Stop Presses! Christine Ford & FBI Meet, But Not For The Reason You Think
|ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES|
There is precious little solace to be found as the all-male Republican sham machine rumbles toward what seems like the inevitable approval sometime next week of a perjurer and wannabe rapist to become not just a Supreme Court justice, but the justice who to the delight of the Predator in Chief and shameless Evangelicals alike will plunge the high court into darkness. But if Democrats win the House in the midterm elections, which is being viewed these days as something of a slam dunk, they can investigate Brett Kavanaugh as he should have been investigated and then impeach him.
That conceivably would derail the epic quest by conservatives to force the court rightward. Legal analyst Jonathan Turley says the privileged Kavanaugh has been actively groomed for his star turn, telling The Hill that:
Short of being raised hydroponically in the basement of the Federalist Society, he could not be more carefully constructed as a nominee in waiting. He has, literally, spent decades being developed within conservative circles for this moment.
But hiding in plain view in Article III of the Constitution that Kavanaugh claims to oh-so respect is a provision giving the House "the sole power of Impeachment" should it be determined that a federal judge, including a Supreme Court justice, he has not acted in "good Behavior."
The House is granted quasi-judicial powers in doing this deed, including subpoenaing witnesses, and only a simple majority would needed to impeach if it is found that Kavanaugh perjured himself -- which he did regarding a number of things -- let alone whether his amnesia about certain events extended to a drunken night in 1983 when, stumbling drunk, he attempted to rape 15-year old Christine Blasey Ford. (Even if the House impeached, it would still take a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict and remove him from the court.)
Way too little too late, you say?
Well, yes. And while I'm binging on clichés, justice delayed is indeed justice denied.
But for me, at least, beyond the imperative that women should be treated with decency, as opposed to the death treats and doxxing that have sent Ford and her family into hiding, what matters most is that the truth matters no matter the timing because we are a nation of laws, Donald Trump and Chuckie Grassley be damned. And in the service of that trammeled ideal, the House Democratic leadership will pledge loudly and clearly prior to the Kavanaugh confirmation vote that the truth will be apprehended fairly and fully, if belatedly, in an impeachment investigation come next January when the Republicans hand over the keys to the Greatest Deliberative Body on Earth.
There are still at least a few moves left in the high-stakes negotiations between Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Ford's attorneys about whether she will testify, when and under what circumstances.
Grassley, in a transparently fake display of respect, extended his deadline for Ford to respond about testifying into Saturday. While he agreed to some of her lawyers' requests, he rejected their call for there to be additional witnesses, notably Mark Judge, who was present during the attempted rape but Republicans fear could hurt Kavanaugh because of his history of unhinged behavior.
And then there are the externals, if you will.
There is the possibility of the reckless antics of the Kavanaugh sycophancy may backfire in an unexpected way.
Like conservative Republican suck-up and former Antonin Scalia law clerk Ed Whelan's claim that it was a doppelgänger who assaulted Ford, a libel almost certainly made with the approval of the nominee and Republican bigs. Whelan's protestations that he was acting on his own were demolished when The Washington Post reported Friday that Whelan had viewed Ford's LinkedIn page after The Post revealed Ford's name to a White House spokesman but before her identity was revealed on its website.
Or like Yale law prof and "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua, who offered . . . uh, inappropriate advice to students hoping to win prestigious positions as clerks for Kavanaugh, reportedly telling her students that it's "no accident" that Kavanaugh's clerks "looked like models" and advised them to dress in an "outgoing" manner for interviews.
Meanwhile, it's not just conservatives who are pouring gasoline on the Kavanaugh dumpster fire.
A crowdfunding campaign in Maine is seeking to pressure Senator Susan Collins to oppose the nomination. Two progressive groups have raised about $1.4 million from nearly 50,000 individual donors, promising to donate the money to Collins's as-yet-unknown 2020 Democratic opponent if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh. If she votes nay, the groups say they will return the money to donors.
There is the possibility that Kavanaugh's bad behavior extended beyond a single incident at a prep school pool party and other victims will come forward.
Or, long shot of long shots, there is the possibility that enough Republicans -- it will only take Collins and one or two others -- will join with Democrats to block Kavanaugh's confirmation when a vote is taken by the full Senate.
An unhinged President Trump helpfully added his garbage barge of a voice to the debacle on Friday morning. He characterized Kavanaugh as the victim in a series of troglodytic tweets and questioned why Ford's "loving parents" didn't report the incident when it happened. This is familiar territory for a man accused of sexual misconduct by 15 women, but he did throw the nomination into further turmoil as Democrats and on-the-fence Republicans alike rebuked him.
And in a development that adds new meaning to the concept of irony, the true victim met with the FBI later Friday as part of its investigation not of the attempted rape but the death threats she has received since coming forward.
There may be no statute of limitations in Maryland for this type of alleged crime in Maryland. There are online requests for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to open a criminal investigation into the matter. It will be interesting to see if this happens, as Frosh has been approved by the state legislature to sue Trump without asking permission, which he does. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, it is possible there may be the spectacle of a sitting Supreme Court Justice being indicted for attempted rape.
Never a dull moment in the Trumpocracy...
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