When sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh emerged last month, Democrats were adamant that his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, be allowed to testify before Congress and the FBI investigate. In the following weeks, over the objections of many conservatives who saw no need to delay a vote on his Supreme Court confirmation, Republicans nonetheless gave in on both demands.
The testimony last Thursday from Kavanaugh and Ford turned out to be pretty much a push, with neither side gaining much traction. The next day, Republicans agreed to an FBI investigation at Sen. Jeff Flake’s behest. Since then, a stalemate has existed regarding Ford’s allegations.
The way things unfolded put Democrats and the liberal media in a difficult position, precisely because their demands had been met, yet it seemed unlikely that anything disqualifying of Kavanaugh would be forthcoming. That’s when the goalposts moved. Suddenly, what may or may not have happened 36 years ago was beside the point. The real issue, the new issue, was whether Kavanugh had perjured himself during his impassioned testimony last Thursday.
The Drinking Claims
The first salvo in this laughable allegation was that Kavanaugh had lied about his drinking habits as a teenager. As the whole world knows by now, Kavanaugh liked, and still likes, beer. He admitted under oath that sometimes he drank too much, although he denied ever blacking out.
A few days later, a supposedly damning letter from a Yale classmate with the Yalest name ever, Chad Ludington, came out claiming that Kavanugh had blatantly mischaracterized his drinking. Ludington stated unequivocally that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out, Kavanaugh had to be lying.
There were more reports from acquaintances of the time alleging Kavanaugh had been a sloppy drunk, then a police report naming Kavanaugh as someone present at a bar fight during which he might have thrown ice at someone. Finally, there was a jocular letter from high school in Kavanaugh’s own hand, inviting friends to a beach weekend, in which he jokingly described them all as obnoxious drunks.
Almost immediately, the media began asking senators if the FBI investigation should now include the possibility that Kavanaugh lied under oath. If Ford’s claims couldn’t be proven, then surely his apparent lies to the committee must be disqualifying, many argued. Yet to anyone even vaguely resembling an objective observer, the claim of perjury was nonsense on its face. Kavanaugh had admitted to sometimes drinking too much. That is a description that easily covers all of the allegations leveled at him after his testimony.
Then the Text Messages
But allegations that Kavanaugh had perjured himself in regard to his drinking weren’t all the news media came up with. This week NBC breathlessly released news that Kavanugh had texted with his former classmates about the fact that his second accuser, Debbie Ramirez, was contacting friends from Yale about claims regarding an incident involving her.
The supposedly damning element of this revelation was that Kavanaugh had testified that he did not know about Ramirez’s allegation until it appeared in The New Yorker magazine. Now, first of all, Kavanaugh disputes Ramirez’s claim in the New Yorker story, which means he obviously was aware of the accusation before the story ran.
Beyond that rather obvious fact, NBC somehow failed to mention that Kavanaugh had told the committee he became aware of Ramirez’s email campaign through his own contacts and reached out to friends accordingly. The second allegation of perjury went poof just as quickly as the first had. Meanwhile, Ford’s original claim crept deeper and deeper into the background as the news media tried to gin up lies from Kavanaugh under oath.
The real tell that this is all foolishness is that no serious person anywhere is actually suggesting that Kavanaugh be charged with perjury.
The Message For Trump
Watching all of this play out was President Trump. The alacrity with which the Kavanaugh story went from being about attempted rape to alleged perjury was surely not lost on him. For more than a year now, pressure has mounted for him to make himself available to the Robert Mueller probe into Russian interference in the election. His attorneys, most notably Rudy Giuliani, have again and again asserted that they will not allow the president to take part in a perjury trap.
While most on the left have laughed this off, and suggested that if the president just tells the truth he has nothing to worry about, what happened to Kavanaugh is incontrovertible evidence that such a position is stuff and nonsense. It is absolutely clear that Democrats and many in the media latched onto laughable examples of supposed lying under oath and ran with them until they ran out of gas. Can there be any doubt that the exact same thing would happen were Trump to testify without limitations to Mueller?
If Mueller asked Trump whether he has ever done drugs and Trump said no, does anyone think it’s unlikely that two people could come forward saying they saw him blowing lines at Studio 54? If questions about business dealings emerge, can we doubt that Democrats and their media allies would be pulling out shovels digging for anyone, regardless of how credible that could cast doubt on his claims?
Any reasonable person can conclude from the hysterical treatment of Kavanaugh’s testimony that the treatment of Trump’s would be a thousand times more mendacious. What sane person would put himself through that if it could be avoided? Why would Trump give Democrats the gift of floating nonsense perjury charges in the House of Representatives (should Democrats take it back) or on the campaign trail in 2020?
In an ideal world, Trump would testify before Mueller with a limited scope of questions to help get to the bottom of very real concerns about Russian interference. But the bad faith with which Democrats and the news media have approached Kavanaugh’s testimony has to make him and his attorneys extremely wary of doing any such thing. And who can blame them? What we have seen over the past week gives us no sense at all that those who oppose Trump are acting in anything even approaching good faith.
When and if the time comes that Mueller wants to interview Trump, it seems less likely than ever that his attorneys will allow the president to do it without a fight. Before the shambolic treatment of Kavanaugh, that might have seemed cynical. Now it just seems like plain old common sense.