Chuck Grassley: This frat party allegation 'has all the markings of a tabloid headline'

Sen. Coons of Delaware apparently forwarded another allegation about Judge Kavanaugh to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Today, Grassley responded to Coons by pointing out the allegation in question isn’t really an allegation at all, more of a suggestion about something that could be made into tabloid fodder, at best:

Dear Senator Coons,

I have tried to take every allegation referred to me during this nomination process seriously and have dedicated significant resources to investigating every relevant and probative lead. Although you and I have not seen eye-to-eye on every issue, I appreciate that you’ve handled yourself with the seriousness befitting a U.S. Senator throughout much of this nomination process. That’s why I was disappointed when you forwarded me allegations relating to Judge Kavanaugh’s “years in New Haven.” The accuser—who apparently created a television show in which people strip while dancing to their favorite music—tells of a party that took place at the house of Judge Kavanaugh’s undergraduate fraternity “during the 1987-88 school year” and which allegedly featured some salacious activity. Of course, Judge Kavanaugh had already graduated when this party allegedly took place and was a first-year law student. That period is, as you well know, the most academically intense time in most law student’s lives.

This allegation has all the markings of a tabloid headline. But there’s just one problem. The accuser freely admits to having no evidence whatsoever that Judge Kavanaugh even attended this party. Rather than provide even circumstantial evidence of Judge Kavanaugh’s attendance, the accuser provides some “investigative advice.” He proposes that someone search Judge Kavanaugh’s calendars—the very same calendars that your colleagues have dismissed and derided with regard to Dr. Ford’s allegations—to determine whether he attended a fraternity party at some point in 1987 or 1988. And that’s it. All he alleges is that he once witnessed a salacious party at a house owned by Judge Kavanaugh’s undergraduate fraternity. He then separately advises us to obtain and search Judge Kavanaugh’s calendars to determine if he attended.

We’ve reached a new level of absurdity with this allegation. There is no evidence that Judge Kavanaugh was anywhere near the party or had anything to do with it at all… The purpose of this allegation is plain: to smear Judge Kavanaugh’s name by associating him with the party’s hosts…

The letter concludes with an admonition to Sen. Coons: “I…hope that, before forwarding an allegation in the future, you will first consider whether you’d want you or your staff to spend valuable time investigating it.”

The most remarkable thing about the current moment in our politics is that, urged on by their own desperations, Democrats have abandoned any pretense at having standards for these allegations. That’s how you get Sen. Feinstein referencing the allegations by Julie Swetnick before anyone has provided any corroboration of her story.

And the media, urged on by the Democrats and their own barely concealed impulses, is doing the same. So you have Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer publishing a story that isn’t corroborated by anyone except one person who claims they heard about it second hand the next day. And NBC does an interview with Swetnick despite being unable to corroborate her account with a single person.

Once the standards are abandoned completely, then we have vague accusations like this one appearing. Don’t forget, we’ve already seen other accusations like this which have been refuted or withdrawn. Last week, Grassley referred one of these allegations to the FBI for investigation:

One tip was referred to the committee by staff for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I).  While Whitehouse referred the accuser to a reporter, the committee took the claim seriously and questioned Judge Kavanaugh about the allegations under penalty of felony. Judge Kavanaugh denied any misconduct.  After the transcripts of that interview became public, the individual recanted the claims on a social media post.

This really is not the sort of thing the Judiciary Committee should be wasting time on, but you get the impression Democrats don’t care very much at this point. They’re happy to throw everything against the wall to see what sticks.