Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s head is bloodied but unbowed. Ever since Sen. Dianne Feinstein revealed over a week ago that she had been holding what she presumed to be a Trump card close to her vest, the judge has listened patiently, occasionally issuing terse statements protesting his innocence. On Sept. 17, he expressed his willingness to appear before Congress to answer the allegations of sexual misconduct that had been lodged against him by Christine Blasey Ford.
During the long week that followed, he sat quietly as Democrats and their star witness pushed for delay after delay. He held his tongue when Feinstein on Friday published a galling statement that read in part:
It’s clear that Republicans have learned nothing over the last 27 years. Bullying a survivor of attempted rape in order to confirm a nominee — particularly at a time when she’s receiving death threats — is an extreme abuse of power.
Judge Kavanaugh could have spoken up about his own death threats and threats that had been made on his family. He could have reminded Feinstein that she was the one that delayed bringing Ford’s allegations to the public’s attention for two months. Instead, he chose to remain silent.
Apparently, the reactions from Democrats to the latest round of fresh allegations was the final straw. It is uncertain what Kavanaugh’s specific tipping point was, though it may well have been this shameful tweet by the House minority leader expressing solidarity with newcomer Deborah Ramirez:
Predators have long counted on doubt and intimidation to stop survivors from coming forward. No more! Survivors, we stand with you. We stand with Dr. Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and the countless more out there. Know that we have your back! #TimesUp #BelieveSurvivors
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) September 24, 2018
Whatever it was, the judge spoke out and forcefully. Here is his letter.
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
When I testified in front of the Senate three weeks ago, I explained my belief that fair process is foundational to justice and to our democracy.
At that time, I sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 31 hours and answered questions under oath. I then answered more questions at a confidential session. The following week, I responded to more than 1,200 written questions, more than have been submitted to all previous Supreme Court nominees combined.
Only after that exhaustive process was complete did I learn, through the news media, about a 36-year-old allegation from high school that had been asserted months earlier and withheld from me throughout the hearing process. First it was an anonymous allegation that I categorically and unequivocally denied. Soon after the accuser was identified, I repeated my denial on the record and made clear that I wished to appear before the Committee. I then repeated my denial to Committee investigators—under criminal penalties for false statements. All of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening. I asked to testify before the Committee again under oath as soon as possible, so that both Dr. Ford and I could both be heard. I thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling that hearing for Thursday.
Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring
These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a
threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious
character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.
As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.
I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.
Brett M. Kavanaugh
Shorter Judge Kavanaugh: Stop stalling and bring on your witnesses.