Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer writing in the New Yorker about a new allegation of misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh.
“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. The allegation was also conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.”
‘In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. 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.”
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) September 23, 2018
According to the New Yorker story, Senate Republicans new about this LAST WEEK. And yet they have kept pushing for Kavanaugh, probably trying to jam his nomination through before the story would come out. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley have a lot to answer for.
“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,” the Washington Post reports.
“The images are striking: The specter of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee — all 11 of them men — questioning federal Judge Brett A. Kavanaugh’s female accuser. A senior GOP aide working on the confirmation resigning amid his own sexual harassment allegations. A viral photo of ‘women for Kavanaugh’ featuring more men than women. A South Carolina Republican congressman making a crude joke about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped by former president Abraham Lincoln.”
“And then there is the party’s id, Trump, who as a candidate denied more than a dozen accusations of sexual assault and harassment and sought to silence and retaliate against his accusers — and who as president has defended one accused man after another.”
After President Trump tweeted criticism of Christine Blasey Ford for accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the president on Friday to say his tweets did not help, CNN reports.
Trump has not tweeted criticism of Ford since that phone call.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser won’t change his mind, no matter what she says, Politico reports.
Said Graham: “You can’t bring it in a criminal court, you would never sue civilly, you couldn’t even get a warrant. What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation? I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know where it happened, and everybody named in regard to being there said it didn’t happen.”
“Congressional Republicans have found a solution to all their internal problems that plague their party: Delay them until after the midterms,” Politico reports.
“As the GOP fights to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are seeking to make as few political errors as possible before November. But they are setting up a lame duck that will be characterized by a race to replace Ryan, a government shutdown fight and brutal divisions on several long-shot pieces of legislation that will quickly morph into a nightmare for the party no matter the results of the elections.”
Giffords PAC is going to spend nearly $1.5 million on a TV and digital ad targeting vulnerable Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).
Playbook: “Democratic operatives tell us that they believe the midterms are going to be a turning point on gun control. Their reasoning: Students from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have ramped up their activism across the country in an effort to register young voters. And, the WSJrecently put out an analysis with Kantar Media/CMAG data that found there has been a 22% increase in ads promoting stricter gun regulations since four years ago.”
New York Times: “With Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, tentatively scheduled to testify this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and many women furious over President Trump’s attacks on Dr. Blasey, a Supreme Court nomination that was once seen as a political winner in many conservative-leaning states could, instead, rouse female voters and independents who otherwise may have cared little about the confirmation fight.”
“Suburban women are pivotal in this year’s campaign and many of them were already tilting toward Democrats because of their contempt for President Trump. If Republicans are too harsh in their questioning of Dr. Blasey, they risk inviting an even greater backlash at the ballot box in an election where their House majority is in peril and their one-vote Senate majority is teetering.”
Hannity’s surprising advice to Trump on Rosenstein: "Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody" https://t.co/Xf1k9gqKrk
— Vox (@voxdotcom) September 22, 2018
“The ongoing custody battle between former Trump campaign operatives Jason Miller and A.J. Delgado has taken another nasty turn: In an explosive new court filing, Delgado’s legal team alleges that Miller—prior to their own high-profile extramarital romance—carried out an affair with a woman he met at an Orlando strip club,” Splinter reports.
“Additionally, the court documents claim, when the woman found out she was pregnant, Miller surreptitiously dosed her with an abortion pill without her knowledge, leading, the woman claims, to the pregnancy’s termination and nearly her death.”
President Trump vowed to eradicate a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department, hours after it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, CNNreports.
Said Trump: “I want to tell you, we have great people in the Department of Justice, we have great people. These are people, I really believe, you take a poll, I got to be at 95%. But we had some real bad ones — you see what’s happened at the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.”
— Vox (@voxdotcom) September 23, 2018
“When Donald Trump won his upset presidential victory in 2016, Christine Blasey Ford’s thoughts quickly turned to a name most Americans had never heard of but one that had unsettled her for years: Brett M. Kavanaugh,” the Washington Post reports.
“Kavanaugh — a judge on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — was among those mentioned as a possible replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. When Trump nominated Neil M. Gorsuch, Ford was relieved but still uneasy.”
“Ford had already moved 3,000 miles away from the affluent Maryland suburbs where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party — a charge he would emphatically deny. Suddenly, living in California didn’t seem far enough. Maybe another hemisphere would be. She went online to research other democracies where her family might settle, including New Zealand.”
“A federal court ruled that a Cabinet secretary must provide, for the first time in 19 years, a deposition in a civil case,” Politico reports.
“The Cabinet member, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, must answer questions about the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.”
Said U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman: “Applying well-established principles to the unusual facts of these cases, the court concludes that the question is not a close one. Secretary Ross must sit for a deposition because, among other things, his intent and credibility are directly at issue in these cases.”
Rushing to confirm Kavanaugh without a thorough investigation into Ford's allegations could make it easier for Democrats to impeach him after 2020.https://t.co/fQyoOl4kh1
— David Atkins #11Justices (@DavidOAtkins) September 23, 2018
“A former top White House official has revised her statement to investigators about a key event in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, after her initial claim was contradicted by the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn,” the Washington Post reports.
“K.T. McFarland, who briefly served as Flynn’s deputy, has now said that he may have been referring to sanctions when they spoke in late December 2016 after Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. When FBI agents first visited her at her Long Island home in the summer of 2017, McFarland denied ever talking to Flynn about any discussion of sanctions between him and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016 during the presidential transition.”
Judge Brett Kavanaugh “has calendars from the summer of 1982 that he plans to hand over to the Senate Judiciary Committee that do not show a party consistent with the description of his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford,” the New York Times reports.
“The calendars do not disprove Dr. Blasey’s allegations, Judge Kavanaugh’s team acknowledged. He could have attended a party that he did not list. But his team will argue to the senators that the calendars provide no corroboration for her account of a small gathering at a house where he allegedly pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing.”
The Associated Press reports that President Trump polled staff on Air Force One on whether he should fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
He also called his outside network of advisers while watching Fox News report on the story that Rosentstein had suggested wearing a wire to secretly record Trump.
“The messages were mixed, but more were in favor of containing the urge to fire Rosenstein, a move that would declare open warfare with the Justice Department and cast doubt on the future of the special counsel’s Russia probe, according to two people familiar with the exchanges but not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.”
Voting was up for both parties, but Democrats produced a serious turnout advantage https://t.co/lMS0D3RfVD
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) September 23, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he believes “a bureaucratic coup” led by enemies of President Trump is taking place at the Justice Department, and the senator asked that a new special counsel be appointed to investigate, the Washington Post reports.
Said Graham: “Before the election, the people in question tried to taint the election, tip it to Clinton’s favor; after the election, they’re trying to undermine the president.”