The day he was sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh made history as the first justice to hire an all-female staff of law clerks. This was in keeping with his record of hiring more women than men and of sending more women to clerk on the Supreme Court than any other judge in the country during his 12-year tenure on the federal bench.
The women who clerked for him – including those who identify as liberals—describe him as “a lifelong mentor who feels an enduring responsibility for each of his clerks,” “an extraordinarily thoughtful man, who goes out of his way to be kind” and whose “hiring and support of women alone has helped to really diversify the range of Supreme Court clerks.”
So how did a man who is a proven ally of women, who is universally praised by female colleagues and has never had any complaints lodged against him (let alone criminal charges) over his decades-long career, come to be labeled a “rapist,” and those who voted to confirm him to the Supreme Court as “rape enablers”?
It took a mix of political activism, uncorroborated allegations, and left-wing hysteria – all woven seamlessly into a media narrative blasted 24/7 to drown out the truth and transform a good man into a monster.
“The left does not win its battles in debate. It doesn’t have to. In the twenty-first century, media is everything. The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. The left is the media. Narrative is everything,” Andrew Breitbart wrote in his memoir, Righteous Indignation.
He called this the Democrat-Media Complex. It’s what turned Brett Kavanaugh into a “rapist.”
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s review the evidence.
In November 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a 414-page report of its investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Kavanaugh during his confirmation process. The report explained—in painstaking detail—that neither the committee’s investigation nor the FBI’s background investigation could find “any evidence to substantiate or corroborate any of the allegations.”
Opposing the Nomination of “XX”
From the moment President Trump named Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, the left rallied to oppose him at all costs. It wasn’t personal. It was about abortion. They opposed him—just as they oppose every Republican judicial nominee—because they feared he might someday vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
On the evening of July 9, 2018, after Trump announced Kavanaugh’s name, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed to oppose his nomination “with everything I have.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced her opposition by calling Kavanaugh “a fundamental threat to the promise of equality” whose nomination would be the “destruction of the Constitution of the United States.”
“The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come,” former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe tweeted.
Of course, the left would have opposed anyone Trump nominated regardless of his or her actual record. As if to prove this point, the Women’s March organizers released a statement condemning “Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court.” They forgot to include Kavanaugh’s name in their ready-made denunciation of him.
They weren’t the only activists who came prepared. Outside the Supreme Court that night, left-wing protesters waved pre-printed “Stop Kavanaugh” signs as they listened to one senator after another rile them into a frenzy by denouncing Kavanaugh as an “extremist” who would turn back the clock on women’s rights.
“This is a nominee who wants to pave the path to tyranny,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) told the crowd.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, “Stopping [Kavanaugh] will take all of us, fighting as hard as we can, raising our voices again and again.”
The crowd that night was already in fighting form. Fox News’ Shannon Bream tweeted, “Very few times I’ve felt threatened while out in the field. The mood here tonight is very volatile. Law enforcement appears to be closing down 1st Street in front of SCOTUS.”
But in the weeks and months that followed, Kavanaugh’s genial temperament and even-handed judicial record defied the left’s attempts to “Bork” him. But that didn’t stop them from trying.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called Kavanaugh “your worst nightmare,” and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) declared at a July 24 press conference that Democrats “are walking through the valley of the shadow of death” with this nomination.
“You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it,” Booker said.
Rhetoric aside, the Democrats and their media allies lacked a scandal to shape their anti-Kavanaugh narrative. Their early efforts were rather pathetic. The Washington Post’s first attempt at scandal-mongering made Kavanaugh look good rather than bad. The Post reported that Kavanaugh paid off $60,000 to $200,000 in credit card debt he amassed due to home improvements and from purchasing Washington Nationals season tickets for himself and his friends.
That last detail caught the eye of the left-wing journalists at ProPublica who solicited the public’s help in uncovering the identity of Kavanaugh’s baseball buddies. “Did you attend a Washington Nationals game in 2017? You might be able to help us. Really,” ProPublica tweeted. They wanted to know: “Who did Kavanaugh buy tickets for? How did they reimburse him? Was this properly disclosed? And how was all of this treated for tax purposes?”
Needless to say, this line of scandal speculation didn’t yield much.
Though the Democrats did their best to whip up anti-Kavanaugh hysteria, their constitutional avenues to stopping his nomination were all but closed. They simply did not have the votes to block him. So they turned to the strategy of obstruction and delay – with the hope of demoralizing the GOP by delaying the confirmation vote until after the midterms, which, depending on the election outcome, could doom his nomination forever.
Delay, Delay, Delay
Kavanaugh had a massive paper trail from his decades in government – from his time working for Special Counsel Ken Starr’s Clinton investigation, to his tenure as George W. Bush’s staff secretary, to his years on the federal bench. The Democrats demanded to see it all. The Republicans largely obliged.
Senators were given a record-breaking 900,000 pages of documents on Kavanaugh. (For the sake of comparison, for the two most recent justices, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch, senators received 172,000 and 184,000 pages of documents respectively.) Kavanaugh also completed the most comprehensive questionnaire in the history of the Senate Judiciary Committee, totaling 110 pages and accompanied by 17,000 pages of supporting documentation.
The Democrats next play was to claim: We don’t have enough time to read all of this! When that didn’t work to delay the confirmation hearings, they tried: But this can’t be all of it!
The Judiciary Committee held hearings from September 4-7, 2018. Aside from shrieking left-wing protesters being dragged out and Sen. “Spartacus” Booker’s botched attempt to break Senate rules, the hearings went as expected. Kavanaugh was articulate, polite, knowledgeable, and likeable.
In fact, the hearings were so anti-climactic that left-wing Slate ran an article titled “The Grotesque Decency of Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings.”
By the end of the hearings, Kavanaugh was on schedule to be confirmed in time for the Supreme Court’s new session on October 1.
Feinstein’s “Brett Kavanaugh-Related Document”
On September 13, the Intercept reported that “Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have privately requested to view a Brett Kavanaugh-related document in possession of the panel’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, but the senior California senator has so far refused, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.”
Later that day, Feinstein finally issued a statement confirming the existence of the letter but declining to offer any details out of respect for the letter writer’s request for confidentiality. However, Feinstein’s motives soon came into question. Rather than submit the letter to the Senate Judiciary chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), so that its allegations could be investigated confidentially, Feinstein sat on the letter. She never mentioned the allegations during her closed-door meeting with Kavanaugh or during his 32 hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee spanning three days.
The contents of the letter leaked to the media the day after Feinstein informed her Democrat colleagues about it. No Republican was aware of the letter. Therefore, it goes without saying that a Democrat senator or their staffer leaked the letter to the press.
The “Credible” Dr. Ford
A media firestorm followed, until finally the letter’s author, a psychology professor from Palo Alto, CA, named Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, went on the record with the Washington Post to describe the alleged incident in her own words. She claimed that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party 35 years ago when they were both teenagers and he was “stumbling drunk” at the time.
Ford’s account to the Post also made clear that she was uncertain about key details, such as the exact date of the event, the location, and how she got to the party and home from it. She also revealed that she told no one about the incident until 2012, when she and her husband were in couples therapy. That year, Kavanaugh’s name was in the news because he was included in a short list of potential Supreme Court nominees for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The notes Ford’s therapist’s wrote, which the Post claimed to have seen in part, contained glaring discrepancies about the incident. The therapist wrote that four boys were involved in the alleged assault, but Ford claimed that only two were: Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge. The therapist’s notes also do not contain Kavanaugh’s name. Ford blamed the discrepancies on the therapist’s transcription. During her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford would claim that she could not recall whether she even gave the Post reporters her therapist’s notes.
In late July, on the advice of Senator Feinstein’s staff, Ford had secured the legal representation of Debra Katz, a lawyer with a long history in Democratic politics who specializes in sexual harassment cases and had publicly defended Bill Clinton and Al Franken from accusations of sexual misconduct. After first refusing the Senate Judiciary Committee’s requests to interview their client, Katz and her associates engaged in a weeks-long back and forth with Sen. Grassley’s staff as the Republicans sought to accommodate Ford’s quirky requests in exchange for her testimony. Grassley’s staff even offered to travel to California and interview Ford in the privacy of her own home.
“When her attorneys finally responded, [Ford’s attorneys] insisted on a Thursday, September 27 hearing date,” according to the Senate Judiciary report. “Dr. Ford’s attorneys refused to agree to earlier dates. The Committee was informed that Dr. Ford had a fear of flying caused by Justice Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault on her more than 35 years before.”
Despite the media’s insistence that Ford was a “credible” witness, her testimony had major holes and contradictions, which were carefully exposed during a series of questions from veteran prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. As Mitchell’s report to the Committee made clear, Ford’s allegations would not hold up in a court of law. “In the legal context, here is my bottom line,” Mitchell wrote. “A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence.”
Mitchell noted, for example, that Ford kept changing the date of when the alleged incident happened—from the “mid-80s” to the “early 80s,” from when she was in her “late teens” to when she was in her “early teens.” Which was it? And why did she cross out the word “early” in “early 80s” in the statement she swore to for her polygraph report?
Ford testified that the “primary impact [of the alleged assault when she was 15 years old] was in the initial four years after the event.” She specifically claimed that she struggled academically in college, but didn’t mention anything about her last two years in high school. A former college classmate of Ford’s issued a statement to the Judiciary Committee attesting that Ford had a “very robust and active social life,” which “contradicts Dr. Ford’s narrative that she had a difficult time making friends due to the alleged sexual assault.” This same classmate also contradicted Ford’s claim that she had a phobia of small places.
One of the more dramatic moments in the hearing was when Ford, under questioning from Mitchell, calmly debunked her own alleged fear of flying:
MITCHELL: May I ask, Dr. Ford, how did you get to Washington?
FORD: In an airplane.
MITCHELL: OK. It’s — I ask that, because it’s been reported by the press that you would not submit to an interview with the committee because of your fear of flying. Is — is that true?
FORD: Well, I was willing — I was hoping that they would come to me, but then I realized that was an unrealistic request.
MITCHELL: It would’ve been a quicker trip for me.
FORD: Yes. So that was certainly what I was hoping, was to avoid having to get on an airplane, but I eventually was able to get up the gumption with the help of some friends, and get on the plane.
MITCHELL: OK. When you were here in the mid — mid-Atlantic area back in August, end of July, August, how did you get here?
FORD: Also by airplane. I come here once a year during the summer to visit my family.
FORD: I’m sorry, not here. I go to Delaware.
MITCHELL: OK. In fact, you fly fairly frequently for your hobbies and your — you’ve had to fly for your work. Is that true?
FORD: Correct, unfortunately.
MITCHELL: You — you were a consulting biostatistician in Sydney, Australia. Is that right?
FORD: I’ve never been to Australia, but the company that I worked for is based in Australia, and they have an office in San Francisco, California.
FORD: I — I don’t think I’ll make it to Australia.
MITCHELL: It is long. I also saw on your C.V. that you list the following interests of surf travel, and you, in parentheses, list “Hawaii, Costa Rica, South Pacific islands and French Polynesia.” Have you been to all those places?
MITCHELL: By airplane?
MITCHELL: And your interests also include oceanography, Hawaiian and Tahitian culture. Did you travel by air as a part of those interests?
MITCHELL: All right. Thank you very much.
FORD: Easier for me to travel going that direction when it’s a vacation.
Written testimony from one of Ford’s former boyfriends of many years also debunked her alleged fear of flying. He noted that she often flew on planes—even a small propeller plane—and had no discernible fear of small spaces or of rooms with one door, as she claimed. In fact, the former boyfriend pointed out that Ford lived for a number of years in a tiny apartment with only one entrance.
His testimony also suggested that Ford may have perjured herself when she claimed that she had never “given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test.” He claimed that Ford coached her roommate, Monica McLean, on how to be less nervous in case she had to take a polygraph exam when she interviewed for jobs with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Mitchell’s questioning also exposed the holes in Ford’s story concerning basic facts about where the alleged incident occurred and how she got there and back home. Mitchell’s report noted:
- “[Ford] told the Washington Post that the party took place … more than 7 miles from her childhood home … that it was a roughly 20-minute drive from her childhood home.”
- “She also agreed for the first time in her testimony that she was driven somewhere that night, either to the party or from the party or both.”
- “But she has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify him or herself as the driver.”
- “Given that this all took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy.”
- “Indeed, she stated that she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or…”
- “…that she called anyone else thereafter.”
- “Dr. Ford testified that her friend Leland, apparently the only other girl at the party, did not follow up with Dr. Ford after the party to ask why she had suddenly disappeared.”
Ford also had memory lapses concerning recent events. She could not, for example, remember whether the polygraph test she took less than two months prior happened on the day of her grandmother’s funeral or the day after her grandmother’s funeral. She also couldn’t remember if the polygraph test was audio or video recorded. She could not remember whether she gave the Washington Post her therapist’s notes.
And finally there was the fact that none of the other witnesses named by Ford could corroborate her story: not Kavanaugh; not Mark Judge; not Patrick “PJ” Smyth; and not even Leland Keyser, Ford’s lifelong friend who was the only other girl allegedly at the party. In two separate statements, Keyser’s attorney stated on her behalf that she had never met Kavanaugh, did not know him, and “has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”
As Mitchell notes, “Dr. Ford testified that her friend Leland, apparently the only other girl at the party, did not follow up with Dr. Ford after the party to ask why she had suddenly disappeared.” That is odd behavior for a girl friend, who would almost certainly ask why Ford left her behind to find her own way home.
The Floodgates Open
Ford’s allegation was not credible, but she was at least the most credible of the other ludicrous accusers who came forward after her to lodge allegations at Kavanaugh. Those allegations have been debunked so thoroughly that the Senate Judiciary Committee has referred four of these accusers to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution for issuing false testimony to Congress. This includes the debunked allegations submitted by Democrat lawyer Michael Avenatti on behalf of his client Julie Swetnick. This also includes the recanted allegations submitted by a Democrat activist from Kentucky who claimed that Kavanaugh raped her when she was in high school, despite the fact that she is decades older than Kavanaugh. And this also includes the recanted allegations of a Rhode Island man who claimed that Kavanaugh and Mark Judge raped a woman on a boat in 1985.
There was also the allegations made by Deborah Ramirez, a Democratic activist who was a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, who claimed that Kavanaugh “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.”
Breitbart’s John Nolte summarized the seven key details of Ramirez’s allegation:
- Just before she fingered Kavanaugh, Ramirez was telling classmates she could not be certain it was Kavanaugh.
- Ramirez admits her drinking that night clouded her memory.
- Only after six days of talking to her attorney, a Democrat politician, was Ramirez able to remember it was Kavanaugh.
- Every single one of Ramirez’s so-called witnesses sides with Kavanaugh.
- The only so-called corroboration Ramirez had was a guy who heard about the incident from someone else.
- That someone else says he has no memory of the incident.
- Ramirez is a Democrat activist.
Interestingly, the Senate Judiciary Committee report includes a statement from a Yale classmate who graduated a year after Kavanaugh and Ramirez and testified that another of their classmates who also belonged to the same fraternity as Kavanaugh had “a reputation for exposing himself publicly.” In fact, this witness even provided the Committee with a yearbook photo showing this individual exposing himself in it. The witness also stated that he “had personally witnessed” this person “expose himself at a party” and that this guy was “in the same residential college as Ramirez.”
The media hyped the hell out of every allegation. They lionized the accusers. Left-wing outlets like the HuffPost even hyped nonsense stories about a law student who was told—by a female professor—to dress professionally when applying for a clerk position with then-Judge Kavanaugh. The way the HuffPost made it sound, Kavanaugh was demanding his female clerks look “a certain way.” In fact, the story amounted to little more than a female professor helpfully informing a young law student that Kavanaugh likes his staff to dress professionally.
The media rang the bell, burying Kavanaugh’s good name under a mountain of innuendo. Let’s see if any of them even attempt to un-ring that bell now that these allegations have fallen apart. I’m not holding my breath. This is, after all, the same media that hid information that cleared Kavanaugh of one allegation and buried information that debunked their own story.
Kavanaugh’s name will be forever tarnished in the eyes of those who think he is a “rapist.” Ford, on the other hand, has been feted by progressives as a new heroine. She has reportedly raked in a million dollar windfall and received several book deals. She has also been publicly honored by the Palo Alto City Council; and a professor at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has nominated Ford for a distinguished alumna award for “speaking truth to power.”
Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s report notes that the Committee’s investigators “continue to pursue several issues related to the allegations against Justice Kavanaugh.” Considering what a thorough job the Democrat-Media Complex did in smearing Kavanaugh, the Committee could be investigating for years.
Update–Sunday, September 15, 2019: Yesterday, the New York Times’ Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly published the claims of Max Stier, another Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, whose allegation “echoes” Deborah Ramirez’s claim that a drunken Kavanaugh exposed himself.
Stier, according to the Times, claims he saw Kavanaugh “with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.” He “notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly.” The Times claims “[w]e corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated” with Stier.
The Federalists’ Mollie Hemingway, whose recent book chronicles the Kavanaugh hearings, noted that the Times reporters conveniently omitted the fact that the alleged victim of this penis incident has no memory of it — a fact which these same reporters revealed in their own book!
NYT Reporters’ essay about a supposed second Yale incident omitted their own book reporting that completely undercuts it: alleged victim denies any memory of it. Journalistically indefensible, though gullible additional reporters are spreading it of course.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 15, 2019
Hemingway’s co-author, Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, tweeted out the passages in question from Pogrebin and Kelly’s new book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, which was the basis for Saturday’s article on the Stier allegation.
Neither do Kelly and Pogrebin nail it down. Not only does the alleged victim not confirm the story, she is reported to be denying it.
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) September 15, 2019
Stier, for what it’s worth, is the president and CEO of a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit called Partnership for Public Service, whose board members past and present look like a Who’s Who of D.C. establishment players (mostly of the left). Stier was also apparently a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team during the Lewinsky impeachment scandal.
His allegation offers fresh fuel to the left’s unending smear campaign against Kavanaugh. Having failed to keep him from the highest court of the land, their new aim is to impeach him from it…
…which means the Department of Justice will have plenty more claims from “credible” witnesses to investigate.
Update–Monday, September 16, 2019: Well, that was fast! The New York Times quietly debunked their own “bombshell” accusation in an Editors’ Note tagged on to the Pogrebin and Kelly essay:
Editors’ Note: Sept. 15, 2019
An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.
In a separate article on Sunday, New York Times’ reporter Sandra E. Garcia also notes that the alleged victim of the incident Stier recounted has no memory of it:
The excerpt cites two unnamed officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier, who has declined to discuss the episode publicly. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and that friends say she does not recall the incident. Justice Kavanaugh has declined to answer questions about it, according to the excerpt. [Emphasis added]
So, to recap: the accusation wasn’t really new, the alleged victim has no memory of it, the accuser won’t even talk about it publicly, and Democrats feel that this is sufficient grounds to impeach a Supreme Court justice.