Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh came out swinging on Thursday, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that his confirmation process had become a “national disgrace” and bemoaning the partisan politics around it.
“The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy,” he said angrily in his opening remarks. “Since my nomination in July, there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation.”
The dirty politics Kavanaugh is alleging should be no surprise to him, since he spent part of his career in that world.
Kavanaugh cut his teeth in Washington working for what Democrats consider to be the most brazen and partisan crusade in modern politics: Ken Starr’s investigations into President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. He spent more than three years working for the independent counsel, who was looking into various scandals surrounding Clinton and his wife, Hillary.
Kavanaugh personally urged Starr to expand the Whitewater investigation to include looking at the death of White House staffer Vince Foster, a controversy that was a partisan attempt to use a man’s death to go after the Clintons.
Foster died by suicide in 1993, a conclusion reached by U.S. Park Police (his body was found in a park) and the FBI. In fact, multiple investigations concurred that it was a suicide.
Yet in March 1995, after those reviews, Kavanaugh called for a “full-fledged investigation” into Foster’s death. That inquiry helped validate right-wing conspiracy theorists who believed that the Clintons killed Foster, and the matter outraged Foster’s family.
During the Monica Lewinsky inquiry, Kavanaugh pressed Starr to ask Clinton sexually graphic questions about his relationship with the White House intern. Some examples:
Yet on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he was shocked that he had to talk about his sex life.
“As to sex, this is not a topic I ever imagined would come up at a judicial confirmation hearing,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before Kavanaugh on Thursday, has accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her while they were teenagers.
Kavanaugh portrayed himself as a victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy, consisting of people who are working on behalf of the Clintons.
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record,” he claimed. “Revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus.”
He added that he believed the “grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade confident and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country, and, as we all know in the United States political system of the early 2000s, what goes around comes around.”
Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is widely considered the second-most powerful court in the country. Whether he stays there or goes onto the Supreme Court, he will have to rule on cases that involve Democrats and liberal groups ― the same ones he believes have ruined his life.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place