- Kavanaugh has been recommended for confirmation by the Senate Judiciary Committee by an 11-10 vote. There was no rider to that motion and no amendments were included. The committee process is over. It will not be calling more witnesses or addressing the background report upon conclusion, specifically. Clarence Thomas received a 7-7 committee, by comparison, not receiving recommendation. He was confirmed 52-48 with 11 Democrats voting yes in the majority.
2. The delay requested last Friday in order to open a 7th FBI background check into Kavanaugh was agreed to and structured by McConnell and the WH. It was understood and confirmed by Flake, Collins and Murkowski that they were NO votes without extension. Any attempts to thwart that extension would have effectively ended the confirmation process. The FBI was given a directive to pursue the Ford allegations, specifically, due to their unknown status as of the closing of the 6th background check presented to WH. Nothing precludes the FBI from speaking to more witnesses. However, time line is clearly spelled out: 1 week from last Friday.
3. How can the FBI get all this done so quickly? The FBI notified all field offices on Friday of the development. Each field office pre-assigned agents to handle any interviews that may be required anywhere in the country. This is not an agent-specific task. Agents are not assigned to specific allegations, only geographical disposition. Hence, the process is only prone to protraction if witnesses do not comply in a timely manner. If a witness does not wish to cooperate, they are free to decline. This is NOT an FBI investigation into any facts, or assessments, to be assigned to any conclusion. These are merely statements acquired voluntarily and sworn to by the witnesses under penalty of 1001 charges. If witnesses do not make themselves available in a timely manner, they will not be included in report.
4. Does Dr Ford have to cooperate or give FBI her therapy notes? No. She is not required to speak to the FBI at all. Frankly, it is unlikely they need her statement, as she has already sworn under oath to her story. They may request clarification from her after hearing from other witnesses or finding inconsistencies (like Mark Judge didn’t work at a Safeway in the summer of ‘82) But she is very unlikely to cooperate. Should others who have sworn to statements to Senate under penalty of perjury change their stories when speaking to the FBI, they are then subject to felony perjury charges for lying to Congress. Therefore, it is unlikely any existing witness involved in Ford case will alter statements.
4. Will the Ramirez and Swetnick allegations be looked into? The Ramirez charges are being looked into, according people who have been contacted by FBI from Yale classmates. The Swetnick matter is trickier because she has serious credibility and character issues. Without several additional witnesses willing to go to jail for lying to FBI confirming her incredible account, the FBI is unlikely to pursue the matter. Same with the anonymous Colorado matter, already dismissed as not credible. Again, there are not two or three agents in this, any person living anywhere in continental US will be reached immediately by closest field office agents. The process is inherently designed to be expeditious.
5. The Democrats will likely assail the process for being done too quickly and without pursuing every possible lead. That will not matter. The 3 Senate Rs agreed to this process and would have to recant to McConnell and explain why they lied to him. Will more accusers come out of woodwork, even after FBI report? Yes, invariably. In order to legitimately cry for more delay, Dems will demand more and more investigations occur. This will fall on deaf ears. McConnell and the WH have set a very deliberate, but gratuitous process into motion. It is required political cover for sham allegations against a sitting DC Circuit judge with an impeccable reputation.
6. Does Kavanaugh have the best hidden case of alcoholism in DC? No. The judge was a top student in high school, Yale undergrad, and Yale Law. Later, he was a star lawyer for Bush WH before becoming one the most respected jurists in the entire federal court system. Not one account by a colleague, clerk, student or otherwise can account for any alcohol abuse. None of which would matter, even if any forthcoming witness from high school or college declare otherwise.
7. Jeff Flake’s cowardice during the committee process allowed this to get out of hand. Wrong, actually. Flake used the democrat zealousness and fanaticism to get any concession at all from Grassley, in order to put in place an agreement that would elicit Yes votes from Collins and Murkowski. Absent a revelation revealing something damaging to Kavanaugh and this 7th background check, Flake is a committed Yes on final confirmation.
8. What if the Deep State mobilizes a rogue FBI investigation into Kavanaugh? This is a popular question, but the answer is it’s not really feasible. Witnesses will say what they say. Agents will write down said statements and include them in the report. No investigations. No conclusions. No assessments. Literally, just reporting what they are told. Inconsistencies or other issues that arise when the report is read in aggregate, are left to WH, more so the senate, to point out and make public. The FBI’s re-opening of the Clarence Thomas file took 72 hours to complete. So we should not expect this timeframe to be much different. A report issued to WH by tomorrow night or Wednesday is expected.
9. Does it matter Kavanaugh missed a week of oral arguments? In the grand scheme? Not at all. Getting him seated by Monday for oral arguments next week is just fine. It will require just about 4 days from the time the senate takes up the nomination to the time they confirm him. He can be sworn in immediately thereafter.
10. You trust Jeff Flake? No, I do not. It’s quite possible, though unlikely, he goes full kamikaze and votes NO. But as of now, he is a committed Yes to McConnell, provided the Ford matter is reviewed. A NO vote from Flake would be a literal career killer. He couldn’t accept any of these rumored MSNBC or CNN paid contributor gigs without the Justice Dept and the senate reviewing a pay-for-vote situation, as they are investigating a similar scheme set up by people trying to blackmail Collins with a go fund me fundraising threat to fund her opponent in 2020. It’s illegal. Flake wants to be the new Kasich-styled white knight republican, espousing a kindler, gentler and more dignified alternative to Trump. He hates Trump, yes, but he won’t kill his career by tanking a SCOTUS nom. No way.
11. Grassley could have avoided this whole mess if he just rammed Kavanaugh through earlier before this Ford stuff was leaked. Wrong. I mean, really, really wrong. Feinstein was always going to hold onto the Ford letter until the vote was near, causing maximum confusion and damage. Had Grassley called the vote two weeks ago, it would’ve happened two weeks ago. We’d be in same spot as now, but with even more time before midterms to stretch this out. Grassley has done nothing wrong; in fact, hindsight will show he was brilliant at saving this nomination. They were always going to do this. There was no way to stop it. Don’t assume Ramirez and Swetnick were not waiting in the wings the whole time since August. Don’t be fooled. Grassley and McConnell are on verge of making history with saving this nomination. Attacking them is foolish. Keeping the pressure on Flake, Collins and Murkowski is vital. Know where your pressure needs to be applied and apply it. Your voice matters.
Hope this helps everyone understand the process a little better.