the Senate Judiciary Committee should wait to hear more from Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford: "For me, we can't vote until we hear more."

Why it matters: Doug Jones' special election victory late last year gave Democrats an extra seat on Senate Judiciary — there are now 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats — meaning that Flake's defection could stall Kavanaugh's confirmation process.

Since the story broke, I've spoken to four sources close to the Kavanaugh confirmation process. All were defiant and sought to raise doubts about the accuser's credibility and the holes in her story — though none were willing to do so on the record. They signaled potential lines of attack: the accuser's Democratic political background, lapses in her memory and the accounts of the 65 women who've known Kavanaugh since high school who've vouched for his character.

washington post logojennifer rubin new headshotWashington Post, Opinion: Kavanaugh's accuser steps forward, Jennifer Rubin, right, Sept. 16, 2018. If Kavanaugh did what he was accused of and then has lied about it, he cannot be confirmed for the Supreme Court. It is noteworthy he has not denied the allegation under oath. The Senate therefore must bring him back as well as Ford to tell their accounts in public and under oath.

If the allegation is true — and at this point, none of us is in a position to assess credibility — he dare not lie under oath, putting at risk his current seat on the bench. (A far more difficult matter presents itself if Kavanaugh issues less than an absolute denial under oath but argues that this episode was decades old and therefore should not be disqualifying. I find it difficult to believe, however, that he'll deviate from his initial, complete denial.)

susan collins oThe nomination fortunately does not hang on whether the White House or the vast majority of Senate Republicans behave responsibly, for surely they will not. Here, the two pro-choice Republican senators, Susan Collins, left, of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, once more are in the driver's seat. If they indicate they will not vote to confirm unless and until the matter is investigated, then the nomination stops in its tracks.

To Republicans and the judge himself who may think this is terribly unfair, I have two responses. First, the entire confirmation process has been rushed, incomplete and hampered by the partisan, limited release of relevant documents. Second, it may well be unfair to hear a last-minute allegation, but it would be much more unfair to allow someone who has lied to the American people about an alleged sexual assault to reach the highest court.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans

chuck grassley officialChuck Grassley, Iowa, Chairman, right.

Orrin Hatch, Utah.

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina.

John Cornyn, Texas.

Mike Lee, Utah.

Ted Cruz, Texas.

Ben Sasse, Nebraska.

Jeff Flake, Arizona.

Roll Call, Three Ways Kavanaugh Nomination Could Play Out After Accuser Speaks, John T. Bennett, Sept. 16, 2018. Female GOP senators could have big say in what happens nextPosted What was an anonymous letter with serious allegations against Supreme Court nominee are now vivid words from an accuser, putting a name and face on the charges and raising new questions about the nomination.

A California professor contends she instantly thought a "stumbling drunk" Kavanaugh might "inadvertently kill" her during a party in the early 1980s while they were in high school, breaking her public silence and handing Republican leaders and the White House tough decisions about what to do next.

"I thought he might inadvertently kill me," Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post in an article that published Sunday afternoon. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing." She also claims Kavanaugh and a friend trapped her in a bedroom during the party, with the high court nominee pinning her on a bed while his friend watched and groping her over her one-piece bathing suit. Ford says she was able to escape without injury.

The 51-year-old Ford first voiced her concerns to California Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein, who last week cryptically announced she had referred a letter containing information about Kavanaugh to the FBI. Ford also contacted a Post tip line, but the interview marked the first time she had spoken publicly about the alleged incident.

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, last week teed up a committee vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation for Thursday as he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — and the White House — aim to hold floor votes and have Kavanaugh join the other eight Supreme Court justices by Oct.1.

But Ford's public allegations could alter those plans. Here are three ways the nomination could play out after the accuser's first public remarks.Kavanaugh drops out/White House pulls nomination.

Sept. 15

ny times logoNew York Times, New Kavanaugh Disclosure Shows Little Sign of Impeding His Nomination, Carl Hulse, Sept. 15, 2018. Sudden new revelations in Supreme Court confirmation fights are not new. Anita Hill's accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas surfaced after his initial hearings had concluded. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump's first nominee to the court, faced claims that he had plagiarized parts of his book just as his nomination headed toward a Senate floor vote.

Sept. 15

ny times logoNew York Times, Border Patrol Agent Arrested in Connection With Murders of 4 Women, Simon Romero and Manny Fernandez, Sept. 15, 2018.  A United States Border Patrol agent was arrested in South Texas on Saturday in connection to a calculated killing spree that left four people dead in recent weeks around the city of Laredo, the authorities said.

ice dhs logoWebb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said police officers arrested the agent, Juan David Ortiz, early on Saturday morning after a woman who claimed she had been abducted by Mr. Ortiz escaped half-clothed and sought help at a gas station in Laredo.

"We consider this man to be a serial killer who was preying on one victim after another," Sheriff Cuellar said. "Fortunately, he's now been apprehended."

The case is the latest in a series of recent gruesome episodes involving Border Patrol agents, and comes at a time when protesters and some Democratic lawmakers are seeking to curb the actions of immigration officials. Some are calling for an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which was created in 2003. Customs and Border Protection, another agency in the Department of Homeland Security, has also come under fierce criticism.

Another female victim remained unidentified and was referred to as Jane Doe, Mr. Alaniz said. The fourth appeared to be a transgender woman, but authorities referred to her as John Doe. Mr. Alaniz said he believed that all of the victims worked as prostitutes in the Laredo area.

District Attorney Isidro Alaniz of Webb County said the authorities were prepared to also charge Mr. Ortiz with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated kidnapping. "At this time we believe the suspect was acting alone," Mr. Alaniz said, describing Mr. Ortiz as a supervisory agent who had worked as a Border Patrol agent for a decade.

Sept. 14

new yorker logoNew Yorker, A Sexual-Misconduct Allegation Against the Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Stirs Tension Among Democrats in Congress, Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, Sept. 14, 2018. On Thursday, Senate Democrats disclosed that they had referred a complaint regarding President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the F.B.I. for investigation. The complaint came from a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were both in high school, more than thirty years ago.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, first approached Democratic lawmakers in July, shortly after Trump nominated Kavanaugh.

The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her.

She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.

She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

In a statement, Kavanaugh said, "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time."

ny times logodianne feinsteinNew York Times, Dianne Feinstein Refers a Kavanaugh Matter to Federal Investigators, Nicholas Fandos and Catie Edmondson, Sept. 14, 2018 (print edition). The senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee referred information involving Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, to federal investigators on Thursday, but the senator declined to make public what the matter involved.

Two officials familiar with the matter say the incident involved possible sexual misconduct between Judge Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

The statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California came a week before the Judiciary Committee is to vote on his nomination. "I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," Ms. Feinstein said in a statement. "That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities."

The information came in July in a letter, which was first sent to the office of Representative Anna Eshoo, Democrat of California, and accuses the judge of sexual misconduct toward the letter's author, a person familiar with the letter confirmed.

washington post logoWashington Post, Bitter Senate fight to confirm Kavanaugh plunges deeper into chaos over letter, Seung Min Kim and Elise Viebeck, Sept. 14, 2018. The letter describes an alleged episode of sexual misconduct involving the Supreme Court nominee when he was in high school, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Politico, Sexual assault allegation roils Kavanaugh confirmation fight, Elana Schor, Burgess Everett and Eliana Johnson, Sept. 14, 2018. Republicans rushed to defend the Supreme Court nominee with a letter from women who've known him since high school.

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on Friday released a letter from 65 women who knew Brett Kavanaugh during his high school years calling him "a good person" — escalating their defense of the Supreme Court nominee as a decades-old sexual misconduct allegation surfaced.

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) office circulated the pro-Kavanaugh letter less than 48 hours after the committee's top Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, referred the allegation against the nominee to the FBI. Feinstein, who declined to say when she first became aware of the accusation, said she had "honored [a] decision" by the woman making the charges to maintain confidentiality. But the senator's handling of the matter has stoked already-fierce partisan tensions over a confirmation the GOP is still pushing to wind up by the end of this month.

The woman leveling the charge against Kavanaugh attended a nearby high school at the same time as the nominee. She, Kavanaugh, and another high-school male were alone in a room together when the alleged misconduct took place, according to two sources. The New Yorker reported Friday that the woman alleged Kavanaugh had attempted to force himself on her while physically restraining her.

The flaring controversy has not shaken Republican plans to bring Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor before the Supreme Court's new term begins in the first week of October. The Judiciary panel is still scheduled to vote on the nomination on Thursday, Grassley's office said.

The Senate has received an updated FBI background report on Kavanaugh that includes the letter, which means that senators will have access to the letter if they want to view it.

With Republicans holding a 51-49 advantage, Kavanaugh's prospects for approval are still on track despite his lack of 50 public "yes" votes — heightening the importance of the letter's effect on the Senate GOP's two female swing votes, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Neither Collins nor Murkowski has expressed skepticism about the nominee.

Collins and Kavanaugh had an hour-long phone call on Friday, a spokeswoman said, though the contents of the call were not divulged. A spokeswoman for Murkowski did not respond to a request for comment.

In the letter that the GOP circulated, Kavanaugh's female contemporaries countered the damning portrayal of the nominee that has surfaced the past 24 hours. "Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect," the women wrote. "That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day."

Democrats have remained notably mum about the situation since Thursday, even as liberal groups off the Hill call for a pointed push to withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination.

"That's now in the hands of the FBI. That's all I'm going to say about it," Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who pressed Kavanaugh on the #MeToo movement during his confirmation hearing, told POLITICO's Off Message podcast in an interview set to run Tuesday.

Brian Fallon, a former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who now helms the left-leaning group Demand Justice, nudged Democats for a more pointed response. "The message needs to be clear: withdraw," he said.

Undecided red-state Democrats were similarly tight-lipped following the report on the letter's content. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Doug Jones of Alabama and Jon Tester of Montana had no immediate comment. Tester is still trying to schedule an initial meeting with Kavanaugh and Manchin is seeking a second meeting.

ronan farrowThe White House first heard vague rumors about the allegation against Kavanaugh late last week, but the specifics of the alleged high-school sexual assault landed on White House Counsel Don McGahn's desk on Thursday, hours after Feinstein referred the matter to the FBI.

Kavanaugh's denial may do little to stanch the damaging trickle of revelations. The co-author of the New Yorker's story, Ronan Farrow, right, has traveled to California in an attempt to persuade the woman behind the allegations to share her story, according to a source familiar with his reporting. The woman's letter was channeled to Feinstein as well as to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) through a Stanford Law School professor.

Sept. 13

german flagny times logoNew York Times, Catholic Clergy in Germany Abused 3,600 Children, Study Says, Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy, Sept. 13, 2018 (print edition). "It is depressing and shameful," a Catholic bishop said after a report found that thousands of children had been assaulted over decades. The study, which was commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church bishops' conference in Germany, found that at least 1,670 church workers had been involved in the abuse of 3,677 children. That is 4.4 percent of the clergy.

washington post logoWashington Post, Pope Francis orders investigation of W.Va. bishop on sexual harassment charges, William Branigin, Sept. 13, 2018. The pope instructed the archbishop of Baltimore to conduct a probe into allegations that Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, 75, of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., sexually harassed adults. Bransfield is a former rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Sept. 12

washington post logoPope FrancisWashington Post, Pope summons bishops for summit on preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children, Chico Harlan and William Branigin​, Sept. 12, 2018. The February summit at the Vatican — believed to be the first of its kind — was announced a day before Pope Francis, right, is set to meet with leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church to discuss some of the latest sex scandals.

ny times logoNew York Times, '60 Minutes' Producer Jeff Fager Is Ousted at CBS, John Koblin and Michael M. Grynbaum, Sept. 12, 2018. Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of "60 Minutes" on CBS, was fired on Wednesday for sending a bullying text message to one of the network's reporters, just days after Leslie Moonves stepped down as the company's chief executive following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

In recent articles in The New Yorker and The Washington Post, Mr. Fager had been accused of touching women at company parties in ways that made them feel uncomfortable and fostering a culture of harassment at "60 Minutes."

Mr. Fager has previously denied any wrongdoing, and CBS has enlisted two law firms to investigate the allegations and the workplace culture at CBS.

David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, told staff in an email that Mr. Fager's departure was "not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently." It would be hard to overstate Mr. Fager's power inside CBS's news division or the significance of his departure to a network already reeling from the exit of its longtime leader.

Mr. Fager is only the second executive producer in the half-century history of "60 Minutes," a show that despite dwindling audiences for news programs has remained among the highest-rated series on network television. Although Mr. Fager was not the titular head of CBS News, he was given carte blanche to run his fief as he saw fit.

Sept. 10

les moonvesCNBC, Leslie Moonves will get 'zip' from CBS exit package, veteran media analyst predicts, Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Sept. 10, 2018. Departing CBS CEO Leslie Moonves could walk away from the media empire empty-handed, veteran media analyst Porter Bibb predicted Monday. Bibb, a tech and media analyst with more than 40 years of experience on Wall Street, said Moonves will not receive the $100 million exit package the board is considering if allegations reported by journalist Ronan Farrow in Sunday's New Yorker article and another in July turn out to be true.

The second New Yorker article on Sunday contained allegations by six more women. Moonves denied the accusations and characterized his relationships with some of the women as consensual. "He's denying [the allegations] strongly, and I think he's going to end up getting zip," the managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners said in an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Sept. 9

cbs logo

New Yorker, As Leslie Moonves Negotiates His Exit from CBS, Six Women Raise New Assault and Harassment Claims, Ronan Farrow (below right), Sept. 9, 2018. Members of the board of the CBS new yorker logoCorporation are negotiating with the company's chairman and C.E.O., Leslie Moonves, about his departure. Sources familiar with the board's activities said the discussions about Moonves stepping down began several weeks ago, after an article published in the The New Yorker detailed allegations by six women that the media executive had sexually harassed them, and revealed complaints by dozens of others that the culture in some parts of the company tolerated sexual misconduct. Since then, the board has selected outside counsel to lead an investigation into the claims.

ronan farrowAs the negotiations continue and shareholders and advocacy groups accuse the board of failing to hold Moonves accountable, new allegations are emerging.

Six additional women are now accusing Moonves of sexual harassment or assault in incidents that took place between the nineteen-eighties and the early two-thousands. They include claims that Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him, that he exposed himself to them without their consent, and that he used physical violence and intimidation against them. A number of the women also said that Moonves retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers. Similar frustrations about perceived inaction have prompted another woman to raise a claim of misconduct against Jeff Fager, the executive producer of "60 Minutes," who previously reported to Moonves as the chairman of CBS News.

Update: Three hours after the publication of this story, CNN reported that Moonves would step down from his position at CBS. Later the same day, CBS announced that Moonves had left the company and would not receive any of his exit compensation, pending the results of the independent investigation into the allegations. The company named six new members of its board of directors and said it would donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement and workplace equality for women. The donation will be deducted from any severance payments that may be due to Moonves.

les moonvesAdweek, Embattled CBS CEO Les Moonves Is Officially Departing the Company After 23 Years, Jason Lynch, Sept. 9, 2018. He'll leave immediately; COO Joseph Ianniello will step in as interim CEO. What does CBS look like without its über-confident longtime leader Les Moonves? We're about to find out.

washington post logoWashington Post, Leslie Moonves out as head of CBS as sexual misconduct claims multiply, Steven Zeitchik, Alex Horton and Sarah Ellison​, Sept. 9, 2018. Moonves, right, once regarded as one of the country's most respected media titans, fell from his perch after a dozen women alleged sexual misconduct, harassment and retaliation.

Moonves had seemed bulletproof as of just six weeks ago, regarded as one of the entertainment world's most sterling executives. But sexual-misconduct allegations by six women in The New Yorker in July led to the board hiring outside lawyers to conduct an investigation into Moonves and activists to call for his removal. On the magazine's website Sunday, an additional six women alleged behavior that includes sexual misconduct, harassment and retaliation.

As part of the agreement, CBS and Shari Redstone's controlling shareholder National Amusements will end their lawsuit as Redstone agrees not to merge the broadcaster with Viacom for at least two years. That move gives Moonves a victory in that arena; he sought to keep CBS operating as a separate concern.The allegations posted by The New Yorker Sunday include forced oral sex, Moonves exposing himself without consent and the use of physical violence and intimidation to silence the women. The women in Sunday's report echoed descriptions of a culture of downplaying accusations and promoting men even after the company settled allegations against them.

The allegations posted by The New Yorker Sunday include forced oral sex, Moonves exposing himself without consent and the use of physical violence and intimidation to silence the women. The women in Sunday's report echoed descriptions of a culture of downplaying accusations and promoting men even after the company settled allegations against them.

#MeTo Clergy Protest

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump to provide written answers under oath in Summer Zervos defamation lawsuit, Elise Viebeck, Sept. 9, 2018. The former contestant on summer zervos"The Apprentice," shown at right in a file photo, says President Trump groped her in 2007. Court rules require the statements to be sworn, meaning that false answers could open Trump to charges of perjury. #MeTo Clergy Protest

washington post logoWashington Post, Catholic clergyman calls on Wuerl to resign, says he'll refuse to participate in Mass with him, Julie Zauzmer​, Sept. 9, 2018. "I cannot, in good conscience, continue to assist you personally," a prominent member of Washington's Catholic clergy wrote to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who faces calls to resign because of his handling of sexual abuse allegations while he was bishop of Pittsburgh.

cardinal donald wuerl portrait fullA highly visible member of Washington's Catholic clergy has made a dramatic declaration calling on Cardinal Donald Wuerl, shown at right, to resign, the latest blow to Washington's embattled archbishop.

Deacon James Garcia, in his role as the master of ceremony at St. Matthew's Cathedral in the District, typically stands beside Wuerl during almost every major liturgy of the year. But Garcia wrote in a letter to Wuerl, which the deacon published online Saturday, that he refuses to assist in any Mass led by Wuerl again. Since deacons vow obedience to their bishop, it is a bold gesture.

Sept. 8

washington post logoWashington Post, Stormy Daniels says she fears for her safety as she pursues lawsuits against Trump, Elise Viebeck, Sept. 8, 2018 (print edition). The adult-film star spoke candidly in a television interview broadcast in the Netherlands about how sudden political celebrity changed her life.

Adult-film star Stormy Daniels said her safety has been threatened this year as her public profile grows and described feeling scared of "some pissed-off Trump supporter or fan coming after me, doing something stupid" as she pursues two lawsuits against President Trump.

stormy daniels 60 minutes cbsIn a rare television interview broadcast Thursday in the Netherlands, Daniels described how her role in the legal and political drama that has ensnared the White House dealt a fatal blow to her marriage and has prompted "hurtful" criticism on social media about her parenting.

Daniels, who also goes by the name Stephanie Clifford, only occasionally speaks to the media, making her wide-ranging, 40-minute conversation with the Dutch program "RTL Late Night with Twan Huys" unusual. She is shown at left in a screengrab from her major previous interview, that with CBS 60 Minutes earlier this year.

Related story: Michael Cohen firm seeks to void nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels.

Sept. 7

elliott broidy

Elliott Broidy Briody, above, was finance chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) fromFrom 2005 to 2008. In 2017, he was named a deputy finance chairman of the RNC. Broidy resigned from his RNC role in April 2018 after the Wall Street Journal reported that he had been a party to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, paying $1.6 million for her silence about a sexual affair between them.

The Hill, Ex-Playboy model accuses GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy of physical abuse: reports, Justin Wise, Sept. 7, 2018. Former Playboy model shera bechard 2010Shera Bechard has reportedly accused top GOP fundraiser , a former Republican National Committee (RNC) official, of subjecting her to physical abuse.

HuffPost reported on Friday that Bechard made the allegations in a complaint that remains sealed under court order. The complaint is part of a lawsuit from Bechard that claims Broidy stopped making payments on a $1.6 million nondisclosure agreement.

Bechard has said the agreement and payment required her to remain silent about an extramarital affair and subsequent pregnancy. The deal was negotiated by President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last month to several federal charges, including campaign finance violations.

The model says Broidy began hurting her during their sexual relationship and pushed her to excessive drinking so she "would be more compliant toward his physical abuse," according to Bloomberg.

rnc logoIn addition to accusing the GOP fundraiser of physical abuse, Bechard alleges that the former RNC official also exposed her to herpes and emotionally abused her.

She reportedly says he told her she couldn't date or be seen with other men and that he also sought for her to depend on him financially.

Bechard also alleges that Broidy told her he admired President Trump because of his "uncanny ability to sexually abuse women and get away with it," according to the complaint.

California Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White issued a ruling Friday that allowed for Bechard's claims to be made public, Bloomberg reported.

Attorneys for Broidy told the court that the allegations should be struck from the complaint, arguing that they aren't tied to the lawsuit. "This person tried to extract money from me by making up false, malicious and disgusting allegations," Broidy said in a statement reported by multiple outlets. "I have acknowledged making the mistake of having an affair, and I entered a confidential agreement to protect my family's privacy.

ny times logoNew York Times, First person opinion: I Was Sexually Assaulted by Another Marine. The Corps Didn't Believe Me, Justin Rose, Sept. 7, 2018. I would never have guessed that closure would come to me in a small courtroom in Manhattan, Kan. A year and a half ago, on my 34th birthday, I sat on a witness stand and recounted how I was sexually assaulted on New Year's Day 2006 by a fellow Marine — someone I had considered a friend while we were deployed to the Horn of Africa.

Long after the attack itself is over, you're left dealing with all the toxic doubts and self-blame that come with being sexually assaulted. I fought with the idea that I somehow invited this upon myself, that I deserved it or was somehow to blame for the assault.

It stripped away my confidence and degraded the trust I had in my fellow Marines. I questioned the values that I first bought into when I became a Marine: the belief in honor, courage and commitment that was instilled by our drill instructors.

I didn't immediately confront my attacker face to face — so where was my courage or honor? How would I react to real combat? Where was the commitment from my fellow Marines, when I needed support in the aftermath of the attack? Would they be there for me if I needed their help on the battlefield one day?

Sept. 6

ny times logoNew York Times, Modeling in the #TimesUp Era, Vanessa Friedman, Sept. 6, 2018. There are new measures to safeguard young women from predatory behavior, but a wholesale change in the industry remains elusive.

In January, ahead of the first New York Fashion Week after the #TimesUp social revolution began, the Council of Fashion Designers of America sent out its regular preshow missive. For the first time it encouraged fashion houses to, among other things, create private changing areas, the better to guard against models being effectively naked in front of the many makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers, journalists and other random people who work behind the scenes of a show, where the making-of aspect has become as public as the event itself.

Most designers tried to comply. Nevertheless, at one show, as at many other shows over the following month in the other fashion cities, the private changing area was more of an ideal than a reality. "There was a male photographer there taking pictures while girls were getting undressed!" said Edie Campbell, a model.

In February, a model from Minneapolis who met with a photographer to work on her portfolio reported him to the police after she said he forcibly touched her near her breasts and genitals. Four other models' accounts were also described, on Facebook, involving coerced nude photo shoots and suggestive personal commentary with the same man.

Sept. 2

washington post logopope benedict XVI 2010 10 17 4Washington Post, Pope Benedict, in seclusion, looms in the opposition to Pope Francis, Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, Sept. 2, 2018. Although many hoped to hear from Pope Benedict XVI, 91, and (shown at right in a 2010 photo before his 2013 resignation) amid new allegations that a coverup of sexual misconduct reached the highest levels of the Catholic Church, he has maintained silence on church matters.

Try as he might to stay out of the fray, he has been used as a symbol of resistance for a segment of traditionalists who oppose elements of Francis's reformist papacy.

August

Aug. 31

ny times logoronan farrowNew York Times, NBC Impeded Weinstein Reporting, Ex-Producer Says, John Koblin, Aug. 31, 2018 (print edition). Ronan Farrow, right, spent months investigating sexual misconduct accusations against Harvey Weinstein while he was at NBC News, but his articles published later in The New Yorker. A producer who worked closely with Mr. Farrow said "the very highest levels of NBC" tried to halt the work. The network disagrees.

Aug. 30

ny times logoNew York Times, A Broken Relationship and Accusations of Emotional Abuse: The Case of Keith Ellison, Julie Turkewitz and Farah Stockman, Aug. 30, 2018. Mr. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is running for attorney general in Minnesota. His former girlfriend accused him of emotional abuse. It could open a potentially new chapter of the #MeToo movement.

Aug. 28

washington post logoWashington Post, Orthodox Jewish organizations reach $14.25 million settlement with victims of voyeur-rabbi, Michelle Boorstein and Tara Bahrampour, Aug. 28, 2018. Victims of Barry Freundel, who spied for years on women in a ritual bath in Washington, had sought $100 million in the case that rocked U.S. Orthodox Judaism.

Papal Challenge

pope francis south korea 2014 w

Pope Francis is shown on a 2014 visit to South Korea (file photo via Wikimedia)

washington post logoWashington Post, With call for pope to resign, divisions within the Catholic Church explode into view, Chico Harlan, Aug. 28, 2018 (print edition). Some traditionalists blame homosexuality within the church for the sexual abuse crisis. Pope Francis has used more inclusive messages about gays at a time when the religion is losing its hold across the Western world.

#MeToo Rabbinical Scandal

washington post logoWashington Post, Orthodox Jewish organizations reach $14.25 million settlement with victims of voyeur-rabbi, Michelle Boorstein and Tara Bahrampour, Aug. 28, 2018. Victims of Barry Freundel, who spied for years on women in a ritual bath in Washington, had sought $100 million in the case that rocked U.S. Orthodox Judaism.

Many More Puerto Rican Deaths Reported

ny times logoNew York Times, A new analysis found that nearly 3,000 more deaths than expected occurred in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.​ Sheri Fink, Aug. 28, 2018. Along-awaited report on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has found that nearly 3,000 more deaths than expected occurred in the months after the storm, the first official outside evaluation of the toll in a disaster whose damage in some cases took months to unfold.

The report, made public on Tuesday by researchers at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico after The New York Times and other media outlets and researchers last year estimated that the death count far exceeded the government's official toll of 64.

Aug. 27

Alleged Vatican Cover-up

carlo maria vigano bo 2011

President Obama greets Vatican Ambassador to the United States Carlo Maria Vigano in 2011 (White House photo)

washington post logoWashington Post, Former Vatican ambassador says Popes Francis, Benedict knew of sexual misconduct allegations against pope benedict XVI 2010 10 17 4McCarrick for years, Chico Harlan, Stefano Pitrelli and Michelle Boorstein, Aug. 27, 2018 (print edition).

A former Vatican ambassador to the United States has alleged in an 11-page letter that Pope Benedict XVI, 91, and (shown at right in a 2010 photo before his 2013 resignation) and Pope Francis — among other top Catholic Church officials — had been aware of sexual misconduct allegations against former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCar­rick, shown below at left, years before he resigned this summer.

theodore mccarrickThe letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 77, who was recalled from his D.C. post in 2016 amid allegations that he'd become embroiled in the conservative American fight against same-sex marriage, was first reported by the National Catholic Register and LifeSite News, two conservative Catholic sites.

The accusations sent a shock wave across the reeling Roman Catholic Church, but the letter offered no proof of its claims, and Viganò on Sunday told The Washington Post that he wouldn't comment further, beyond confirming that he was the letter's author.

Aug. 26

washington post logoWashington Post, Former Vatican ambassador says Popes Francis, Benedict knew of sexual misconduct allegations against McCarrick for years, Chico Harlan, Stefano Pitrelli and Michelle Boorstein, Aug. 26, 2018.  In an 11-page letter, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said that former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been privately sanctioned under Pope Benedict XVI for his alleged sexual misconduct.

Aug. 24

ny times logoNew York Times, Singer Accuses David Daniels, Leading Opera Star, of Rape, Michael Cooper, Aug. 22, 2018. The opera star David Daniels, one of the world's best-known countertenors, took a leave of absence from his job as a music professor at the University of Michigan on Wednesday after a young singer accused him of drugging and raping him after a performance in Houston in 2010.

The singer, Samuel Schultz, a 32-year-old baritone, said in an interview on Wednesday that he had been drugged and raped by Mr. Daniels and Mr. Daniels's partner, Scott Walters, who is now his husband, when Mr. Daniels was appearing at Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Schultz's accusation was first reported by The Daily News, which quoted two people who said that Mr. Schultz had told them of the attack at the time.

Aug. 23

washington post logourban meyer 2017Washington Post, Ohio State suspends Urban Meyer for three games over handling of domestic abuse claims, Will Hobson and Chuck Culpepper, Aug. 23, 2018 (print edition). The football coach (shown in a 2017 file photo) has been on administrative leave since Aug. 1, pending an investigation into what he knew about allegations of domestic abuse concerning a former assistant. Ohio State football Coach Urban Meyer will be suspended without pay for the first three games of the upcoming season because of concerns over his handling of domestic violence allegations lodged against a longtime assistant and family friend, the school announced Wednesday night.

ohio state buckeyes logoA university investigation found that Meyer and Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith failed to inform the school's compliance department about accusations made against former assistant coach Zach Smith in 2015 and instead awaited the conclusion of a law enforcement investigation that ultimately produced no criminal charges. The university also suspended Gene Smith for two weeks.

The school's investigation — led by Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney and former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — also concluded that while Meyer didn't cover up wrongdoing by his assistant, he didn't act forcefully enough in the face of repeated signs of misconduct by the former receivers coach, which included a 2014 incident in which he took high school coaches to a strip club in Miami while on a recruiting trip representing the school.

paris dennard

Paris Dennard, frequent CNN commentator and columnist for The Hill backing conservative views (screen shot)

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump called this White House defender 'wonderful.' He was fired from his previous job for alleged sexual harassment, Aaron C. Davis, Aug. 23, 2018 (print edition). A conservative commentator who was lauded by President Trump this week as "wonderful" and who has argued that past sexual indiscretions should have no bearing on Trump's presidency was fired from Arizona State University four years ago for making sexually explicit comments and gestures toward women, according to documents and a university official.

An internal investigation by the university concluded that Paris Dennard, a surrogate during the campaign and now a member of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, told a recent college graduate who worked for him that he wanted to have sex with her. He "pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures," according to a university report obtained by The Washington Post.

According to the 2014 report, Dennard did not dispute those claims but said he committed the acts jokingly. The investigation began after the woman and a second female employee told superiors Dennard's actions went too far and had made them uncomfortable.

Daily Beast, CNN Suspends Trump-Defending Pundit Paris Dennard After Sexual Harassment Claims, Matt Wilstein, Aug. 22, 2018.  Less than two hours after The Washington Post published its damning exposé about Paris Dennard, a prominent cable news defender of President Donald Trump, CNN announced that it was suspending the pundit "effective immediately."

"We are aware of reports of accusations against Paris Dennard," a spokesperson for CNN said Wednesday evening. "We are suspending Paris, effective immediately, while we look into the allegations."

Aug. 21

washington post logocardinal donald wuerl portrait fullWashington Post, Cardinal Wuerl the target of rising anger after grand jury report on abuse by priests in Pa., Michelle Boorstein, Aug. 21, 2018 (print edition). The District's archbishop, right, who presided for years in Pittsburgh where numerous priests were identified as alleged abusers, has become the face of a ballooning crisis in the Catholic Church.

Aug. 20

washington post logoWashington Post, Pope says 'no effort must be spared' to fight sexual abuse in Catholic Church, Chico Harlan​, Aug. 20, 2018. In a letter, Pope Francis, right, said Pope Francisthe Catholic Church has not dealt properly with "crimes" against children and needs to prevent sexual abuses from being "covered up and perpetuated."

The letter came after a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed alleged abuses by more than 300 priests against 1,000 children over decades.

#MeToo Pioneer Argento Accused

asia argento anthony bourdain beach twitter Small

Actress and director Asia Argento is shown with her lover, the late culinary reporter Anthony Bourdain, who supported her in her #MeToo accusations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Her Twitter feed is illustrated by the 'No Shame' graphic below left)

ny times logoNew York Times, Asia Argento, a #MeToo Leader, Made a Deal With Her Own Accuser, Kim Severson, Aug. 20, 2018 (print edition). The Italian actress and director Asia Argento was among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.

She became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement . Her boyfriend, the culinary television star Anthony Bourdain, right, eagerly joined the fight.

anthony bourdain 2014asia argento no shame fist twitterBut in the months that followed her revelations about Mr. Weinstein last October, Ms. Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday. She was 37. The age of consent in California is 18.

That claim and the subsequent arrangement for payments are laid out in documents between lawyers for Ms. Argento and Mr. Bennett, a former child actor who once played her son in a movie.

Aug. 19

kevin spacey house

washington post logoWashington Post, After #MeToo, Kevin Spacey movie 'Billionaire Boys Club' earns $126 on opening day, Cleve R. Wootson Jr.​, Aug. 19, 2018. The movie was made two-and-a-half years ago, well before Spacey's accusers came forward. In some theaters, only one person had opted to see it all weekend. Spacey is shown above in a promotional photo for House of Cards, a series in which he formerly starred.

Aug. 16

ny times logoNew York Times, Vatican Calls Details of Abuse in Report 'Reprehensible,' Sharon Otterman and Elisabetta Povoledo, Aug. 16, 2018. "Victims should know that the Pope is on their side," the Vatican said, responding to a grand jury report on pervasive sex abuse committed by clergy and covered up by Catholic Church leaders in Pennsylvania.

Aug. 14

#MeToo: Deputy DNC Chair Accused

ny times logokeith ellison o smallNew York Times, Representative Keith Ellison Denies Domestic Abuse Allegations, Matthew Haag, Aug. 14, 2018 (print edition). Ahead of Minnesota's primaries on Tuesday, Representative Keith Ellison, right, has denied allegations that he emotionally and physically abused a former girlfriend, including once trying to pull her off a bed while yelling obscenities at her.

The allegations surfaced on Saturday night in a Facebook post published by the son of the ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan. The post referred to a two-minute video that the son, Austin Monahan, claimed showed Mr. Ellison "dragging my mama off the bed by her feet."

democratic donkey logoThe denial on Sunday by Mr. Ellison, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, was forceful. "Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being," he said in a statement. "This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false."

In an email to The New York Times on Sunday night, Ms. Monahan, an organizer at the Minnesota chapter of the Sierra Club, said that she survived what she described as "narcissist abuse" after a multiyear relationship with Mr. Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

ny times logoNew York Times, What Happens to #MeToo When a Feminist Is Accused? Zoe Greenberg, Aug. 14, 2018 (print edition). Avital Ronell, a superstar professor, was found by N.Y.U. to have sexually harassed a male grad student. But his charges have met with disbelief from some feminist scholars.

Nimrod Reitman accused his former N.Y.U. graduate school adviser, Avital Ronell, of sexually harassing him, and the university found her responsible. But some leading feminist scholars have supported her in ways that echo the defenses of male harassers.CreditCaitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The case seems like a familiar story turned on its head: Avital Ronell, a world-renowned female professor of German and Comparative Literature at New York University, was found responsible for sexually harassing a male former graduate student, Nimrod Reitman.

An 11-month Title IX investigation found Professor Ronell, described by a colleague as "one of the very few philosopher-stars of this world," responsible for sexual harassment, both physical and verbal, to the extent that her behavior was "sufficiently pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of Mr. Reitman's learning environment." The university has suspended Professor Ronell for the coming academic year.

washington post logoWashington Post, Hundreds of accused priests listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse, Michelle Boorstein, Aug. 14, 2018. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday released a sweeping grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church, listing hundreds of accused clergy and detailing 70 years of misconduct and church response across the state.

The release is the culmination of an 18-month probe, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, on six of the state's eight dioceses — Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg — and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses.

Some details and names that might reveal the 300 clergy listed have been redacted from the report. Legal challenges by clergy delayed the report's release, after some said it is a violation of their constitutional rights. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled last month that the report must be released but with some redaction.

The report's release begins an information war, with prosecutors and many victims saying it's the start of holding church leaders at the top accountable for the first time, while church lawyers and other advocates for the institution say the report depicts an era of another century, unfairly smearing today's Catholicism in Pennsylvania.

The report has helped renew a crisis many in the church thought and hoped had ended nearly 20 years ago after the scandal erupted in Boston. But recent abuse-related scandals, from Chile to Australia, have reopened wounding questions about accountability and whether church officials are still covering up crimes at the highest levels.

theodore mccarrickThe new wave of allegations has called Pope Francis's handling of abuse into question as many Catholics look to him to help the church regain its credibility. The pope's track record has been mixed, something some outsiders attribute to his learning curve or shortcomings and others chalk up to resistance from a notoriously change-averse institution.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report follows the resignation last month of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, right, a towering figure in the U.S. church and former D.C. archbishop who was accused of sexually abusing minors and adults for decades. Both have further polarized the church on homosexuality, celibacy and whether laypeople should have more power. It has also triggered debate about whether statutes of limitations should be expanded.

Aug. 13

washington post logoPope FrancisWashington Post, New sex scandals roiling the Vatican, presenting a crisis for Pope Francis, Chico Harlan​, Aug. 13, 2018 (print edition). Analysts who have studied the Roman Catholic Church's response to sexual abuse, and several people who have advised the pope, say the Vatican has been unable to take the dramatic steps that can help an organization get out from under scandals — and avoid their repetition.

Aug. 6

bill hybels file hand folded

The Rev. Bill Hybels, longtime pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church

ny times logoNew York Times, Willow Creek Church Says It Will Investigate Its Powerful Pastor, Bill Hybels, Laurie Goodstein, Aug. 7, 2018 (print edition).
Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago announced on Monday that it plans to launch a new independent investigation into allegations that the Rev. Bill Hybels, the church's influential founding pastor, sexually harassed female co-workers and a congregant over many years.

The announcement came one day after The New York Times reported on accusations from Pat Baranowski, Mr. Hybels's former executive assistant. She said that Mr. Hybels had sexually and emotionally abused her while she worked at the church and lived with him and his family in the 1980s.

Heather Larson, one of two top pastors at Willow Creek, said in a statement: "It was heartbreaking yesterday to read about the new allegation against Bill Hybels in The New York Times. We have deep sadness for Ms. Baranowski. The behavior that she has described is reprehensible."

The church's other top pastor, the Rev. Steve Carter, resigned on Sunday. He said he could no longer work at Willow Creek in good conscience.

Aug. 5

bill hybels file hand folded

ny times logoNew York Times, He's a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly. Laurie Goodstein, Aug. 5, 2018. Bill Hybels, shown at right, built an iconic evangelical church outside Chicago. A former assistant says that in the 1980s, he sexually harassed her.

After the pain of watching her marriage fall apart, Pat Baranowski felt that God was suddenly showering her with blessings. She had a new job at her Chicago-area megachurch, led by a dynamic young pastor named the Rev. Bill Hybels, who in the 1980s was becoming one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country.

The pay at Willow Creek Community Church was much lower than at her old job, but Ms. Baranowski, then 32, admired Mr. Hybels and the church's mission so much that it seemed worth it. She felt even more blessed when in 1985 Mr. Hybels and his wife invited her to move into their home, where she shared family dinners and vacations.

Once, while Mr. Hybels's wife, Lynne, and their children were away, the pastor took Ms. Baranowski out for dinner. When they got home, Mr. Hybels offered her a back rub in front of the fireplace and told her to lie face down.

"I really did not want to hurt the church," said Ms. Baranowski, who is now 65, speaking publicly for the first time. "I felt like if this was exposed, this fantastic place would blow up, and I loved the church. I loved the people there. I loved the family. I didn't want to hurt anybody. And I was ashamed."

Mr. Hybels denied her allegations about her time working and living with him. "I never had an inappropriate physical or emotional relationship with her before that time, during that time or after that time," he said in an email.

Since the #MeToo movement emerged last year, evangelical churches have been grappling with allegations of sexual abuse by their pastors. A wave of accusations has begun to hit evangelical institutions, bringing down figures like the Rev. Andy Savage, at Highpoint Church in Memphis, and the Rev. Harry L. Thomas, the founder of the Creation Festival, a Christian music event.

Ms. Baranowski is not the first to accuse Mr. Hybels of wrongdoing, though her charges are more serious than what has been reported before.

In March, The Chicago Tribune and Christianity Today reported that Mr. Hybels had been accused by several other women, including co-workers and a congregant, of inappropriate behavior that dated back decades. The allegations included lingering hugs, invitations to hotel rooms, comments about looks and an unwanted kiss.

Aug. 4

john conyers

washington post logoWashington Post, House race simmers with fury over treatment of a liberal icon and of Detroit, David Weigel​, Aug. 4, 2018 (print edition). Forced out last year by sexual harassment allegations, John Conyers Jr. (shown above) looms over the contest for his replacement.

washington post logoohio state buckeyes logoWashington Post, Urban Meyer admits knowing about domestic abuse allegations against former assistant coach, Jesse Dougherty and Jeremy Gottlieb​, Aug. 4, 2018 (print edition). The Ohio State coach released a statement saying he knew of allegations brought against Zach Smith in 2015 despite claiming otherwise last week.

Aug. 2

urban meyer 2017Columbus Dispatch, Urban Meyer and Ohio State: What we know so far, Summer Cartwright, Aug. 2, 2018 (print edition). Ohio State University announced Wednesday that head football coach Urban Meyer (shown in a 2017 file photo) would be placed on paid leave while the school investigates what he knew about allegations of domestic violence involving a former assistant coach.

In a report published online by a former ESPN staffer Brett McMurphy, Courtney Smith detailed the allegations involving her husband Zach Smith. The report came a little more than a week after Courtney Smith filed a civil protection order against Zach Smith. He was fired July 23, three days after the protection order was filed.

The only details released about the investigation are its focus: "supporting our players and on getting the truth as expeditiously as possible."

During the investigation, Meyer will receive paid leave, an action that he said he agreed upon with Athletic Director Gene Smith, saying in a statement that the time away will allow the team "to conduct training camp with minimal distraction."

Aug. 1

jim jordan cuomo cnn

nbc logoNBC News via KVOA News (Tucson, AZ), Former Ohio State wrestling coach urged Rep. Jim Jordan's accusers to recant, texts show, Staff report, Aug. 1, 2018. Retired Ohio State wrestling coach Russ Hellickson reached out to two ex-team members and asked them to support their former assistant coach, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio (shown above), a day after they accused the powerful congressman of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse by the team doctor, according to the wrestlers and text messages they shared with NBC News.

The former wrestlers said their ex-coach made it clear to them he was under pressure from Jordan to get statements of support from members of the team.

Hellickson's appeal to help Jordan came after the congressman repeatedly said that he had no idea that team doctor Richard Strauss was allegedly molesting the athletes — contradicting three wrestlers who told NBC News that Jordan must have known since the abuse was frequently discussed in the locker room.

ohio state buckeyes logo"I'm sorry you got caught up in the media train," Hellickson wrote in a July 4 text to Dunyasha Yetts that the former wrestler shared with NBC News. "If you think the story got told wrong about Jim, you could probably write a statement for release that tells your story and corrects what you feel bad about. I can put you in contact with someone who would release it."

An NBC article published a day earlier, Yetts recounted how Strauss had tried to pull his shorts down when he went to see him for a thumb injury. Yetts said he told Jordan and Hellickson about what happened and insisted they intervene — an account that was later corroborated by another former Ohio State wrestler who said he had witnessed the conversation.

Yetts said Hellickson also called him later on July 4 and said he was under pressure from Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, and from Jordan's supporters to make "a bold statement to defend Jimmy."

"He said, 'I will defend Jimmy until I have to put my hand on a Bible and be asked to tell the truth, then Jimmy will be on his own,'" Yetts said in an interview this week, recalling his conversation with Hellickson. "I told him, 'I'm going to contradict you, coach, because I'm telling the truth.'"

Mike DiSabato, the former Ohio State wrestler whose whistleblowing spurred the university's investigation into the alleged abuse by Strauss, also shared a text message defending Jordan that he got from Hellickson. Out of loyalty to his old coach, he asked that NBC News not quote directly from it.

"He called me after the story broke, too," DiSabato said of Hellickson. "He said Jimmy was telling him he had to make a statement supporting him and he called to tell me why he was going to make it. "

Yetts, DiSabato and three other former Ohio State wrestlers interviewed recently by NBC News all expressed deep respect for Hellickson but said they believe he has been boxed in by Jordan's denials and is now caught between wanting to support his former protégé and the wrestlers who have called the congressman a liar.

Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State: Urban Meyer placed on administrative leave, Bill Rabinowitz, Aug. 1, 2018. The ex-wife of Zach Smith said she informed Urban Meyer's wife, Shelley, in 2015 that the former Ohio State assistant football coach had abused her and believes that the Buckeyes coach knew about it at the time. Courtney Smith acknowledged in an interview, however, that Shelley Meyer did not say she told Urban Meyer about the abuse.

Thirty-two years ago, Earle Bruce gave Urban Meyer his start in college football as a graduate assistant coach at Ohio State. Now, Meyer's handling of domestic abuse allegations involving Bruce's grandson has put his stellar career in peril.

urban meyer 2017Ohio State placed Meyer (shown at right) on paid administrative leave as head football coach on Wednesday after reports surfaced that appeared to contradict his contention he did not know in 2015 that receivers coach Zach Smith — Bruce's grandson — had been accused by his now ex-wife of abuse.

Meyer, 54, has a 73-8 record at Ohio State, including the inaugural 2014 College Football Playoff championship. He has not had more than two losses in any season.

Meyer's overall record as head coach, which also includes stops at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, is 177-31, including two national titles at Florida. His winning percentage of .851 ranks behind only Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy among Division I coaches who coached for at least 10 years.

ohio state buckeyes logoMeyer said at the Big Ten football media gathering last week in Chicago that he was aware of a 2009 incident when both were at Florida in which Zach Smith was charged with aggravated domestic battery. Meyer said last week that he and his wife, Shelley, worked with the couple and encouraged counseling.

Meyer added, however, that he had no knowledge of an October 2015 incident in which Powell police were called to Courtney Smith's home one day after an alleged assault by Zach Smith. No charges were filed, and two weeks later Courtney Smith filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2016.

"I can't say it didn't happen because I wasn't there," Meyer said on July 24 of the 2015 incident. "I was never told about anything. Never anything came to light. I never had a conversation about it. So I know nothing about that. The first I heard about it was last night. I asked people back at the office to call and see what happened, and they came back and said they know nothing about it."

Aug. 1

HuffPost, Kirsten Gillibrand Pays The Price For Speaking Out Against Al Franken, Amanda Terkel, Aug. 1, 2018. But she's hitting back, saying if Democratic donor George Soros is truly mad at her, "that's on him."

kirsten gillibrand oNo one in Congress is more associated with the Me Too movement than Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Long before Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer became infamous creeps, Gillibrand was focusing her attention on sexual assault and harassment in the military, on college campuses and in the workplace.

But the two-term senator cemented her prominence in the movement last year when she called out members of her own party. In November, she said that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. And then the following month, she became the first Democratic senator to publicly call on then-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to go after multiple women accused him of engaging in sexual misconduct.

Franken announced his resignation the following day.

Speaking out has consequences. Women who come forward about the abuse they've faced are often barred from further job opportunities. And even someone in power like Gillibrand who tries to be an advocate for victims can find themselves facing a negative response from a previously friendly community.

July

July 30

washington post logofema logo Custom 2Washington Post, Top FEMA official allegedly harassed women for years, agency chief says, Lisa Rein, July 30, 2018. An internal investigation found that the senior executive hired women so he and his friends could target them for sexual relationships, agency officials said, calling it a "systemic problem going on for years."

Some of the claims about the agency's former personnel chief are detailed in a written executive summary of the investigation provided to The Washington Post. FEMA officials gave other details and confirmed that the individual under investigation, whose name was redacted from the report, is Corey Coleman, who led the personnel department from 2011 until his resignation in June.

Online records show Coleman was a senior executive who was paid an annual salary of $177,150.

In an interview, Long described a "toxic" environment in the human resources department under Coleman at FEMA headquarters. Starting in 2015, investigators said, Coleman hired many men who were friends and college fraternity brothers and women he met at bars and on online dating sites. He then promoted some of them to roles throughout the agency without going through proper federal hiring channels.

July 28

washington post logoWashington Post, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick resigns after reports of sexual abuse, Julie Zauzmer, July 28, 2018. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington and longtime globe-trotting diplomat of the Catholic Church, resigned his position as a cardinal, the Vatican announced Saturday.

theodore mccarrickMcCarrick, 88 (shown at right), was found by the church in June to be credibly accused of sexually abusing a teenager nearly 50 years ago. Since then, additional reports of sexual abuse and harassment by the cardinal, over a span of decades, have been reported. The victims include one then-minor and three adults, who were young priests or seminarians when McCarrick allegedly abused them.

Pope Francis ordered McCarrick to remain in seclusion, and in prayer, until a church trial considers further sanctions against him. McCarrick is the highest ranked U.S. Catholic clergy member to ever be removed from ministry due to sexual abuse allegations.

July 27

ap logoAssociated Press, 10 more ex-students sue Ohio State over sex abuse by doctor, Kantele Franko, July 27, 2018. Ten more former students have sued Ohio State University over alleged sexual misconduct by a now-dead team doctor, accusing school officials of facilitating abuse by ignoring complaints and requiring some athletes to get physicals from him to maintain their sports participation and scholarships.

richard strauss osu lantern screenshotThe case filed Thursday is the third federal lawsuit brought by men alleging sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss (right), who worked at Ohio State from 1978 until he retired in 1998.

"Beginning his very first year of employment at OSU — and spanning his entire two-decade tenure — Dr. Strauss preyed on male students, fondling, groping, sexually assaulting, and harassing them. He did so with OSU's knowledge and support," the lawsuit said, adding that many of the students didn't speak up then because they were embarrassed or unsure whether it was abuse.

The lawsuit accuses the university of having "a culture of institutional indifference" about students' safety and rights and failing to appropriately address Strauss' behavior in violation of federal Title IX law, which bars sex discrimination in education.

An independent investigation is ongoing at Ohio State, which says it's committed to learning the truth.

The allegations that people at Ohio State didn't respond appropriately at the time "are troubling and are a critical focus of the current investigation," university spokesman Benjamin Johnson said.

All three lawsuits seek unspecified monetary damages, but unlike the first two, the newest case doesn't propose to represent all Ohio State students mistreated by Strauss.

The plaintiffs include Steve Snyder-Hill, who lodged a complaint in 1995 about being inappropriately touched by Strauss during an exam at the student health center and recalls being told that Strauss denied it. Ohio State has a record of that complaint and the response sent by the health center's director, who said it was the first such complaint he'd received about Strauss.

Another of the new plaintiffs, former wrestling team captain David Mulvin, said he was fondled by Strauss during an exam and complained back in the late 1970s to another Ohio State doctor, but nothing came of it.

The lawsuit describes the other plaintiffs — most of whom aren't named — as members of the tennis, soccer, basketball and track and field teams during the 1980s who repeatedly experienced sexual misconduct by Strauss. In some cases, it says they complained to their coaches or trainers about his behavior.

Fox News Exit

donald trump jr kimberly guilfoyle and donald trump

Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle and President Trump (file photo)

huff post logoHuffPost, Exclusive / Investigation: Kimberly Guilfoyle Left Fox News After Investigation Into Misconduct Allegations, Sources Say, Yashar Ali, July 27, 2018. Sources tell HuffPost that Guilfoyle, who is dating Donald Trump Jr., engaged in emotionally abusive behavior and showed colleagues personal photos of male genitalia.

When it was revealed last week that longtime Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle would be leaving the network, some Fox News and White House insiders were surprised that she was choosing to move on from the cable news channel and head to a pro-Donald Trump super PAC. For nearly two years — even once rumors eventually kicked up that she might join the Trump administration — Guilfoyle said that, as a single mother, she had to think of her son's financial future and couldn't afford to leave the high-paying gig, multiple sources told HuffPost.

fox news logo SmallGuilfoyle's departure was initially billed as her decision. However, as HuffPost first reported last week, multiple sources said she did not leave the network voluntarily. They said Guilfoyle was informed her time at Fox News was up following a human resources investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior including sexual misconduct, and that her lawyers had been involved since the spring.

Sources also said that despite being told she would have to leave by July, Guilfoyle repeatedly attempted to delay her exit and tried to have her allies appeal to Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, to let her stay at the network.

This story is based on interviews conducted over the past year with 21 sources inside and outside Fox News and 21st Century Fox. All sources spoke to HuffPost on the condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak to the press, did not want to raise Guilfoyle's ire or have signed nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from speaking to others about their experiences.

In response to an email with a list of 19 detailed questions, Guilfoyle's attorney John Singer wrote the following statement:  

"Any accusations of Kimberly engaging in inappropriate work-place conduct are unequivocally baseless and have been viciously made by disgruntled and self-interested employees. During her lengthy and decorated tenure with the company, Kimberly was beloved, well-respected, and supportive of anyone she ever met. It's utterly preposterous that there are those who are nefariously and greedily twisting innocent conversations amongst close friends into much more than what it actually was for financial gain. Kimberly has happily moved onto the next chapter of her life and hopes others will do the same."

gavin newsom oFox News was a hotbed of sexual harassment and retaliation under Ailes, but executives at Fox News have worked over the past two years to improve the workplace culture and institute major changes in large part due to potential legal liabilities and regulatory concerns in the U.S. and U.K. Guilfoyle, according to several sources, failed to adapt to the new culture and still operated as if she were working under Ailes.

Guilfoyle, a former San Francisco County prosecutor, started at the network in 2006 as a legal analyst and worked her way up to become co-host of "The Five." She also served as a fill-in host for top-rated Fox News stars like Hannity. While living in the city, Guilfoyle was married for several years to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, shown at right. (Newsom is now lieutenant governor of California and the front-runner in the current gubernatorial campaign). This reporter worked for Newsom for several years but has no relationship with Guilfoyle and has never spoken to her.

July 26

New Yorker, Les Moonves and CBS Face Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Ronan Farrow (shown at right), July 27, 2018 (August 6 & 13, 2018 print new yorker logoedition). Six women accuse the C.E.O. of harassment and intimidation, and dozens more describe abuse at his company. For more than twenty years, Leslie Moonves has been one of the most powerful media executives in America. As the chairman and C.E.O. of CBS Corporation, he oversees shows ranging from "60 Minutes" to "The Big Bang Theory."

His portfolio includes the premium cable channel Showtime, the publishing house Simon & Schuster, and a streaming service, CBS All Access. Moonves, who is sixty-eight, has a reputation for canny hiring and project selection. The Wall Street Journal recently called him a "TV programming wizard"; the Hollywood Reporter dubbed him a "Wall Street Hero." In the tumultuous field of network television, he has enjoyed rare longevity as a leader. Last year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he earned nearly seventy million dollars, making him one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the world.

In recent months, Moonves (shown in a file photo below) has become a prominent voice in Hollywood's #MeToo movement. In December, he helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, which is chaired by Anita Hill. "It's a watershed moment," Moonves said at a conference in November. "I think it's important that a company's culture will not allow for this. And that's the thing that's far-reaching. There's a lot we're learning. There's a lot we didn't know."

les moonvesBut Moonves's private actions belie his public statements. Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them.

Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result.

Thirty current and former employees of CBS told me that such behavior extended from Moonves to important parts of the corporation, including CBS News and "60 Minutes," one of the network's most esteemed programs. It isn't clear whether Moonves himself knew of the allegations, but he has a reputation for being closely involved in management decisions across the network.

The Atlantic, The 24 Candidates for 2018 Sunk by #MeToo Allegations, Elaine Godfrey, Lena Felton, Taylor Hosking, July 26, 2018. This election cycle, claims of sexual harassment or misconduct have ended the bids of 11 Republicans and 13 Democrats. But many others facing accusations remain in office.

In the 10 months since allegations of sexual misconduct were first leveled against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, America has seen the reputational demise of dozens of public figures. But arguably the most significant repercussions have been in the world of politics, affecting those with the power or potential to shape the country's laws and represent communities across the nation.

The #MeToo movement is already having profound effects on the current election cycle, and not just at the national level: According to an analysis by The Atlantic, at least 24 candidates for office in 2018 have ended their campaigns or bids for reelection after allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct.

July 24

alex kozinski c span nov 2014 Custom

Show above is a C-SPAN screenshot from a 2014 lecture at the National Press Club by then federal appeals court judge Alex Kozinski

washington post logoWashington Post, Judge who quit over harassment allegations reemerges, dismaying those who accused him, July 24, 2018. Some former clerks to Alex Kozinski and other women said they feared the retired federal appeals court judge was being allowed to reenter the legal community without a complete reckoning.

Alex Kozinski had largely retreated from public life since allegations of sexual misconduct prompted him to retire as a federal appeals court judge last year. Even as his case sparked changes in how the judiciary handles harassment, the outspoken jurist remained silent — never addressing specific accusations that he showed clerks explicit images in his chambers or touched women inappropriately.

But earlier this month, Kozinski tiptoed back into public view, sitting for an hour-long interview with a public radio station in California and writing a tribute in a legal-industry publication to retired Supreme Court justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Then President Trump nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh, one of Kozinski's former clerks and professional friends, to a seat on the high court.

Kozinski was suddenly back in the spotlight, and the legal and political worlds were left to wrestle with the aftershocks of his fall from grace.

rachel crooks cnnNational Press Club, Progressive Women Candidates, Survivors of Sexual Assault and Harassment, Bring the #MeToo Movement to the Ballot Box, Press relations contacts: Kawana Lloyd and Inaru Melendez, July 24, 2018. On July 24 at the National Press Club, young progressive female candidates from battleground states — including survivors of sexual assault and harassment —- will join People For the American Way's Next Up Victory Fund for a panel discussion about the impact of the #MeToo movement on candidates, races and the future of politics under a president with a record of discrediting women.

Rachel Crooks (shown in a file photo), one of the first of at least nineteen women who have accused President Trump of sexual assault, now candidate for Ohio State Legislator, is a featured speaker. Additional panelists will also share their personal stories and discuss how the #MeToo movement influenced their decisions to run for public office and continue to impact their candidacy, their campaigns, and the overall political environment.

• Rachel Crooks, candidate for Ohio State House, District 88.
• Anna Eskamani, candidate for Florida State House, District 47
• Katie Muth, candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate, District 44
• Myya Jones, candidate for Michigan State House District 4

People For the American Way, Progressive Women Candidates Join Next Up Victory Fund Panel to Call for Change, Kawana Lloyd and Inaru Melendez, July 24, 2018 (See the Livestream of the event here). Discuss Impact of #MeToo Movement on the Midterms.

Young progressive women running for office in battleground states joined People For the American Way's Next Up Victory Fund today for a National Press Club discussion about the impact of the #MeToo movement on the 2018 midterms and the future of politics under a president with a record of harming women.

"We have a sexual predator in the White House, and that is not OK," said Rachel Crooks, who spoke about being assaulted by rump when she was a 22-year old employee of Trump Tower. "For too long, I was silent and ashamed about what happened. But as I heard more women speak up, I realized I wasn't alone. Watching powerful men like Trump not being held accountable, it made me realize women need to run and win to change this culture. "

The panelists shared personal stories about their experience with sexual harassment and sexual assault, and about how those experiences, in addition to the #MeToo movement and the 2017 Women's March, influenced their decisions to run for office. They also discussed more recent sexist comments like Katie Muth's opponent calling her "that girl," of Anna Eskamani's opponents calling her "immature," of people giving Rachel Crooks unsolicited advice on her clothing and of donors and establishment men touching women without asking.

"Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Generations of survivors have been forced to adapt, but not anymore," said Anna Eskamani. "I can remember far too many occurrences where donors and elected officials have touched me inappropriately. This doesn't just influence my campaign, it influences the way I would legislate in Florida when I win. It's time for change."

"Even before Trump was elected, I knew as a survivor that we needed more women, and especially women of color, running for office," said Myya Jones. "I have long spoken out about the intertwined issues of racial violence and sexual assault -- of the tragedy of black and brown people being murdered, and about the rampant sexual assault problem we have in America. But with Trump in the White House, it's even more important for black women to step up and run for office and for people to support us."

"A lot of people told me that I shouldn't talk about being a rape survivor while running for office," said Katie Muth. "For too long, we survivors have been shamed into silence. But Donald Trump's campaign brought up all of this trauma we had tried to suppress, and we realized we need to speak out instead of being silent."

"In the past couple of years we have witnessed a wave of young progressive women becoming candidates and transforming our politics -- in much the same way that the #MeToo movement has transformed public conversations about sexual harassment and assault and the kinds of barriers that they, and a culture that tolerates them, create for women. That is real change, and we're counting on more of it from the candidates who are here today and the dozens more our Next Up Victory Fund is supporting this year," said People For the American Way President Michael Keegan.

Heiress Indicted In Alleged Sex Trafficking Cult

nxivm executive success programs abc

Nxivm corporate logo from office park signage adjoining its corporate headquarters in New York (file photo)

ny times logoNew York Times, Seagram's Liquor Heiress Charged in Nxivm Sex-Trafficking Case, Sean Piccoli, July 24, 2018. Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram's liquor fortune, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn after her arrest on conspiracy and racketeering charges in connection with her role at Nxivm, a self-help group that prosecutors call a pyramid scheme and former members say is a cult.

Ms. Bronfman was released on a $100 million bond — roughly half of her net worth, according to her lawyer, Susan Necheles  — and, after a sometimes contentious hourlong bail hearing, was ordered placed under house arrest by United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.

Ms. Bronfman will have to wear an ankle monitor at her New York apartment under the terms of her release and must return to court on Friday with assets totaling $50 million to put up as security for her bail.

clare bronfman croppedMs. Bronfman was one of four people arrested in New York State on Tuesday after the unsealing of an updated seven-count indictment against Keith Raniere, leader of the now defunct-group, and five others in his "inner circle," federal prosecutors said in the indictment.Mr. Raniere, 57, was arrested earlier this year in Mexico and brought to New York to face federal sex-trafficking charges.

Prosecutors said he and one of his followers, Allison Mack, 35, an actress known for her work in "Smallville," coerced female members to have unwanted sex with him and branded them with a symbol containing his initials. Mr. Raniere is being held without bail in Brooklyn to await trial.

clare bronfman keith did good abc

Heiress Clare Bronfman, shown above, quoted on an ABC 20/20 report as describing NXIVM founder Keith Raniere

Related coverage: Albany Times Union, Faces of NXIVM: An alleged cult's inner circle and beyond, Keith Raniere has surrounded himself with rich, famous, Joyce Bassett, April 24, 2018.  NXIVM, an upstate New York self-help group, is accused of branding some of its female followers and forcing them into unwanted sex.

Keith Raniere has courted the rich and famous for years through his leadership of NXIVM, the secretive Colonie-based "executive success program" that critics have described as a cult. Now, he has everyone's attention.

NXIVM is making news worldwide after Raniere was arrested on March 25 on multiple federal counts of sex trafficking and forced labor. On Friday, Raniere and actress Allison Mack both were indicted by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn.

Raniere, the group's founder — who is referred to within NXIVM as "Vanguard" — was arrested at a $10,000-a-week villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he fled last November as the federal investigation took shape. Video of that arrest is shown below.

The U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York is leading the grand jury investigation of Raniere and NXIVM. Numerous people involved with NXIVM have been subpoenaed to testify in Brooklyn.

Background:

NXIVM website: "NXIVM is a company whose mission is to raise human awareness, foster an ethical humanitarian civilization, and celebrate what it means to be human."

Important Message to our Members: It is with deep sadness that we inform you we are suspending all NXIVM/ESP enrollment, curriculum and events until further notice.  We will be in touch with more information for anyone currently enrolled in upcoming events/programs. While we are disappointed by the interruption of our operations, we believe it is warranted by the extraordinary circumstances facing the company at this time. We continue to believe in the value and importance of our work and look forward to resuming our efforts when these allegations are resolved." 

ABC News, Former NXIVM member says she was branded when invited to secret sorority: Part I Dec. 15, 2017 (11:19 mins. video). Sarah Edmondson said she thought she was getting a tattoo when she willingly participated in strange initiation ritual for a sorority that she says is associated with NXIVM. ABC News 20/20, Inside the troubled past of NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, Part II, April 27, 2018 (7:06 mins. video).

Vanity Fair, The Heiresses and the Cult, Suzanna Andrews, Oct. 13, 2010. To family friends, Seagram heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman are victims of a frightening, secretive "cult" called nxivm, which has swallowed as much as $150 million of their fortune. But the organization's leader, Keith Raniere,

July 23

theodore mccarrick

washington post logoWashington Post, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is the target of new allegations of sexual misconduct, Michelle Boorstein and Julie Zauzmer, July 23, 2018 (print ed.). Since he was suspended a month ago for alleged child sexual abuse, four other allegations of abuse and misconduct against the former D.C. archbishop (shown at right) have surfaced.

Think Progress, The Beltway news cycle is burying the horrifying details of the Ohio, Lindsay Gibbs, July 23, 2018. State sex abuse scandal: This is not actually a story about partisan politics, or Jim Jordan.

It's been 20 days since reports first surfaced about Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) ignoring allegations of sexual abuse when he was an assistant coach for the Ohio State wrestling team. Because of the trumped-up nature of these modern times, most reporters who are tied to the political news cycle have moved on, resigned to the fact that Jordan, shown below at left in a file photo, will remain in his prominent leadership position within the Republican Party.

jim jordan 07 26 2011 fileWith each new revelation about Dr. Richard Strauss's decades of abuse during his time as a team doctor at Ohio State, the story is framed in one of two ways: Either as "bad news for Jordan," by those inclined to believe survivors, or as the work of the "deep state" by those on the far right.

But this is not a story about politics. And it is absolutely not a story that should be viewed through the distortion of a partisan lens.

Yes, Jordan should be held accountable for any abuse his silence helped enable. But if we don't look at this story systematically, we're missing the entire point.

This is on behalf of my friend Laser Haas of Los Angeles, a dedicated whistleblower who instantly saw the justice of your appeal and dropped his own important work to help out.

July 21

#MeToo Alabama Pedophile Claim Against Sheriff

Think Progress, Alabama sheriff who supported Roy Moore accused of sex with underage girls, Frank Dale, July 21, 2018. Todd Entrekin is alleged of sexual misconduct at "drug-fueled parties he hosted for fellow law enforcement officers."

roy moore gunFailed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore (shown at right with a gun at a campaign rally) was endorsed by Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin despite numerous accusations of Moore's inappropriate sexual behavior with minors. Now Entrekin has also been accused of having sex with underage girls.

AL.com, the publication that broke much of the news regarding Moore's alleged sexual misconduct, reports Entrekin is under investigation after being accused of sexual misconduct at "drug-fueled parties he hosted for fellow law enforcement officers and other adult men in the early nineties."

AL.com detailed the timeline of the accusations:

A 41-year-old woman first detailed the claims during several hours of in-person interviews with AL.com in May, during which she alleged that Entrekin had sex with her four times in the late summer of 1992, when he was 29 and she was 15 years old. In Alabama, the age of consent is 16.

Entrekin, who previously made headlines for pocketing $750,000 that was intended to feed inmates and buying a $740,000 beach house, denied the report on Friday:

"I've never had sex with any 15-year-old girl or had drugs around or anything. I have never done drugs in my life. That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard of. Never, ever has anything like that happened before."

July 20

donald trump beauty contests

A new BBC documentary that aired shortly before Donald Trump's visit to the United Kingdom this month was entitled "Trump: Is the president a sex pest?" Above is a graphic by Democratic Underground compiling previous commentaries. Below is a story about it.

The Cut, New BBC Documentary Alleges Trump Pursued Models As Young As 17, Amanda Arnold, July 20, 2018. (video). Just days before the U.S. president's visit to England in early July, the BBC figured it was a good time to revisit a very worthwhile question: Donald Trump, the sex scandal–plagued world leader who has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous woman, and who once bragged about grabbing women by the pussy — could he be a sex pest?

bbc news logo2The BBC first ran a 30-minute report dedicated to this notable query on Monday, July 9 – three days before Trump's visit to England. Titled "Trump: Is the president a sex pest?" it focused on Trump's relations with women in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, for those of us stateside who would like an answer of our own, the documentary is scheduled to premiere in the US and Canada on Saturday, July 21, at 10:30am EST, with another airing on Sunday afternoon.

The report was not initially available for streaming outside of Europe, but outlets such as VICE News and the Mirror gained access when it first aired, and the BBC put out a press release today detailing some of the allegations from the documentary.

The half-hour show features two women and a man who say they witnessed Trump's behavior at parties in the '80s and '90s. One woman, Barbara Pilling — who has never spoken publicly before about Trump — said she met the president at a New York party in the late 1980s, where he questioned her over her age. When she responded 17, the president allegedly responded, "Oh, great. So you're not too old and not too young. That's just great."

"I felt like I was in the presence of a shark getting ready to roll his eyes back in his head and bite me," Pillings told BBC. She also spoke of Trump's predatory behavior toward other women at the party. According to Pillings, when a waitress offered Trump a drink, "He didn't take the drink and slapped her on the bottom. She was a blonde. He gave her butt a slap and it was very loud. He was like, 'Don't worry, that's not your tip.'"

Pillings also describes going to the restroom and discussing Trump with other models; one said the president was "trying to grab [her] ass" as she walked by.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, claims he attended many of the same parties as the future president, where there was "a lot of cocaine around," and wealthy men solicited sex from younger women. "It was kind of like a feeding frenzy. The girls were there as consumables." ("There's no evidence that Donald Trump had sex with underage girls," the BBC notes, "but the program has been told he did pursue models in their teens.")

Kimberly Guilfoyle screenshot by The Blaze

Kimberly Guilfoyle became a former co-host at Fox News on Friday after the cable news network confirmed that they had parted ways with the popular news pundit. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot by The Blaze)

The Blaze, Fox News confirms Kimberly Guilfoyle departure in a surprising statement, Carlos Garcia, July 20, 2018. Fox News confirmed a report Friday that their popular host Kimberly Guilfoyle had left the cable news network in a statement that is being described as "terse."

The statement released Friday was perfunctory and brief: "Fox News has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle," the statement read.

Guilfoyle had been a longtime co-host of "The Five," but reports that she was dating the recently divorced Donald Trump Jr. have been followed by new career opportunities. The 49-year-old will reportedly join the pro-Trump non-profit organization, America First Politics, according to CNN. The report appeared to be confirmed through a tweet by a Trump Jr. spokesperson. "Having [Kim Guilfoyle] on the trail campaigning with [Donald Trump Jr.] for Republicans this fall is a win for the entire GOP," Surabian tweeted.\Trump Jr., who is 40 years old, has been a prolific fundraiser and defender of his father's agenda and legacy. Guilfoyle recently praised Trump Jr. as "the number one up-and-coming political figure for sure, on the right."

"He has a compelling political voice; he is incredibly bright," Guilfoyle added. "I have seen him at these different rallies, and I went to Montana with him. I've known him for over a decade."

July 19

Surveillance photo of Georgia waitress fighting back against customer who groped her

People, Georgia Waitress, 21, Who Body-Slammed Man After He Groped Her in Pizzeria Speaks Out, Char Adams, July 19, 2018.  Emelia Holden, 21, didn't hesitate to take matters into her own hands when a man groped her during her shift at Vinnie Van Go-Go's in Savannah, Georgia on June 30.

In surveillance footage of the incident, 31-year-old Ryan Cherwinski is shown grabbing Holden's backside as he walks behind her. Holden immediately turns around and grabs him by his collar and slams him into a counter. "I looked at him and I said, 'You don't touch me, motherf—–!' " Holden tells People. "I didn't even think, I just reacted. I don't know how I reacted the way I did. I've never done that before."

Holden says she had just finished taking an order when the man assaulted her. At first, she says, she couldn't fathom that a stranger would grab her in such a way.

ny times logoNew York Times, Federal Prosecutors Questioned Trump's Top Communicator, Elizabeth Williamson and Emily Steel, July 19, 2018. Bill Shine, the president's new aide, brought baggage as well as long experience at Fox News to the White House. He has denied any wrongdoing amid a sexual harassment scandal at the network.

bill shineBill Shine, a former co-president of Fox News hired this month as President Trump's communications chief, brought conservative credentials and heavy baggage with him into the White House. President Trump embraced the former and ignored the latter.

Mr. Shine (shown at left in a file photo), now struggling to limit the damage from Mr. Trump's performance on Monday with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, was ousted from Fox News last year in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal at the network.

Mr. Shine was never publicly accused of harassment, but he was accused in multiple civil lawsuits of covering up misconduct by Roger E. Ailes, the founding chairman of Fox News, and dismissing concerns from colleagues who complained.

roger ailes wMr. Shine's appointment to the White House job has drawn criticism from some women who worked for him at Fox News, and has brought new scrutiny of his record there.

In one previously undisclosed action, Mr. Shine was subpoenaed last year by a federal grand jury in New York as part of a criminal investigation into Fox News's handling of sexual harassment complaints, according to a document viewed by The New York Times. Mr. Shine was never charged.

Mr. Ailes (shown at right) died in May 2017, and the federal investigation recently/ appeared to have gone dormant, according to people familiar with the case. Mr. Shine has denied any wrongdoing.

July 18

ap logoAssociated Press via Talking Points Memo, Jim Jordan Interviewed By Law Firm Probing Ex-OSU Doctor Abuse Claims, Kantele Franko, July 18, 2018.  Former Ohio State University wrestling coach and current U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan was interviewed by the law firm investigating allegations that a now-dead team doctor sexually abused male athletes there decades ago, his spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

jim jordan headshot CustomThe Ohio Republican (shown right) spoke Monday morning with the firm looking into allegations against Dr. Richard Strauss and how the school responded to any complaints about Strauss, said spokesman Ian Fury, who declined to discuss details of the conversation.

"He told them the same things he's told everybody in the press," Fury said. "You know, the story stays the same because the truth doesn't change."

Jordan has publicly said he was never aware of abuse when he was an assistant coach from 1987 to 1995, and he has repeatedly denied some former wrestlers' claims that he knew they were inappropriately groped by Strauss.

A watchdog group and a former special counsel to President Barack Obama have soughtan ethics review of the congressman, who is a founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus and potential contender for House speaker.

July 17

ny times logoNew York Times, The Baby's Coming. But the Hospital Is 100 Miles Away, Jack Healy, July 17, 2018 (print edition). After years of cost-cutting and closures, fewer than half of rural counties in the United States now have a hospital that offers any obstetric care, researchers say.

A few hours after the only hospital in town shut its doors forever, Kela Abernathy bolted awake at 4:30 a.m., screaming in pain. Oh God, she remembered thinking, it's the twins. They were not due for another two months. But the contractions seizing Ms. Abernathy's lower back early that June morning told her that her son and daughter were coming. Now.

Ms. Abernathy, 21, staggered out of bed and yelled for her mother, Lynn, who had been lying awake on the living-room couch. They grabbed a few bags, scooped up Ms. Abernathy's 2-year-old son and were soon hurtling across this poor patch of southeast Missouri in their Pontiac Bonneville, racing for help. The old hospital used to be around the corner. Now, her new doctor and hospital were nearly 100 miles away.

Medical help is growing dangerously distant for women in rural America. At least 85 rural hospitals — about 5 percent of the country's total — have closed since 2010, and obstetric care has faced even starker cutbacks as rural hospitals calculate the hard math of survival, weighing the cost of providing 24/7 delivery services against dwindling birthrates, doctor and nursing shortages and falling revenues.

Today, researchers estimate that fewer than half of the country's rural counties still have a hospital that offers obstetric care, an absence that adds to the obstacles rural women face in getting health care. Specialists are increasingly clustered in bigger cities. Clinics that provide abortions, long-term birth control and other reproductive services have been forced to close in many smaller towns.

"It's scary," said Katie Penn, who said she was rejected by eight doctors before finding an obstetrician in Jonesboro, Ark., about an hour from Kennett. "You never know what can happen."

ny times logoNew York Times, 'I Just Simply Did What He Wanted,' Emily Kassie, July 17, 2018 (print edition) (9:30 min. video). Immigrant detention has been expanding, increasing the risk of sexual assault. Two women told us their stories of being sexually abused by guards while in U.S. immigration custody.

ap logoAssociated Press via New York Times, Lawsuit Alleges USA Diving Ignored Sex Abuse of Divers, July 16, 2018. Two former divers are suing USA Diving, accusing the national governing body of ignoring or obstructing inquiries into allegations that a coach sexually abused them when they were young athletes dreaming of Olympic glory.

The federal lawsuit, filed last week, names Indianapolis-based USA Diving, Inc., the Ohio State University Diving Club and Will Bohonyi. The suit alleges that Bohonyi, who had coached at the Ohio State University Diving Club and was fired in 2014, coerced and forced the divers into frequent sex, telling them, "You owe me this," The Indianapolis Star reported.

July 16

ny times logotheodore mccarrickNew York Times, Ousted U.S. Cardinal Left a Trail of Abused Recruits, Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman, July 16, 2018. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, right, was removed from ministry last month for sexually abusing an altar boy. But for decades, the church overlooked his harassment of adult seminarians.

As a young man studying to be a priest in the 1980s, Robert Ciolek was flattered when his brilliant, charismatic bishop in Metuchen, N.J., Theodore E. McCarrick, told him he was a shining star, cut out to study in Rome and rise high in the church.

Bishop McCarrick began inviting him on overnight trips, sometimes alone and sometimes with other young men training to be priests. There, the bishop would often assign Mr. Ciolek to share his room, which had only one bed. The two men would sometimes say night prayers together, before Bishop McCarrick would make a request — "come over here and rub my shoulders a little"— that extended into unwanted touching in bed.

ABA Journal, How 2 nights of sexting and anger over the repercussions led to the ouster of Latham's leader, Debra Cassens Weiss, July 16, 2018. The scandal that led to the forced resignation of Latham & Watkins chairman William Voge began in November with two nights of sexting.

It ended in March after Voge's legal threats against a suburban Chicago woman led Latham & Watkins to ask for his resignation. The Wall Street Journal viewed emails and texts exchanged between Voge and the woman, Andrea Vassell of Naperville, Illinois, and spoke with both of them.

Voge was in Chicago for November meetings when he swapped emails and then texts with Vassell, a woman who had accused an official with a Christian group of paying to have sex with her in the mid-1990s. Vassell said she was previously a sex-trafficking victim, and she alleged that the New Canaan Society official was the first customer. The official had turned for help to Voge, a friend and a board member of the society. Voge encouraged a Christian mediation.

Voge sent messages about the dispute to Vassell from his hotel room in Chicago. But "the talk turned flirtatious, then sexual" and continued for about an hour, the Wall Street Journal says. More sexts followed later in the week. Voge and Vassell briefly spoke on the phone, but they never met in person.

Voge's lawyer, Terry Ekl, sent a letter to Vassell threatening legal action if she didn't stop contacting people about the incident. Vassell emailed the letter to Latham and didn't stop there. She emailed New Canaan Society members, Latham partners, another law firm, a few journalists and Voge's wife. She also emailed Voge, sending more than 90 emails in all.

July 15

peter strozk lisa page

FBI counter-intelligence supervisor Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, above, were interrogated by a GOP-led House investigation, including 10 hours of public hearings on July 13 for Strzok and a long private session grilling Page the following day.

washington post logodana milbank CustomWashington Post, Opinion: It's clear why Republicans interrogated Peter Strzok, Dana Milbank (right), July 15, 2018 (print edition). But by all means let's hear more about the affair.

They stuck with Donald Trump when he was heard, on video, boasting about sexually assaulting women. They stuck with him still when he acknowledged paying hush money to a porn actress who alleged an affair.

republican elephant logoBut this week, congressional Republicans, determined to discredit the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, hauled in FBI agent Peter Strzok and sought to humiliate him over anti-Trump texts he exchanged with his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

"I can't help wonder," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), "when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?"

The purpose of interrogating Strzok for 10 hours Thursday (after 11 hours in a private session) was clear: ritual humiliation.

In fairness, the vast majority condemned Strzok over his texts to his lover without invoking the affair. But then there was Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.), picking up where Gohmert left off. "Engaging in the kind of behavior that you have been engaging in, especially with the extramarital affair, it opens up an agent to exploitation and even blackmail," she proclaimed.

scott desJarlais oIf Republicans really want to go there, they'll need to investigate the vulnerabilities of some of Strzok's inquisitors on their glass-house committee:

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), who needled Strzok about "text messages with your friend." DesJarlais (right), according to divorce filings, had multiple extramarital affairs and encouraged his ex-wife and a patient with whom he had an affair to get abortions.

mark meadows small customRep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over payments to a former staffer accused of sexual harassment. Other members of the panel are Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who was sentenced last year to community service and anger-management classes for assaulting a reporter, and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), whose infidelity as governor of South Carolina made national headlines.

blake farenthold with bunny customJudging Strzok also would have been Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), but he recently resigned after revelation of a taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlement. (Farenthold is shown in a photo taken at the "Abyss" nightclub.)

And there's Gohmert himself, who defended Jordan against the wrestlers' allegations and who remained on Trump's leadership team through the "Access Hollywood" scandal.

July 13

wayne madsen screen shot

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Opinion: The FBI's "inquisitors" -- a parade of the depraved, Wayne Madsen (shown above in a cable news screenshot), July 13, 2018 (subscription required). Investigative reporter and author of 15 books Wayne Madsen is a former Navy intelligence officer and frequent broadcast commentator.

U.S. House logoOn July 12, former deputy assistant director of the FBI Peter Strzok testified before 70 members of a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on his actions as the chief of the bureau's counter-intelligence division during the 2016 presidential election.

bob goodlatte cropped oStrzok's text messages, in which he criticized Trump, were fodder for the Republicans who used the occasion to push their various unfounded conspiracy theories.

The Republicans who took shots at Strzok represent a cavalcade of miscreants, misfits, perverts, and criminals, starting with House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), right, who is retiring at the end of the current term.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Devin Nunes tied to underage sex worker scandal, Tim Faulkner, July 13, 2018. Things just keep getting worse for Congressman Devin Nunes (a California Republican representing the state's Central Valley). On Wednesday, two separate organizations issued letters to the Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an investigation into his personal business investments.

devin nunes grimacingA complaint filed by the Campaign for Accountability alleges that Nunes (shown at left) possibly violated federal laws by omitting information from his financial disclosure forms when he failed to include information on his affiliation with three California companies. He left off information as to whether he had investments or received any financial gifts from the companies' owners. Alpha Omega, a Napa County winery, was listed as one of Nunes's primary assets, which he reported that he purchased in 2006 for between $50,001 and $100,000 but he claims to receive little income from it each year, "despite [its] apparent success."

While this omission would clearly violate federal law, things get even worse for Nunes.

Another complaint, this one from the Swamp Accountability Project, was also filed Wednesday with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). This complaint focuses on a sexual harassment lawsuit that was settled in 2015, alleging "the company hosted a fundraiser on a yacht with top investors using cocaine and hiring sex workers — some who appeared too young to consent." With the recent jim jordan headshot Customallegations against fellow Republican Congressman Jim Jordan (rigght) of protecting an Ohio State team doctor from molestation complaints, this is not a good time for Nunes to face such allegations.

So far, Devin Nunes has not answered any inquiries about his involvement or knowledge of this incident. "For this reason, OCE should prioritize a review of Rep. Nunes' investment and involvement in the Alpha Omega Winery, and the facts reported by The Fresno Bee. Such review should be undertaken as swiftly as possible," the complaint from the Swamp Accountability Project stated.

washington post logoWashington Post, She found her father's child porn images of herself, then killed him — and kept it secret for 12 years, Samantha Schmidt, July 13, barbara coombes2018. Barbara Coombes, 51 (shown at right), had just been gardening in her father's backyard, on a street of red-brick terrace homes in their suburb near Manchester, England, when she went inside and spotted a box on the dining room table.

Sifting through the box, she was repulsed by what she saw: A trove of pornographic photos — of children. Among them were explicit photographs of herself as a child, according to a court hearing reported by the Manchester Evening News.

The images were painful reminders of her childhood, of the decades of abuse at the hands of a father who allegedly used her as a "sex slave" and raped her hundreds of times, the Guardian reported, citing the Manchester crown court hearing.

"I could feel a black cloud appearing over me," Coombes said in court this week, according to the Evening News. "In a haze of disgust and disbelief, I picked up a shovel I had been gardening with."

mark aderholt southern baptist leader mug

Mark Aderholt, above is former associate executive director and chief strategist of the South Carolina Baptist Convention

HuffPost, Former Southern Baptist Leader Charged With Sexual Assault, Carol Kuruvilla, July 13, 2018. Mark Aderholt's accuser claims a church mission board has known about the abuse for over a decade.

HuffPost, Inhuman Resources: A Whistleblower's Tale, David Dayen, July 12, 2018. Mike Picarella wanted to protect a co-worker from humiliating sexual harassment. He didn't expect his own life to be destroyed in the process,

The banking industry is hardly known for its moral rectitude. But if you look beyond the executive suites and venture into compliance departments and operations back offices, you'll find a handful of sticklers and self-appointed heroes who have made it their mission to save Wall Street from its excesses. Mike is one of them.

July 11

ny times logoNew York Times, First Person: Surviving the Long-Term Trauma of Sexual Violence, Photographs and text by Kate Ryan, July 11, 2018. After she was raped, a photographer asked 29 other survivors about their stories.

The trauma of sexual violence is not something we fix. It is something we manage daily. It takes work. And that work is as messy and complicated as the individuals who live it.

I aimed to get at that complexity with "Signed, X," a collection of photographs and interviews with long-term survivors of sexual assault. This project began as a series of questions: What triggers you years after sexual violence? How do you ground yourself in those moments? Where do you carry stress? Where do you find hope? These are the questions I began asking survivors last October.

July 9

Predator #MeToo Cover-up Scandal?

The Hill, Former White House ethics chief requests probe into whether Jordan knew of alleged sexual abuse, Avery Anapol, July 9, 2018. Former White House ethics chief Norm Eisen on Monday said that he has filed a formal ethics complaint against GOP Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) amid accusations that the lawmaker ignored sexual abuse allegations while serving as an assistant coach for the Ohio State University wrestling program.

Eisen, who served as former President Obama's ethics chief, said that he and Fred Wertheimer of the nonprofit watchdog group Democracy 21 filed the complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

jim jordan 07 26 2011 fileJordan, shown in a file photo, has denied the allegations, saying that if he had known about the alleged abuse, he would have acted to stop it.

Seven former wrestlers have contradicted Jordan's claims, saying that the former assistant coach knew about alleged sexual abuse by athletic doctor Richard Strauss. Strauss killed himself in 2005.

Eisen and Wertheimer's complaint seeks an OCE investigation into whether Jordan is lying about his knowledge of alleged abuse. Eisen and Wertheimer argue that if Jordan is "publicly lying about his knowledge of the matter," he is violating House Rules and should be held accountable.

July 7

jim jordan ohio fourth district map Small

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, represents the heavily gerrymandered Fourth District shown above to encompass heavily white, GOP voters

The Hill, Seventh former Ohio State wrestler claims Jordan knew of alleged sexual abuse, Jacqueline Thomsen, July 7, 2018.  A seventh former Ohio State jim jordan headshot CustomUniversity wrestler came forward Saturday with claims that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) knew about alleged sexual abuse taking place on the wrestling team while he was an assistant coach.

David Range told The Washington Post that Jordan (shown at right) must have know about the alleged sexual abuse by athletic doctor Richard Strauss because it happened regularly and was often discussed.

"Jordan definitely knew that these things were happening — yes, most definitely," Range told the newspaper. "It was there. He knew about it because it was an everyday occurrence."

July 6

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump has horrible response to Jim Jordan sexual abuse scandal, Bill Palmer, July 6, 2018. Four former members of the Ohio State University wrestling team have now come forward to assert they informed their coach Jim Jordan that the team doctor was sexually abusing them. Ohio State's own lawyers say they emailed Jordan informing him of the abuse, and asking him to come in for an interview, which he ignored. The evidence is stacking up against Jordan, who is now a Republican Congressman and a close ally of Donald Trump.

Here's what Trump told the pool of reporters: "I don't believe them at all. I believe him." To be clear, Trump is accusing four Ohio State wrestling team members of all falsely claiming that they warned Jim Jordan about what was going on. Trump is also accusing the Ohio State legal department of falsely claiming that it informed Jordan, even though there are email records involved that can prove what the real story was.

July 5

jim jordan 07 26 2011 file

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, shown in a 2011 file photo. The House Freedom Caucus leader announced a race to become GOP Speaker and was promptly accused in a sex scandal of years ago involving young men. He has denied knowledge or wrongdoing.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigation / Opinion: GOP House Caucus: a "Pleasure Palace" for pederasts and pedophiles, July 5, 2018 (subscription required for access to full story and site at $7 monthly or $32 for full year). Jim Jordan is merely another in a long parade of Republican perverts in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. House Speaker wannabe Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) has good reason to be concerned about allegations that he covered up incidents of sexual abuse of Ohio State University athletes while he was an assistant wrestling coach on the campus from 1986 to 1995. Jordan is in a typical Republican "full-nelson denial" about his involvement in covering up sexual assaults of male athletes by the OSU's Athletics Team Physician, Dr. Richard Strauss.

WMR Editor Wayne Madsen, shown at left, is a syndicated columnist, author of 15 books and a former Navy Intelligence officer who was deputized by the FBI in the 1980s to help gather evidence used to convict and imprison his Navy commanding officer on pedophilia charges. In 2006, Madsen published a three-part series exposing then-GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert as a gay pedophile, beginning during Hastert's career as a high school wrestling coach. A decade later Hastert was indicted for financial crimes related to victim payoffs and later imprisoned.

Wall Street Journal, Former Ohio State Wrestlers Say Rep. Jim Jordan Knew of Team Doctor's Alleged Misconduct, Ben Kesling and Kristina Peterson, July 5, 2018. Lawmaker denies knowledge of alleged sexual abuse that occurred in the 1990s, when he was assistant coach.

Five former wrestlers, including former UFC world champion Mark Coleman, said this week that Rep. Jim Jordan was aware of, but didn't respond to, allegations of sexual misconduct by an Ohio State University team doctor when the lawmaker was an assistant wrestling coach there in the 1990s.

"There's no way unless he's got dementia or something that he's got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State," Mr. Coleman, the mixed martial arts champion, said of Mr. Jordan in an interview Wednesday.

nbc news logoNBC News, Fourth Ohio State wrestler says Rep. Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse, Corky Siemaszko, July 5, 2018. A fourth former Ohio State University wrestler came forward Thursday to contradict Rep. Jim Jordan's claim that he had no idea the wrestling team doctor was molesting athletes.

The wrestler, Shawn Dailey, said he was groped half a dozen times by Dr. Richard Strauss in the mid-1990s, when Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach. Dailey said he was too embarrassed to report the abuse directly to Jordan at the time, but he said Jordan took part in conversations where Strauss' abuse of many other team members came up.

"I participated with Jimmy and the other wrestlers in locker-room talk about Strauss. We all did," Dailey, 43, told NBC News, referring to Jordan. "It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down."

Dailey spoke out two days after NBC News reported that three former wrestlers who were coached by Jordan more than two decades ago accused the GOP congressman of turning a blind eye to Strauss' alleged abuse and then lying about it. Jordan denied knowing anything about the abuse and continues to do so.
Dailey corroborated the account of one of those wrestlers, Dunyasha Yetts, who told NBC News that Yetts had protested to Jordan and head coach Russ Hellickson after Strauss tried to pull down his wrestling shorts when Yetts went to see him for a thumb injury.

"Dunyasha comes back and tells Jimmy, 'Seriously, why do I have to pull down my pants for a thumb injury?'" Dailey recalled. "Jimmy said something to the extent of, 'If he tried that with me, I would kill him.'"

Calling Jordan "a close friend," Dailey said he is a Republican and that he contributed to the powerful Ohio congressman's first political campaign for state representative in 1994.

"What happened drove me out of the sport," said Dailey, a married father of two who works as a fundraiser for an Ohio college. "So I was surprised to hear Jim say that he knew nothing about it."

"Jimmy's a good guy," Dailey added. "But to say that he had no knowledge of it, I would say that's kind of hurtful."

mike disabato screen shot 2018 07 04 cnn

Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato, right, claims harassment as a student to CNN host John Berman

Daily Caller, Opinion: Jim Jordan's Accusers Have A Sketchy History, Raising Questions About Their 'Authenticity,' Chuck Ross, July 5, 2018. Two former Ohio State University wrestlers accusing Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan of ignoring sexual misconduct by a university physician more than two decades ago have a history of failed business dealings, lawsuits, harassment allegations, and in the case of one accuser, an 18 month prison sentence for fraud.

One of the former wrestlers, Mike DiSabato, is also being accused by the widow of a Marine who was killed in combat in Iraq of intimidating and bullying her over a memorial fund set up in her husband's name.

"I question the intent, the authenticity, the verity, that Mike DiSabato shares in any of his words or actions," Karen Mendoza, the wife of Ray Mendoza — a former teammate of DiSabato's who was killed in 2005 — said in a statement.

The initial reports based on DiSabato and Yetts' claims regarding Jordan ignores a large body of evidence that raises questions about the two former wrestlers' motives.

NBC did note that Yetts served time in prison for a $1.8 million fraud scheme.

Yetts' biggest victim was former NFL star Antoine Winfield, who was bilked out of $1.3 million. Yetts convinced Winfield to invest his NFL signing bonus with Yetts' firm, World Wide Sports. As part of the scam, Yetts provided Winfield with false documents claiming to show his investments. Yetts was instead spending money on country club memberships, cars, student loans, and credit card payments.

Daily Caller, Former OSU Wrestler: 'I Know Jim Knew About … Deviant Sexual Atmosphere,' Virginia Kruta, July 4, 2018. Former Ohio State University wrestler Mike DiSabato told CNN on Wednesday that he was absolutely certain that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan — who was a young assistant wrestling coach at the time — was aware of the "deviant sexual atmosphere" that DiSabato and others are alleging was fostered by Dr. Richard Strauss at the university.

washington post logoWashington Post, Former Fox News executive Bill Shine joins Trump White House as deputy chief of staff for communications, Paul Farhi and Felicia Sonmez, July 5, 2018. With Thursday's announcement, Shine becomes the fifth communications chief since Trump took office nearly 18 months ago. Before Hope Hicks, Anthony Scaramucci served 10 days in the role. He was preceded by Mike Dubke and Sean Spicer.

The move will bolster the White House's messaging operation ahead of what is shaping up to be a fierce partisan battle over Trump's choice for a successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, set to be unveiled on Monday.

Yet the appointment is also likely to open the White House up to attacks regarding Shine's record at Fox, as well as the Trump administration's response to sexual misconduct allegations against officials within its own ranks. During his time at Fox, Shine helped to build the network into the media juggernaut it is today. But much like his mentor and patron, Ailes, Shine's long tenure was clouded by unsavory allegations and associations with darker chapters in the network's history. Ailes died in May 2017.

Trump himself has been accused of sexual harassment and improper behavior by more than a dozen women, accusations which he denies. And earlier this year, White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned amid reports that he had physically and emotionally abused his two ex-wives.

The presidential appointment reunites Trump with Shine, who gave the then-businessman and reality TV star copious airtime on Fox to opine on a range of subjects. Among them was a regular slot on "Fox & Friends," on which Trump often promoted his false claim that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. The weekly appear­ances helped burnish Trump's political credentials, at least with more than a million viewers of the morning program.

gretchen carlsonShine has spent the past 14 months off the public grid after his ouster from Fox last May. He briefly succeeded Ailes as the network's top executive after Ailes was driven out by sexual harassment allegations, including a lawsuit by former host Gretchen Carlson (shown at left), which Fox's parent company settled in mid-2016 for $20 million.

Shine himself was never directly accused of harassment at Fox. But his latter years at the network were pockmarked by his association with Ailes, especially accusations that he helped facilitate Ailes's predatory behavior. Shine has consistently denied wrongdoing.

He also was part of Fox's senior management during the period in which the network was paying millions of dollars in settlements to former employees who had accused Ailes and host Bill O'Reilly of harassment.

He was named in suits filed by Carlson and former network contributors Julie Roginsky and Andrea Tantaros for his role in allegedly discouraging women at the network from taking their harassment claims to court. Roginsky, who said Ailes sexually harassed her, accused Shine of retaliating against her for her refusal to join "Team Roger," a cadre of women who supported Ailes in his battle with Carlson. Shine denied those allegations.

laurie luhn cropped squareHe also allegedly played a role in covering up Ailes's relationship with Laurie Luhn, a former Fox booker who claimed she had a long, abusive affair with Ailes that eventually led to her mental breakdown. Luhn received $3.1 million from Fox in 2011 to settle her allegations of abuse and mistreatment by Ailes.

Shine's appointment by Trump on Thursday brought swift rebuke from attorney Nancy Erika Smith, who represented Carlson and Roginsky in their suits against Ailes. "Roger Ailes's enabler and confidant is well qualified to speak on behalf of a president who brags about assaulting women and preying on teenage beauty pageant contestants, and pays adult film actresses to be quiet about his adultery," Smith said. "Being from Fox News, Shine is also well qualified to speak for a president who lies every single day."

July 4

Palmer Report, Opinion: Jim Jordan has deranged response to his worsening sexual abuse scandal, Bill Palmer, July 4, 2018. Republican Congressman Jim Jordan's sexual abuse scandal continues to grow worse for him. He's accused of having known that the team doctor was sexually abusing the athletes on the Ohio State University wrestling team he coached, and of having done nothing to try to stop it.

jim jordan cuomo cnnJordan (shown during a CNN appearance in his role as a rightist Freedom Caucus leader), claims he didn't know about it, but Ohio State's lawyers say they have evidence that they did inform him about it. As the pressure mounts on him to resign, Jordan is now responding to one of the victims in a manner that can only be described as deranged.

Mike DiSabato is one of the alleged sexual abuse victims. He and other members of the team have told the media that they informed Jim Jordan directly about the abuse, and that Jordan refused to do anything. Now, two different reports today paint a disturbing picture of Jim Jordan's recent behavior toward DiSabato, as the scandal has spilled out into the open.

republican elephant logoThe Daily Beast reports that after DiSabato wrote a series of emails to Jim Jordan, he called the police and asked them to investigate DiSabato. These emails are being described as "vaguely threatening" but we're not buying it. If the emails contained actual threats, Jordan would have made them public in order to make his case that he's the real victim. Instead it seems more likely that DiSabato was merely threatening to go public, and Jordan is trying to falsely spin this into an actual threat against him. Jordan has already been caught lying about not having known about the accusations, so he has zero credibility in this. It gets worse.

If you're not quite sure what to make of Jim Jordan calling the cops on Mike DiSabato, there's another report today that should spell out just how viciously and derangedly Jordan is handling this. According to Brooke Baldwin of CNN, Jordan has his cousin going around to local media outlets and asking them to "look into" DiSabato. So this scandal is no longer merely about Jordan refusing to put a stop to the sexual abuse of the kids on the team he coached. It's now about Jordan trying to punish one of the victims for having come forward.

July 3

nbc news logoNBC News, Powerful GOP Rep. Jim Jordan accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse as Ohio State wrestling coach, Corky Siemaszko, July 3, 2018. At the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn't know what was going on," a former Ohio State wrestler said.

jim jordan headshot CustomRep. Jim Jordan, the powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, is being accused by former wrestlers he coached more than two decades ago at Ohio State University of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting them and other students. The university announced in April that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.

Jordan (shown at right), who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team.

richard strauss osu lantern screenshot

Richard Strauss, a former wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine, is being investigated by Ohio State on allegations of sexual misconduct. Credit: Lantern file photo

The Lantern (Ohio State University), Rep. Jim Jordan accused by former wrestlers of knowing about Strauss' alleged assaults, Colin Gay, July 3, 2018. Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio's fourth congressional district and former assistant coach for the Ohio State wrestling team, has been accused of knowing about the sexual assaults made by former team doctor Richard Strauss, according to a report.

Columbus Dispatch, Lawyers for Ohio State contradict Jim Jordan's claim he's not been contacted, Jennifer Smola, July 3, 2018. Congressman Jim Jordan denied hearing about Dr. Richard Strauss' alleged sexual abuse while Jordan (at right) was assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan never witnessed abuse by the Ohio State University wrestling team's doctor and he hasn't been contacted by anyone investigating possible incidents that occurred while he was an assistant coach two decades ago, the Urbana Republican's spokesman said Tuesday.

However, lawyers hired by OSU to probe the allegations said Jordan was contacted — both by phone and email — to request an interview, but he never responded.

republican elephant logoAnd three members of the wrestling team under Jordan insist that he knew about the abuse but looked the other way.

Ian Fury, a spokesman for Jordan, said in a written statement that Jordan "never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State. He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice."

Fury also denied that Jordan had been contacted about the case. "Despite claims to the contrary, Congressman Jordan's office has not received a request for interview from the investigative team. We have demanded that they send us the supposed communication and remain willing to assist in any way that we can."

A written statement from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur attorney Kathleen Trafford, provided by the university, said investigators had previously contacted Jordan's office by email and phone to request an interview.

"To date, Rep. Jordan has not responded to those requests, but we understand from public statements issued on his behalf today that Rep. Jordan is willing to talk to the investigative team," Trafford said.

Jordan, who has represented a swath of west-central Ohio since 2007, is considered one of the more-powerful conservatives in Congress and is widely credited as being a driver in former House Speaker John Boehner's resignation. Earlier this year, Jordan said he was considering running for House speaker if Republicans keep control of the chamber in November.

washington post logoharvey weinsteinWashington Post, Harvey Weinstein indicted on new sexual assault charges, could face life in prison, Elahe Izadi, July 3, 2018 (print edition).  Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (shown at right) faces additional counts of sexual assault that could carry a potential life sentence if he is convicted, prosecutors announced Monday.

A Manhattan grand jury voted to charge Weinstein with two counts of predatory assault, which carry a minimum 10-year sentence, and an additional count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, stemming from what prosecutors said was a forcible sexual act against a woman in 2006.

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