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Politics

'Justice on Trial': The Backstory of the Kavanaugh Debacle

A new book sheds some new light on Kavanaugh's Demo accusers.

Lewis Morris · Jul. 16, 2019

Brett Kavanaugh has been on the U.S. Supreme Court for just under a year, and his contentious and hard-fought confirmation may seem like ancient history. It’s worth keeping in mind that sad, corrupt political spectacle if for no other reason than to remind citizens that Democrats will go to any lengths to get their way.

The recently published book Justice on Trial by Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist and Fox News and Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network serves that purpose. Sure to be excoriated by much of the media, which joined in on the effort to sink Kavanaugh, Justice on Trial lays out the facts of the case by two reporters who were involved in the fight and interviewed more than 100 people directly involved in the hearings.

Kavanaugh, a respected judge with a keen legal mind, surely deserved to be nominated to the High Court based on his background and experience. He had the unfortunate luck to be picked at a time when hyper-partisanship in the Capitol is extreme to the point of dysfunction. Kavanaugh was never going to get a fair hearing from a gang of Democrats so bent on defeating Donald Trump that they would do basically anything to win. That included smearing Kavanaugh’s good name and making a mockery of the political process.

Democrats were ready to challenge any name Trump proposed to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Signs, press releases, and speeches were all drafted, printed, and ready to be sent out before Kavanaugh’s nomination ever became public; they only needed to fill in a name. Professional agitators were brought to Washington for the hearings, others were schooled on where to protest, what radio shows to call in to, and which Republicans to harass. In some instances, they were even given money to make bail should they be arrested.

When these theatrics didn’t do the trick, Democrats decided to make Kavanaugh out to be a sexual predator. Based on an unsubstantiated claim by Christine Blasey Ford that he assaulted her as a teenager, Kavanaugh suddenly found himself swept up in the #MeToo movement, which was at the height of its frenzy at the time.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein knew about Ford long before anyone else. She sat on Ford’s accusation for over a month, waiting for the right time to spring the trap. When other methods of defeating Kavanaugh proved futile, Ford’s story was leaked to the media. Then other women came forward to share similar stories about Kavanaugh’s supposedly aggressive sexual behavior toward women.

Many of these stories were shot down as false, and some who came forward admitting to being put up to it, but we never found out by whom. These paid liars just drifted back into the shadows, and there were few if any legal repercussions. Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, then a media darling for being an anti-Trumper, even got in on the act, producing witnesses and claims that had no basis in fact. (He also just “endorsed” the new book by calling it “complete trash.”)

Ford was the star witness, the person upon whom Feinstein hung her hopes of defeating the nomination. But even Ford’s story stretched credibility. First, why say nothing about this until now? Kavanaugh served in the George W. Bush White House for three years, and then as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit for another 12 years. If he had such an extensive history of being a sexual predator, then how come not a word had ever been said about it until now? It turned out it was less about Ford’s being scared to come forward and more about the fact that the midterm elections were coming up, and the Democrats saw an opening to increase their power.

Ford said she didn’t want to come to Washington because she was afraid of flying, which was nonsense. We learn in the book that she scrubbed her social-media accounts prior to writing to Feinstein with her allegations. Ford was openly hostile to the Trump administration, and her political views were very much left of center.

None of these details made it into the press, though. The media worked hand in hand with the Democrats to go after Kavanaugh, so their reporting on Ford was designed to make her appear a victim who was attacked by an evil man. Friends and former classmates of Ford were surprised to see her portrayed as an innocent ingénue in the press while they remember her as a “heavy drinker who was much more aggressive with boys than they were.”

Media manipulation was everywhere. When one of Avenatti’s witnesses denied his account of her allegations, NBC News sat on the story for weeks. CNN praised two women, one a professional activist, for accosting then-Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator. Kavanaugh’s family was also harassed, as were his supporters, but if these stories were covered it was by way of excusing this behavior as an understandable reaction to a horrible man.

The entire Kavanaugh affair was an embarrassment to the American political process, and the Democrats are entirely to blame. Their entire strategy was to assassinate Kavanaugh’s character because they could not defeat him on the merits. They used Ford and others for their own ends, self-righteously claiming to defend women’s rights while using them as political pawns in their never-ending quest for more power.

The grandstanding was epic. Sen. Kamala Harris baselessly claimed Kavanaugh had the goods on Robert Mueller’s investigation, and Sen. Cory Booker claimed he was Spartacus for “illegally” releasing documents that were already made public. They have yet to answer for their actions or back up their claims, as they are too busy running for president.

Democrats used the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings to completely savage a good man’s reputation and sully America’s institutions, but as Hemingway and Severino point out, no one has paid any price for it. Four Democrat senators who voted against Kavanaugh lost reelection last November, but there has been no investigation into who leaked Ford’s letter to Feinstein to the press. No elected official has been questioned or investigated for taking part in potentially illegal activity related to the hearings.

Trump may face another Supreme Court vacancy before 2020, and he almost definitely will if he is reelected next year. In the meantime, attention needs to be paid to the Kavanaugh hearings — otherwise, who can say what the next Supreme Court confirmation will look like?

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