I’m waiting for a fuller quote but this strikes me as not the smartest ground on which to fight this battle. Whether or not Kavanaugh attended a high-school party shouldn’t matter much as evidence, but it will now.
NEWS: @OrrinHatch just spoke to Kavanaugh and Kavaaugh denies being at the party in question per a Hatch aide.
Hatch told me kavanaugh is “honest” and “straightforward” and said after talkng to Kavanaugh the woman might be “mixed up”
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) September 17, 2018
Sen. Orrin Hatch told me he spoke for about 10 minutes with Kavanaugh and said that Kavanaugh told him that his accuser may be mistaking him for someone else – and that he wasn’t even at the party in question.
Hatch also told me that there SHOULD be a public hearing
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 17, 2018
Christine Blasey Ford couldn’t remember the exact date or place that the party happened but she did give WaPo the names of two people whom she says were there. WaPo contacted both and hadn’t gotten a comment as of yesterday afternoon, when its story went live. That seemed like an optimistic development for Kavanaugh: Chances are those two people won’t recall anything amiss about the party, assuming they remember it at all, which will lend credence to his claim that nothing happened.
But by denying that he was even at a party, he’s now left the door open to the two saying, “I didn’t notice anything wrong but yeah, Brett and Christine were both definitely there.” Thanks to Kavanaugh’s blanket denial, that’ll seem less exculpatory than incriminating. Plus, how could he completely rule out whether he was at a particular party or not 35 years ago when Ford hasn’t provided a date or location? He’s taken one of the biggest holes in her story, the absence of where/when specifics, and turned it into a sort of advantage: All she needs to show now is that he was at any party with her and it’ll look like he’s lying.
As for Ford being “mixed up,” it might be Kavanaugh’s version of a point I made this morning. In this instance, the traditional line of attack in sexual-assault cases that drunks are unreliable is being used in an untraditional way. Typically it’s the alleged victim whose story is challenged on those grounds. Was she drinking? Did it cloud her memory of what happened? Was she willing to have sex in the moment, with her inhibitions lowered, only to regret it and allege rape after she’d sobered up? If any of those criticisms are tossed at Ford, that perhaps she’s misremembering who her assailant was or what precisely happened due to her own alcohol-clouded perceptions at the party, the left will have a ragegasm that lasts months.
Meanwhile, though, booze is being offered as an explanation for how both Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge might have no memory of the incident. Sure, it could be that each remembers it perfectly well and is lying through his teeth, say liberals, but it also could be that they were such dissolute teenaged drunks that both blacked out during the incident. Didn’t Judge write about being “completely annihilated” at times during his high-school years and hooking up with drunken girls? As noted earlier, Ford herself told WaPo that she thinks Kavanaugh was unable to complete the rape because he was so intoxicated. We’ve gone from believing that victims can’t be trusted to accurately report a rape if they were over the limit to believing that accusers can’t be trusted to accurately deny a rape if they were over the limit. He’s either guilty and lying or he’s guilty and has lost any recollection of his crime to the bottle. Conveniently, he’s guilty either way.
Lefties are also noting today that Hatch was quick out of the box in defending Rob Porter, only to walk it back and apologize when the facts caught up to him. It would be useful to Kavanaugh if the GOP hadn’t spent the better part of two years instantly downplaying sexual misconduct allegations against every prominent official against whom they’ve been made (Trump, Porter, Roy Moore), but we are where we are. Anyway, POTUS is behind him 100 percent.
President Trump says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is “one of the finest people” he’s ever known: “He’s an outstanding intellect, an outstanding judge, respected by everybody, never had even a little blemish on his record” https://t.co/KoCRXhOX0G pic.twitter.com/rRsChpdgxN
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 17, 2018
Update: Women who dated Kavanaugh around the time of the alleged incident say he was nothing like Ford describes.
New statements issued by "two women who dated" Kavanaugh pic.twitter.com/q8xe4Po6aj
— Robert Costa (@costareports) September 17, 2018