Posts Tagged ‘supreme court’

Grassley gives Kavanaugh accuser more time to decide on terms for testifying

September 22, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford asked again Friday night for more time to prepare to testify against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee she insists tried to rape her 36 years ago.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, granted the extension — but signaled his impatience, urging in a late night tweet that she let the panel know if “u changed ur mind.”

“Dr. Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on,” Grassley tweeted. He awkwardly joked that Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) seems to be running the show.

“With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor.”

Grassley had earlier set a 10 p.m. Friday deadline for Ford’s lawyers to tell the committee if she’ll accept their terms for a Wednesday turn in the witness chair.

Otherwise, he’d said, the committee would go ahead with a vote to support Kavanaugh’s nomination on Monday — without Ford’s testimony.

A rep for Grassley said Ford’s camp now has a Saturday deadline to accept the Judiciary Committee’s invite to testify.

Ford has repeatedly urged through her legal team that the FBI first investigate her allegations, otherwise her testimony would be a meaningless he-said, she-said exercise.

Kavanaugh, meanwhile, insists that he did not even attend the party where she said the assault happened.

As the 10 p.m. deadline approached, a lawyer for Ford asked for another day to consider the committee’s terms for testifying.

“The 10:00 p.m. deadline is arbitrary,” according to a statement from her attorney Debra Katz. “Its sole purpose is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision. Our modest request is that she be given an additional day to make her decision.”

Earlier on Friday, President Trump cast doubt on Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Kav­anaugh — tweeting that she or “her loving parents” would surely have called the cops decades ago if the experience was as traumatic as she described.

“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,” Trump tweeted. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

The tweet marked the first time Trump publicly referred to California college professor by name.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins  of Maine — a key vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation — condemned the tweet, saying at an event in Portland, Maine, that she was “appalled” Trump would belittle Ford’s accusation before all the facts were in.

“First of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault — I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case — but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist. So I thought that the president’s tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong,” she said.

With the GOP holding a slim 51-49 majority in the upper chamber, Republicans can afford to lose only one vote from their caucus to confirm Kavanaugh, assuming Democrats are united in opposition.

In case of a 50-50 tie, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote for Kavanaugh. But a second GOP defection would doom Trump’s nominee under that scenario.

Collins, along with Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Arizona’s Jeff Flake, are seen as possible defectors.

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told evangelical leaders at Friday’s annual Values Voter Summit in DC to “keep the faith.”

“We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.”

With AP


Democrats Pull The U.S. Deeper Into the Muck — Character assassination plot now unfolding

September 19, 2018

A nation gawks as Washington sinks deeper into the muck, but put aside your disgust long enough to digest what we’re seeing. Three big things are on display.

First, Democrats are proving again that their force multiplier is a win-or-die zealotry. They were on a mission to kill anybody President Trump chose to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and, within minutes of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer announced he would fight Kavanaugh “with everything I have.” All 10 Dems on the Judiciary Committee pledged to vote no.

By Michael Goodwin
The New York Post


They looked silly given the nominee’s impeccable credentials, and worse when leftist legal luminaries lined up to praise Kavanaugh as a brilliant jurist and sterling father, husband and mentor.

One feminist supporter of Hillary Clinton called him “a superstar” and urged his confirmation by saying “He is the most qualified conservative for the job.”

Yet the Dems persisted with unabashed fervor. They tried to stop the hearing before it started, took turns twisting Kavanaugh’s words and insinuated, without evidence, that dark secrets existed.

At this moment, Kavanaugh’s confirmation has gone from a slam dunk to a jump ball. That’s because of the second big thing to notice — some Republicans have a streak of French in them and surrendered before the first shots were fired.

With a 51-49 GOP majority, two defectors would kill Kavanaugh, and more than that have announced they have cold feet.

At least three, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Susan Collins of Maine, are now “maybe” votes. Flake and Corker want to be the new John McCain, meaning they aim to get invited to the liberal Sunday talk shows with the understanding they will criticize other Republicans.

There are no Democrats who play the turncoat role, nor are there any Democrats — not one — who rushed to defend Kavanaugh. Only Republicans waver when the going gets tough, as if a real fight is beneath them.

That is a chief reason why Flake and Corker are “retiring.” Republican voters in their home states of Arizona and Tennessee are sick of them and neither could win a primary let alone a general election. But they appear to be set on one last act of sabotage against Trump and the party.

If that shreds Kavanaugh’s reputation for life and turns the crucial court seat over to a Dem-controlled Senate, what do they care? Their treachery will get them a glowing send-off in The New York Times and maybe some fat lobbying gigs.

Which brings us to the third reason why the kangaroo court is worth watching. It reminds once again why Trump was elected and why his presidency is so important.

Many voters looked at Washington without hope or trust in either party. They saw the Dems as too liberal and willing to stop at nothing to win, the two main legacies of the Obama presidency.

Those voters looked at Republicans with equal disgust for other reasons. They were the errand boys of Wall Street and big business but, even worse, folded like cheap suits on everything they were elected to do.

The relative handful of true conservatives in their midst, the Freedom Caucus, are treated like crazy aunts. The others, like Speaker Paul Ryan, long for the one thing liberals will never give them — respect. And so they ultimately stand for nothing because anything important means they must buck the swamp, which they won’t do.

Trump, to 63 million Americans, was the antidote to both parties. Warts and all, he still is.

He is the fighter Republicans longed for, which is why he still commands upwards of 90 percent of GOP support. They know nobody else would have beaten Clinton, so, without him, one Clinton nominee already would be on the high court and the second one about to join. Neither would be named Neil Gorsuch or Brett Kavanaugh and you can bet that many Republicans would have played nice and voted yes for her nominees.

Yes, yes, I know, Trump has created many of the dynamics that make him a lone ranger. He doesn’t always return loyalty and trusts no one as much as his own gut. Given his druthers, he would like to govern as a bipartisan president and cut deals like a Lyndon Johnson.

Maybe in the next life. In this one, Trump is the only defense against the left’s smash and smear agenda. It’s either him or the deluge.

Orchestrated protests aimed to silence the Senate, an effort that collapsed in farce when Sen. Cory Booker declared he was having his “I am Spartacus” moment. His act of undaunted courage was to release documents that had been approved for release.

Yet all that was mere warmup for the character assassination plot now unfolding. Sen. Dianne Feinstein sat on the allegation of sexual misconduct for nearly two months, only to inject it into the political bloodstream after the final hearing.

Given one last chance for a kill, the assassins are determined not to let their prey escape. Even the Republican concession of a hearing for accuser Christine Blasey Ford to testify isn’t enough. Schumer demands an FBI investigation, which would insure Kavanaugh couldn’t be confirmed before the midterm elections — and maybe never.


The #MeToo Kavanaugh Ambush

September 18, 2018

A story this old and unprovable can’t be allowed to delay a Supreme Court confirmation vote.


Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Sept. 6
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Sept. 6 PHOTO: ALEX WROBLEWSKI/REUTERS

The woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of a drunken assault when both were teenagers has now come forward publicly, and on Monday it caused Republicans to delay a confirmation vote and schedule another public hearing. Yet there is no way to confirm her story after 36 years, and to let it stop Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation would ratify what has all the earmarks of a calculated political ambush.

This is not to say Christine Blasey Ford isn’t sincere in what she remembers. In an interview published in the Washington Post on Sunday, Ms. Ford offered a few more details of the story she told anonymously starting in July. She says she was 15 when Mr. Kavanaugh, who would have been 17, and a male friend pushed her into a bedroom at a drinking party, held her down, and pawed her until the male friend jumped on them both and she escaped to a bathroom until the two boys left the room.

Mr. Kavanaugh denies all this “categorically and unequivocally,” and there is simply no way to prove it. The only witness to the event is Mr. Kavanaugh’s high school male friend, Mark Judge, who also says he recalls no such event. Ms. Ford concedes she told no one about it—not even a high school girl friend or family member—until 2012 when she told the story as part of couples therapy with her husband.

The vagaries of memory are well known, all the more so when they emerge in the cauldron of a therapy session to rescue a marriage. Experts know that human beings can come to believe firmly over the years that something happened when it never did or is based on partial truth. Mistaken identity is also possible.

The Post reports that the therapist’s notes from 2012 say there were four male assailants, but Ms. Ford says that was a mistake. Ms. Ford also can’t recall in whose home the alleged assault took place, how she got there, or how she got home that evening.

This is simply too distant and uncorroborated a story to warrant a new hearing or to delay a vote. We’ve heard from all three principals, and there are no other witnesses to call. Democrats will use Monday’s hearing as a political spectacle to coax Mr. Kavanaugh into looking defensive or angry, and to portray Republicans as anti-women. Odds are it will be a circus.


The timing and details of how Ms. Ford came forward, and how her name was coaxed into public view, should also raise red flags about the partisan motives at play. The Post says Ms. Ford contacted the paper via a tip line in July but wanted to remain anonymous. She then brought her story to a Democratic official while still hoping to stay anonymous.

Yet she also then retained a lawyer, Debra Katz, who has a history of Democratic activism and spoke in public defense of Bill Clinton against the accusations by Paula Jones. Ms. Katz urged Ms. Ford to take a polygraph test. The Post says she passed the polygraph, though a polygraph merely shows that she believes the story she is telling.

The more relevant question is why go to such lengths if Ms. Ford really wanted her name to stay a secret? Even this weekend she could have chosen to remain anonymous. These are the actions of someone who was prepared to go public from the beginning if she had to.

The role of Senator Dianne Feinstein is also highly irregular and transparently political. The ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee knew about Ms. Ford’s accusations in late July or early August yet kept quiet. If she took it seriously, she had multiple opportunities to ask Judge Kavanaugh or have committee staff interview the principals. But in that event the details would have been vetted and Senators would have had time to assess their credibility.

Instead Ms. Feinstein waited until the day before a committee markup on the nomination to release a statement that she had “information” about the accusation and had sent it to the FBI. Her statement was a political stunt.

She was seeking to insulate herself from liberal charges that she sat on the letter. Or—and this seems increasingly likely given the course of events—Senator Feinstein was holding the story to spring at the last minute in the hope that events would play out as they have. Surely she knew that once word of the accusation was public, the press would pursue the story and Ms. Ford would be identified by name one way or another.


Democrats waited until Ms. Ford went public to make public statements. But clearly some were feeding the names of Ms. Ford and her lawyer to the press, and now they are piling on what they hope will be an election-eve #MeToo conflagration.

“Senator [and Judiciary Chairman] Grassley must postpone the vote until, at a very minimum, these serious and credible allegations are thoroughly investigated,” declared Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday. “For too long, when women have made serious allegations of abuse, they have been ignored. That cannot happen in this case.”

His obvious political goal is to delay the confirmation vote past the election, fan the #MeToo political furies until then, and hope that at least two GOP Senators wilt under political pressure. If Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker think a hearing will satisfy Mr. Schumer, they are right to retire from politics.

GOP Senators should understand that the political cost of defeating Mr. Kavanaugh will likely include the loss of the Senate. Democrats are already motivated to vote against Donald Trump, and if Republicans panic now their own voters will rightly be furious. They would be letting Democrats get away with the same dirty trick they tried and failed to pull off against Clarence Thomas.

It would also be a serious injustice to a man who has by all accounts other than Ms. Ford’s led a life of respect for women and the law. Every #MeToo miscreant is a repeat offender. The accusation against Mr. Kavanaugh is behavior manifested nowhere else in his life.

No one, including Donald Trump, needs to attack Ms. Ford. She believes what she believes. This is not he said-she said. This is a case of an alleged teenage encounter, partially recalled 30 years later without corroboration, and brought forward to ruin Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation for partisan purposes.

Letting an accusation that is this old, this unsubstantiated and this procedurally irregular defeat Mr. Kavanaugh would also mean weaponizing every sexual assault allegation no matter the evidence. It will tarnish the #MeToo cause with the smear of partisanship, and it will unleash even greater polarizing furies.

Appeared in the September 18, 2018, print edition.

Republicans under pressure over Trump’s nomination for top court

September 17, 2018

Woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault identifies herself ahead of scheduled vote
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Brett Kavanaugh denied the allegations of an attack last week © AP

By Sam Fleming in Washington 

Republicans came under pressure to delay the process of confirming President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court after a woman who had accused him of sexual assault identified herself publicly in a newspaper interview.

Christine Blasey Ford, 51, told the Washington Post that Brett Kavanaugh had attacked her when they were teenagers. Ms Ford, now a research psychologist in California, said he had pinned her to a bed at a party when she was 15 and covered her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” the Post quoted Ms Ford as saying. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Mr Kavanaugh categorically denied the allegations of an attack last week after a New Yorker article published details of the alleged incident without including the name of the accuser.

Following weeks of hearings the Judiciary Committee has been preparing for a vote on Thursday to advance the nomination of Mr Kavanaugh. He had appeared to be on a smooth path to entering the Supreme Court in October until the allegations surfaced.

The judge has been chosen by Mr Trump to fill a vacancy on the country’s highest court created by the departure of Anthony Kennedy.

It is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee

On Sunday night Jeff Flake, a Republican senator and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told US media outlets that he was uncomfortable proceeding with the confirmation without hearing more details about the allegations.

Earlier Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, called on Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to allow time for an inquiry into the allegations.

“Sen Grassley must postpone vote until, at a very minimum, these serious & credible allegations are thoroughly investigated,” Mr Schumer said on social media.

A spokesman for Mr Grassley said that following the revelations of Ms Ford’s identity, the chairman was working to set up a follow-up call with Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford ahead of Thursday’s scheduled vote.

However, Mr Flake told the Post that Mr Kavanaugh’s accuser must be heard and that a vote should not be held until the committee had a chance to hear more from Ms Ford.

Lindsey Graham, another Republican senator and Judiciary Committee member, said that he would gladly listen to what Ms Ford had to say if she wished to provide evidence to the committee. If so, this should happen immediately so that the process can continue as scheduled, he added.

The White House has defended Mr Trump’s nominee, and on Thursday it said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had repeatedly vetted him for highly sensitive roles throughout his 25 years of public service.

Republicans have attacked Democrats over their handling of the allegations, accusing them of sitting on the information until late in the proceedings and attempting to stall the process.

An account of the alleged attack was previously detailed in a letter sent to two Democratic lawmakers earlier this year. Last week one of the recipients, Dianne Feinstein of California, said in a statement that she had received “information from an individual” concerning Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honoured that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,” said Ms Feinstein, the highest ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

The FBI said in a statement on Thursday: “Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process.” An FBI official said the bureau had not launched a criminal investigation of Mr Kavanaugh.

Ms Feinstein said in a statement on Sunday that she supported Ms Ford’s decision to share her story. “Now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee,” she said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday evening.


Democrats have already won by leaking this accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, even if they can’t keep him off the Supreme Court

September 17, 2018

With a late and well-calculated leak, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have managed at least to cast some doubt upon the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They have lured an out accuser from Kavanaugh’s high school days and induced her to go public. She claims that as a high school junior or rising senior he made unwarranted sexual advances toward her at a party (this is believed to be sometime in summer 1982, although the accuser does not remember exact dates), actually pinning her down and touching her inappropriately. She also claims that he put his hand over her mouth when she tried to cry out. She says that she got free and locked herself in a bathroom.

Kavanaugh has categorically denied the allegations. So does the only other alleged witness, who is also accused of taking part in the alleged attack.

By  David Freddoso
Washington Examiner

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Note that this not at all like the many accusations against senators, judges, Hollywood producers and Catholic bishops, which took place when they were adults, and whose conduct routinely raised warning flags, and who in some cases had as many as a dozen different accusers and even photographs (Al Franken) proving very recent inappropriate conduct. We don’t usually root out Supreme Court nominees’ conduct from high school, and if we started doing so it would be doubtful in most cases whether anything that happened could be proven one way or another — as in this case.

Unlike those other accusations against others, this is an unprovable accusation from a high school party that allegedly took place in the early Reagan era. And it comes at the very tail end of a hearing process in which Democrats failed to put a dent in Kavanaugh with anything else. Its lack of certain detail also makes it harder to refute. The haziness of the dates, for example, makes it impossible for Kavanaugh to prove he was elsewhere, if that were a defense.

For that reason, I do hope that senators take this with a grain of salt. Even if the accuser sincerely believes that something happened to her and that it was Kavanaugh who did it, one should smell the proverbial rat in the fact that this was sprung on everyone after all else had failed. At the heart of this Supreme Court battle is the a very heavy ideological commitment to keeping the nation’s abortionists busy, and it’s so important to some people that they’ll do almost anything to avoid what they think amounts to losing.

All of that having been said, Democrats have already won a big victory with this leak. This last-minute trick, whether or not it delays or derails Kavanaugh, gives every Democratic senator — including the vulnerable Red State Democrats who are under pressure due to this nomination — a perfectly good excuse to vote against Kavanaugh. They don’t even have to act like they believe the accusation, they only have to say that not enough time was spent investigating it.

In that sense, it’s quite a coup, even if it represents the worst of Washington gutter tactics.

Philippine Government Seems Unable to Act in Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV Case

September 15, 2018


Another day, another court, another stalled bid to detain Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Image result for Trillanes, philippines, photos

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday again failed to secure an arrest warrant and a hold departure order (HDO) against Trillanes, this time from Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150.

Alameda instead gave the opposing camps five days to reply to each other’s motions and to submit further evidence.

On Thursday, Judge Andres Soriano of the Makati RTC Branch 148 also refused to grant the DOJ’s motion for an arrest warrant and an HDO against the senator, one of the fiercest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trillanes welcomed the development, saying he was “encouraged that the lower courts are asserting their independence and doing the right thing.”

The Supreme Court early this week threw back to the lower courts Trillanes’ motion for a temporary restraining order on the proclamation issued by the President that revoked his 2011 amnesty and ordered his arrest.

State prosecutors filed their motion for an arrest warrant in Makati RTC Branches 148 and 150, which originally handled the coup and rebellion charges against Trillanes and the Magdalo group. The two courts dismissed the cases in September 2011 after Trillanes was granted amnesty by then President Benigno Aquino III.

Original copy

At Friday’s hearing, Alameda admonished Trillanes’ lawyer, Reynaldo Robles, for being unable to produce the original copy of the senator’s application for amnesty under Aquino’s Proclamation 75.

Robles admitted that Trillanes had yet to find a copy of the application form which, the lawyer insisted, the senator had submitted.

Instead, Robles presented Trillanes’ certificate of amnesty signed by then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and a compact disc containing a news video clip of the senator submitting his application form to the defense department ad hoc committee.

The judge stressed the importance of the missing form—both the original and his receiving copy—which was the basis of President Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 declaring Trillanes’ amnesty as being void from the beginning.

Alameda told Robles to get an affidavit from Col. Josefa Berbigal, the officer of the ad hoc committee before whom Trillanes swore his oath when he applied for amnesty.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Robles insisted that it was the prosecution’s “obligation” to prove that Trillanes did not apply for amnesty.

Instead, he said, “what they submitted was a certification that they could not find it (the application form), but they never proved that (he) did not apply for amnesty.”

‘Intentionally lost’

Trillanes’ lawyer also blamed the Department of National Defense (DND) for losing the original application form, saying the concerned DND officials may be charged with infidelity in the custody of public documents.

Robles also assailed Solicitor General Jose Calida, whom Defense Secretary Lorenzana said had called him to ask about the amnesty documents of “Trillanes and his men.”

“It seems that (Trillanes’) amnesty application was intentionally lost,” Robles said.

The lawyer said Trillanes would continue to stay at the Senate instead of risking arrest despite President Duterte’s assurances. “If he is arrested, then the cases will be moot and academic,” Robles added. —WITH A

TAGS: amnesty revocation, Andres Soriano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Department of Justice, DoJ, Elmo Alameda, Makati Regional Trial Court, revocation of amnesty, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court


FBI Won’t Investigate Sexual Misconduct Allegation Against Kavanaugh

September 14, 2018

Update: According to the Washington Post, The FBI won’t investigate the allegations lodged against Kavanaugh, so he’ll simply be tainted with the spectre of a nebulous accusation for the rest of his career.

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From the WaPo:

According to a person familiar with the matter, the FBI does not now plan to launch a criminal investigation of the matter, which would normally be handled by local authorities, if it was within the statute of limitations. The FBI instead passed the material to the White House, as an update to Kavanaugh’s background check, which already had been completed, the person said. The move is similar to what the bureau did when allegations were leveled against former White House aide Rob Porter.

An FBI official said, “Upon receipt of the information on the night of September 12, we included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process.”

The Justice Department declined to comment, and Kavanaugh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) dismissed the controversy on Twitter. “Let me get this straight: this is [a] statement about [a] secret letter regarding a secret matter and an unidentified person. Right,” he tweeted sarcastically.

“I will add: the FBI already performed and has reported on a background investigation on the nominee and this has been made available to all Senators on the Judiciary Committee,” Cornyn wrote.

After Feinstein released her statement, Grassley spokesman George Hartmann said there is “no plan to change the committee’s consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”

Perhaps we can read more about it someday the alleged victim’s book.


California Democratic Rep. Dianne Feinstein has released a frustratingly vague statement about a letter in her possession which allegedly accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of “an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman while they were in high school,” reports The Intercept.

Read the rest:



Overall assessment: Democrats and the media were “using a secret letter with a secret accusation from a secret person, to try to take down Kavanaugh. Scary.”



Occasionally, some of your visitors

Dianne Feinstein Refers a Kavanaugh Matter to Federal Investigators

September 14, 2018

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.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein referred a matter involving Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to federal investigators on Thursday. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

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.

Ms. Feinstein, who received the letter from Ms. Eshoo’s office, informed fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee about its existence and its contents on Wednesday evening but did not share the letter itself. Several Democrats advised her to take its claims to the F.B.I., and others pressed for it to become public.

In addition to criminal investigations, the F.B.I. conducts background checks on all major government appointees, including Supreme Court nominees. The F.B.I. said in a statement on Thursday that it had received Ms. Feinstein’s referral and included it in Judge Kavanaugh’s background file. A bureau official also said that no criminal investigation had been opened related to the matter.

Including the letter in Judge Kavanaugh’s file allows the White House, and potentially other senators, to view its contents. A copy of the letter was included in an updated background file sent on Thursday to the office of Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The White House responded almost immediately.

“Throughout his confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has had 65 meetings with senators — including with Senator Feinstein — sat through over 30 hours of testimony, addressed over 2,000 questions in a public setting and additional questions in a confidential session. Not until the eve of his confirmation has Senator Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him,” said White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec. She added, “Senator Schumer promised to ‘oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have,’ and it appears he is delivering with this 11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”

Aides to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said he has not seen the letter, but he believes the committee is handling the matter appropriately.

Read the rest:




Overall assessment: Democrats and the media were “using a secret letter with a secret accusation from a secret person, to try to take down Kavanaugh. Scary.”


Democrats hit a new low in their crusade against Kavanaugh

September 14, 2018

Democrats’ desperate drive to derail the Brett Kavanaugh nomination just took a despicable new turn with a last-minute push to exploit an anonymous allegation that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s been sitting on for months.

With Kavanaugh poised to win confirmation with up to 55 votes, Judiciary Committee Dems late Wednesday plainly held a final does-anyone-have-anything? session. DiFi mentioned a confidential letter she’d received over the summer — and by the next day the partisans had made the core facts public.

New York Post


In the letter, originally sent to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), a woman allegedly claims she was the victim of some Kavanaugh “sexual misconduct” … back in high school.

As Feinstein explains, “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision.”

Except that, after the Wednesday meeting, she did other Dems’ bidding by passing the letter on to “federal investigative authorities.” And some Democrat(s) quickly clued in the media.

It’s an extremely safe bet that political operatives are now pressuring the woman to go public — against her express wishes. That, after all, is what Democrats did to Anita Hill a quarter-century ago.

Absent that, no investigator can do a thing — the allegation runs back at least 35 years, to when Kavanaugh was a teenager. Which is surely why Feinstein did nothing in the months after she got the letter.

The honorable thing would’ve been to respect the woman’s wishes and keep quiet, rather than feed her to the partisan wolves.

As for the Democrats who pushed Feinstein into breaking that confidence, and then anonymously fed the “news” to the press: Congratulations, you just sank to a new low.


Resistance: NYT Reports Threats To Senator Susan Collins and Staff on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

September 12, 2018

Amped up hate-rhetoric against Trump and his supporters

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and her staffers are facing taunts and threats over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including a rape threat, reports the New York Times.

Buried under no fewer than 10 paragraphs and the anodyne headline “Interest Groups Turn Up Pressure on Senators Before Kavanaugh Vote,” the far-left New York Timesfinally gets to the meat of the story with the news that Collins and her staffers are facing “threats” and “vulgar language” from the left-wing Resistance, all of this in the hope of intimidating Collins to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“The [left’s] frustration has boiled over at points,” the Times understates. “Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Ms. Collins, provided The New York Times with copies of a letter and multiple voice mail messages addressed to the senator using vulgar language and outright threats.”

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One example of a threat is a “caller [who] told a 25-year-old female staff member at one of Ms. Collins’s Maine offices that he hoped she would be raped and impregnated.”

Collins has also had some 3,000 coat hangers mailed to her office (a reference to the back alley abortion).

Protesters have shown up at Collins’ private home in Bangor.

“A group of men and women, some garbed in red robes and white bonnets — an allusion to The Handmaid’s Tale, the Margaret Atwood book and television series — demonstrated outside the senator’s home in Bangor over the weekend,” the Times reports.

According to Collins, she is also facing a form of blackmail from a left-wing activist who raised $1 million in a crowd funding campaign. If Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, the activist is threatening to release the money to whoever challenges Collins in 2020.

“This quid pro quo fund-raising campaign appears to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me,” Collins said in an emailed statement to the Times. “Attempts at bribery or extortion will not influence my vote at all.”

The Times did not report any similar behavior from anyone on the right who is hoping to affect Collins final decision on Kavanaugh.

This story is just one more example of the increase in violence and threats people on the political right have faced over the last couple of years.

Unfortunately, as the left and their allies in the establishment media have amped up their hate-rhetoric against Trump and his supporters over the last week, the violence has noticeably escalated.

On top of this particular rape threat, a Trump event in DC was threatened with a mass shooting on the same day the far-left Washington Post published Joe Scarborough’s op-ed declaring Trump worse than the 9/11 terrorists. Last week, just hours after NBC’s Chuck Todd compared Fox News to segregationists, a man intentionally plowed his car into a FOX studio in Dallas. Over the weekend, a GOP congressional candidate was attacked with a switchblade, a conservative columnist was forced into hiding over death and rape threats, and a GOP campaign office in Laramie, Wyoming, was hit with an arson attack.

The establishment media have not only ignored these harrowing stories, the establishment media have been every bit as irresponsible and inflammatory with its rhetoric as any rank-and-file member of the #Resistance.