Brett Kavanaugh was the victim of a Democratic smear campaign grounded in a sexual assault allegation that, after 66 days, a Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry, and a thorough FBI investigation, remains completely unsupported by any established facts and is actually contradicted by witnesses and even the accuser herself.
Kavanaugh is a clearly qualified jurist, who is held in high regard by lawyers across the ideological spectrum, and has served blamelessly on the appellate bench for 12 years. He would be an excellent fit for Supreme Court, and the Senate should confirm him as soon as possible.
More than that, Kavanaugh’s reputation deserves to be fully restored. He is owed an apology by Democratic lawmakers and much of the news media, although of course he will not get one. But in the opinion of fair-minded people, he moves on now untarnished.
Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Kavanaugh was serious and deserved genuine, polite, and concerned consideration. We rejected the common defense that what Kavanaugh did as a 17-year-old was immaterial. We did so not because teenage foolery is unforgivable, but because the nominee categorically denied the accusations. If creditable evidence had emerged that he did what Ford says he did, it would have established him as a brazen liar who deserved rejection out of hand. But no such corroboration was, however, produced, almost certainly because the accusation was false. It was self-contradictory from the beginning and looked less credible with every new piece of evidence.
First were the therapist's notes. The closest thing to contemporaneous corroboration was the report by the Washington Post of a 2012 therapy session in which Ford mentioned an assault by students “from an elitist boys’ school.” Those notes didn’t name Kavanaugh and said four boys were in the room, according to the Post, which was not what Ford told the Senate. Although the Post had obviously been given some access to the therapist's notes, the accuser's lawyers refused to show them to the senators who they wanted to kill Kavanaugh's career.
Ford’s account has changed many times. She contradicted the notes, saying only two boys were in the room, Kavanaugh and one other. The therapist's notes were in error, Ford claims. Ford sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on July 30 that said “four others” were at the party in total. Later, she said Leland Keyser was at the party, implying there were only three boys. Later, under oath, she said “at least four others.” Her polygraph statement said “there were 4 boys and a couple of girls.”
She changed the location of the putative party, too, particularly after Republican attorney Rebecca Mitchell made it known that she had mapped out the houses of everyone who, in the various versions of the story, was there.
Most importantly, nobody Ford placed at the party corroborated her story, and most of them contradicted it.
"Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh,” said Keyser’s attorney, adding “she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”
Kavanaugh denies the accusation and says he doesn’t know Ford. Mark Judge, whom Ford said was in the bedroom where the offense was committed, said, “I do not recall the events described by Dr. Ford in her testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today. ... I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.” P.J. Smyth, another witness supposedly at the notorious get-together, said ,“he has no knowledge of the” gathering “nor does he have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct.” Chris Garrett, whom Ford named as her connection to Kavanaugh and Judge, said through a lawyer he “has no knowledge or information relating to her claims.”
Notably, Ford’s own parents have been silent, not signing a letter from her “family” supporting her.
We don’t need to speculate on why Ford would make a false accusation; several reasons other than plain dishonesty are possible. It's enough that the accusation is denied and totally uncorroborated. After nine weeks of digging by Democrats, and after a supplemental investigation by the FBI, there is still no worthwhile evidence. Not a scrap.
Nothing can justly prevent a vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation. His innocence has not been proved, but nobody can prove himself innocent of an offense that has no certain location, day, date, or even year — only the assertions of an accuser who cannot recall how she got there or how she got home afterwards. The other charges of impropriety against Kavanaugh are even flimsier and more far-fetched.
Democrats, howling only because they don't want another conservative on the court, should not be taken seriously. They have had the chutzpah to complain that Kavanaugh became angry. Maybe that's the appropriate response to people who called him a sexual predator — more than one Democratic senator took Ford’s accusation as Gospel truth before ever listening to Kavanaugh’s response — and floated the idea that he ran a rape gang.
Democrats have also called him “partisan” for his response to charges. What do they want him to do? Equally excoriate Republican lawmakers who did not participate in the pile-on to traduce his character?
Finally, Democrats and their allies in the media have asserted that Kavanaugh perjured himself in his hearing. The case for saying so is vanishingly thin. Almost every “perjury” gotcha article has failed to quote Kavanaugh's actual words and has instead paraphrased him tendentiously. His critics had to pretend Kavanaugh claimed never to have drunk too much alcohol, whereas he explicitly said he had done so but denied he had ever blacked out.
Having demanded an FBI investigation, Democrats rejected the findings once the probe was complete. Their latest flimsy objection is that the FBI didn’t interview Ford’s friends whom she told about the incident in recent years. Those aren’t witnesses. All they have is hearsay from the accuser. Real or potential witnesses have refuted or refused to corroborate her charge.
We now have as much evidence as we are going to get. Throughout the process, we withheld our judgment on Ford’s accusations and Kavanaugh’s denial. Despite the clear bad faith in which Democrats acted — and we count Ford’s attorneys here — we said that senators should keep an open mind and review all the evidence.
Now, in line with that consistent approach, we urge the Senate to confirm an excellent nominee.