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Thoughts on Dr. Blasey Ford & Judge Brett Kavanaugh | #KavanaughHearing

2018-September-27

UPDATED: 2018-09-30 | LINK: Transcript of Dr. Blasey Ford & Judge Kavanaugh Hearing 2018-September-27


THE ACCUSER

The alarm was set for 6 a.m. and coffee was brewing. In about an hour, Dr. Blasey Ford would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations that Brett Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 17, in the summer of 1982.

Dr. Blasey Ford entered the Senate committee room and sat down. She was unassuming and normal. She was instantly likeable, polite, and collegial. She put on no airs. She began to read her opening statement. Her voice cracked. She was nervous. I was riveted. At times, I was in tears. I listened carefully. She spoke carefully and credibly without exaggeration. I was moved by the bravery of this fellow survivor and gentle soul.

Unlike Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony later that day, Dr. Blasey Ford was never defensive or evasive, never raised her voice or lost her cool, or used sarcasm to deflect, or rudeness to disrupt. She was not political or partisan. She answered every question, thoughtfully and respectfully.

THE PROSECUTOR & INTERROGATORS

Dr. Blasey Ford was questioned by the Republican Senators’ hired-gun, a female prosecutor from Arizona, Rachel Mitchell, who specializes in sex crimes and was designated to question Dr. Ford. The all-male panel of 11 Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee wanted to avoid the Anita Hill optics of all-male Senators attacking a woman.

Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell did a better job than I feared of respectfully, but methodically questioning Dr. Blasey Ford, on behalf of the Republicans. After five minutes, the questioning stopped and switched sides, allowing the Democratic Senators to question Dr. Ford themselves. The five minute intervals of questioning for each side seemed to disrupt and undermine the process.

THE CORROBORATION

Although the disruptive process was less than ideal, a number of points were made through the questioning by the prosecutor and the Democratic senators that helped bolster Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegations.

  • Polygraph: The fact that Dr. Blasey Ford took a polygraph test and passed.
  • PTSD: The fact that she lives with the effects of the trauma, including PTSD, anxiety, and phobias.
  • Imperfect Peripheral Recall: The fact that she does NOT have perfect recall and memory of all the peripheral events and details is consistent with sexual assault survivors. A perfectly recalled story is consistent with lying.
  • Encoded Traumatic Memory: The fact that during a traumatic experience certain chemicals in the brain encode the traumatic memories in the hippocampus, forever burned, while the lesser important details and events fade. Dr. Blasey Ford explained this to the committee as her own expert witness, with a PhD and two Masters degrees in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
  • Witnesses Don’t Remember: The fact that the people whom she remembers being at the house party don’t remember it is expected. If the small gathering was not remarkable, and nothing remarkable happened to the individuals, then it is consistent with the witnesses not remembering it. They never said it did not happen, but rather that they don’t remember it. The only two who said it never happened are the two men who allegedly perpetrated the assault, Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, who assisted.
  • Non-Partisan: The fact that the Doctor came forward before Brett Kavanaugh was picked as the SCOTUS nominee, with no partisan agenda or motive, other than what she described as her “civic duty,” gave her credibility.
  • Told Husband in 2005: The fact that she told her now-husband about the sexual assault and named Brett Kavanaugh by his full name around 2005.
  • Told Medical Professionals in 2010s: The fact that she talked about the attempted rape to medical professionals, who annotated it in their 2012 and 2013 notes.
  • Told Friends in Years Prior: The fact that friends came forward who remembered Dr. Blasey Ford telling them of her sexual assault and assaulter, years earlier.
  • Sought Confidentiality: The fact that she did not want to make her name or accusation public; she only wanted to notify the President and the Senate of the assault. She wanted her name and letter to be kept in confidence. She wanted to maintain her anonymity.

THE ACCUSED

After Dr. Ford’s testimony concluded, followed by a long break, Brett Kavanaugh entered the room and sat down to read his re-written opening statement, which he made a point to say that he wrote himself. It was a different version from the one that he had released the night before to the press and the committee. Unexpectedly, a political partisan conspiracy theorist emerged, blaming the Clintons and the Democrats and the lost 2016 election for the women who came forth with sexual assault allegations against him. What?

Earlier this month, in the first few days of his hearing, before the allegations, Kavanaugh acted like a nice guy, soft-spoken and even-tempered, but that guy was nowhere to be seen. His opening statement was delivered with self-pity, arrogance, anger, and resentment. He was loud, almost shouting, to punctuate each sentence in an oddly out of place staccato rhythm. He drank voluminous amounts of water. He sniffed repeatedly. His nose crunched up and his face contorted as his tongue pushed repeatedly against the inside of his left cheek. He was emotional. His voice would crack and he would pause whenever he spoke of his dad, mom, daughters, and friends. He concluded, and startled everyone, by loudly slamming closed his binder in anger.

Prosecutor Mitchell finally got to introduce herself to the Judge, the same way she did with Dr. Blasey Ford. She began her questioning, outlining the definition of sexual behavior, reminding Brett Kavanaugh that this definition included “rubbing or grinding your genitals against somebody, clothed or unclothed,” be it sexually motivated or, for example, horseplay.”

The prosecutor asked the nominee about Dr. Ford’s allegations that he attempted to rape her and he denied that it was him. She asked him if the Senate Judiciary Committee had interviewed him about Deborah Ramirez’s allegation “that you waved your penis in front of her” and about Julie Swetnick’s allegation “that you repeatedly engaged in drugging and gang-raping, or allowing women to be gang-raped” and he said that he was interviewed about those allegations by the committee.

Prosecutor Mitchell asked him about his drinking and what he considered ‘too many beers,’ to which he defensively and smugly replied, “Whatever the chart says,” referring to the blood alcohol chart. Leaning back, with side-ward glance, he seemed to resent being questioned.


MITCHELL: OK. Have you ever passed out from drinking?

KAVANAUGH: I — passed out would be — no, but I’ve gone to sleep, but — but I’ve never blacked out. That’s the — that’s the — the allegation, and that — that — that’s wrong.


In response to Mitchell’s question if he had “ever passed out from drinking,” Kavanaugh stumbles over his words and says that he has gone to sleep, “but I’ve never blacked out.” He says this even though in Senator Diane Feinstein’s opening statement she directly quotes three friends of his who have come forward to dispute his claims that he never drank so much he couldn’t remember what happened.

Specifically, Senator Feinstein cited:

  • James Roche, Kavanaugh’s freshman roommate at Yale, who said that he was “frequently incoherently drunk” and that was when “he became aggressive and belligerent.”
  • Liz Swisher, a friend of his from Yale, who said, “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out, but it’s not credible for him to say that he had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.
  • Lynne Brookes, a college classmate, who said the picture Kavanaugh is trying to paint doesn’t match her memories of him, “He’s trying to paint himself as some kind of choirboy. You can’t lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out he’s gone too far. It’s about the integrity of the institution.

THE BREAKS

Judge Kavanaugh seems to have arranged with Chairman Grassley to get frequent and regular breaks. I couldn’t help but feel, as a former public relations professional, that these breaks had an orchestrated purpose to get feedback on his performance, and to get prepped for the next set of questions, because there seemed to be tweaking in his behavior and answers after the breaks.

After one of those early breaks, Senator Lindsey Graham, lashed out with an angry emotional outburst against the Democrats, and for the cameras, abandoning the Republican plan to speak only through the female sex crimes prosecutor. The other Republican senators couldn’t help themselves and followed suit. Adopting Kavanaugh’s angry, loud, and belligerent tone, aimed at their Democratic colleagues, the Republicans took over the questioning, creating their own dramatic camera moments, all without reprimand or notice from Chairman Grassley.

In the end, Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell was never heard from again in that hearing, nor was she formally dismissed, thanked, or acknowledged after that. Perhaps, Ms. Mitchell was not partisan enough for the Republicans, but the optics of how she was summarily sidelined did not look good for the Republicans, who already have a “woman” problem when it comes to the upcoming elections.

THE CALENDAR

On the other side, the Democratic Senators – who, by the way, have equal number of male and female Senators on this committee – repeatedly asked for an FBI investigation and questioned Kavanaugh about his high school yearbook and his 1982 calendar.

Kavanaugh 1982-July-1

Kavanaugh referenced his own 1982 summer calendar as proof that he could not have done what Dr. Blasey Ford alleged, because he was busy or out of town on most of those weekends. But what does that prove when young people party on weekdays during the summer?

To exonerate or corroborate, the FBI needs to conduct an investigation to verify the information and interview the people mentioned in Kavanaugh’s calendar. The FBI is uniquely qualified, with the means and the power, to investigate those calendar entries.

For instance, the July 1st entry is annotated with “Go to Timmy’s for skis w/ Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie, Squi.” This entry easily fits Dr. Blasey Ford’s description of a small gathering that included beer or “skis,” short for brewskis.  She mentions there were “at least four boys” who included Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, PJ, and a boy whose name she could not remember. Kavanaugh lists three of them in that entry. Couldn’t the FBI find out who “Timmy” is and interview him? Couldn’t the FBI find out where Timmy lived to see if it fits within the 1 mile radius of the Columbia Country Club, as Dr. Blasey Ford referenced?

The Unhinged

Judge Kavanaugh plowed on, repeatedly interrupting, filibustering, snapping, and yelling at ranking member Senator Diane Feinstein and the rest of the committee’s Democratic Senators. On a number of occasions, he would stare defiantly at a Senator, without answering the question. At other times, he would angrily, loudly, and repeatedly insist that the Senator answer their own question.

For example, when Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is always respectful and kind, asked if he had ever experienced a loss of memory after drinking, Kavanaugh didn’t answer, instead, asking her in a disrespectful and rude manner, if she had ever blacked out.


KLOBUCHAR: So you’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened.

KAVANAUGH: It’s — you’re asking about, you know, blackout. I don’t know. Have you?

KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question, Judge? I just — so you — that’s not happened. Is that your answer?

KAVANAUGH: Yeah, and I’m curious if you have.

KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.

KAVANAUGH: Yeah, nor do I.

KLOBUCHAR: OK, thank you.


In the same vein, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse asked the Judge about multiple accounts of his excessive drinking in high school and in college, reported by Brett Kavanaugh’s friends and roommates, to which the Judge snapped with a a non-answer, repeating the refrain that he likes beer, “I like beer. I like beer. I don’t know if you do…Do you like beer, Senator, or not? What do you like to drink?

Imagine doing that at a job interview.

Kavanaugh came across as a spoiled toddler throwing a tantrum. Someone who felt privileged and entitled to the job, seeing the Democrats as obstructionists standing in his way, and not as Senators doing their jobs with legitimate concerns for him to assuage.

What would he do if he were interviewing a candidate for a job with allegations of sexual assault and serious drinking problems made by many credible people?

THE YEARBOOK

At one point, because of its proximity in time to that of Dr. Blasey Ford’s 1982 allegations, Senator Whitehouse asked Brett Kavanaugh to define various words referenced on his personal page in his 1983 yearbook.

Judge Kavanaugh seemed to resent the questions, offering dismissive answers or innocuous definitions for every reference.

  • RALPH was indeed throwing up, but not because he drank too much, rather he had a weak stomach. [Yearbook: “Beach Week Ralph Club — Biggest Contributor”]
  • RENATE ALUMNUS, was indeed a reference to a girl, but not because of a sexual conquest, rather a friendship. [Yearbook: “Renate Alumnius” (sic)]
  • BOOFING was simply “farting.” But it wasn’t. [Yearbook: “Judge – Have You Boofed Yet?”]
  • DEVIL’S TRIANGLE was simply a “drinking game.” But it wasn’t. [Yearbook: “Devil’s Triangle”]

The committee listed additional references in Brett Kavanaugh’s personal yearbook page, which point to probable inappropriate behavior or excessive drinking. These references include:

  • “Maureen – Tainted Whack”
  • “Anne Daugherty’s – I Survived the FFFFFFFourth of July” [NOTE: The 7Fs preceding the Fourth of July, have nothing to do with a stuttering problem by a friend of Kavanaugh, as he stated. The Urban Dictionary lists the 5Fs, the 6Fs, and the 7Fs – all of which are things that you do to a girl: find, flirt, fondle, finger, f*ck, forget.]
  • “Keg City Club (Treasurer) – 100 Kegs or Bust”
  • “Georgetown vs. Louisville – Who Won That Game Anyway?”
  • “Orioles vs. Red Sox – Who Won, Anyway?”
  • “Summer of ’82 – Total Spins (Rehobeth 10,9…)” [NOTE: ‘Rehobeth’ is no doubt a reference to nearby Rehobeth, Delaware. The beach & boardwalk there could be a great place for the “Beach Week” referenced in the 1982 calendar. The two references in the yearbook to the Rehobeth Police are interesting and might be worth checking out for the FBI.]
  • Rehobeth Police Fan Club (with Shorty)” [NOTE: See above.]
  • “Wendy Whitney Fan Club”

After Senator Whitehouse’s turn, I looked up “BOOFING” and “DEVIL’S TRIANGLE” in the online Urban Dictionary and I was shocked. Not so much because of the definitions, but because Judge Kavanaugh may have committed perjury.

In the Urban Dictionary, boofing refers to abusing alcohol or drugs by inserting it into the anus; and the devil’s triangle refers to a threesome, between two men and one woman.

Did Judge Kavanaugh purposely lie to Senator Whitehouse under oath?

Perhaps choir boy Kavanaugh, was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Devils TriangleBoof

The Mean Drunk

Who was this guy? It was easy to see the “mean drunk” one of his friends described. It was easy to hear the mocking laughter Dr. Blasey Ford remembers. It was easy to imagine him being the guy who attempted rape. It was easy to believe he did participate or was in the room while the boys gang/train-raped a drunk girl at a house party. It was easy to see the predator who drugged girls, who shoved his penis in a girl’s face, and who was verbally, physically, and sexually abusive with vulnerable or shy girls.

Throughout his testimony today, he was volatile, angry, rude, loud, evasive, and at times, like a petulant child, he simply refused to answer questions or he flat out lied. He has such arrogance and disdain for the process, that he lied about easily provable things, like when Senator Kamala Harris asked if he had watched Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony. Brett Kavanaugh said he had not. An aide told the Wall Street Journal that he was watching Dr. Ford’s testimony.

The Unfit

I was taken aback. He lied about small things and big things. His sense of entitlement and disrespect for the Senators was astonishing. He was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, who exposed and proved to the world that he does not have the temperament or character to be a Supreme Court Justice.

The process did little to elucidate anything, lacking an FBI investigation or the testimony of Mark Judge, allegedly in the room during Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape Dr. Ford. In the end, the allegations by Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick and others remained unanswered, nothing more than a stench in the air. We were left with no answers; more questions; and a growing cloud over Brett Kavanaugh.

Why are the Republicans trying to rush the process? After all, the Republicans had no problem stopping President Obama from being able to nominate and fill a vacant Supreme Court seat for 14 months. Perhaps, the Republicans are desperate and determined to appoint Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in time for opening day, October 1, 2018, because of important cases coming up before the Court, which may impact Presidential pardon powers.

Surely they know how important it is to get the right person, with the right temperament and character, for this lifetime appointment. Regardless of the allegations of sexual assault, the behavior Judge Kavanaugh displayed today is unworthy of a Federal Judge, much less a Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America.

Senators, I urge you to vote ‘No.’ To do otherwise is disrespectful to women across this country and disrespectful to the Supreme Court.

We will all be voting soon, but the women of America will be out in force on election day, and we do not forget.



Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved



The Live Tweets

Following are my live tweets of Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony and answers before the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon. (@BlueBeachSong)



Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved



4 Comments leave one →
  1. I Like Beer, but I Don't Like Brett Kavanaugh! permalink
    2018-September-30 9:14 PM

    Brett Kavanaugh, or Bart O’Kavanaugh, or Boof Kavanfraud, is nothing but an ill tempered lying man-child who proved that not only is he unfit for the job of Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, but he’s not fit to have the job that he has now.

    • 2018-September-30 9:24 PM

      Thanks, “I Like Beer, but…,” for your comment.
      I have to agree with you. Regardless of how much he drank or passed out or anything else that he may have done, his performance at the hearing on September 27, 2018, was all we needed to see that he does not have the temperament or objectivity to sit on the Supreme Court or any court.
      All the best, -Martie

  2. 2018-September-29 1:58 AM

    Thank you for this clear report. I have watched transfixed, on the other side of the globe as this sorry hearing played out, more than anything resembling a Greek tragedy. One has to be convinced that Dr Ford is telling the truth; her demeanour throughout has supported her claims.

    • 2018-September-29 1:41 PM

      Thank you Judith for your comments. No doubt the rest of the world is deeply concerned about what is going on here. And it is deeply upsetting for most of us on this side of the globe, in this country, to think of a man like Kavanaugh with clear evidence that he lied under oath to the Senators about his assaults on women and excessive drinking, about receiving stolen Democratic confidential documents during his time in the GW Bush White House, and about many other things. No one with such little respect for the truth and the law should sit on our Supreme Court. Most of us, especially the women in this country, hope that this little window of one week and limited scope given to the FBI to investigate will provide enough evidence for the Republican Senators, and perhaps even Mr. Trump, to reconsider their support of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court of the United States. It should be an interesting week. All the best. -Martie

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