Boofed Is The New Borked: How Democrats Laid A Perjury Trap For Brett Kavanaugh

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Below is my column in USA Today on what appears now to be a clear perjury strategy against Judge Brett Kavanaugh that focuses more on his credibility than his alleged criminality.  There are many who have questioned whether Kavanaugh testified truthfully on the meaning of well-known sexual terms as well as his statements on his prior drinking habits.  Clearly, any false testimony would be a barrier to confirmation regardless of the subject.  Yet, this confirmation could create a new term for future nominees: “boofed.”  The questioning on high school lexicon and conduct is a new element in confirmations — precedent that could further degrade our process for selecting Supreme Court justices.

Here is the column:

As the FBI continues its investigation into claims that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a serial sexual assaulter, it remains doubtful that dispositive or even incriminating new evidence will be uncovered given the declarations submitted on the record by principal witnesses. But that may never have been the real strategy against Kavanaugh. This looks like a perjury trap.

While Kavanaugh believed Democrats were trying to paint him as an extremist, as they did Robert Bork in 1987, they actually were trying to trap Kavanaugh into false statements on terms and conduct from decades earlier. Indeed, Kavanaugh could achieve the immortality in the lexicon of confirmations not as a “Borked” but a “boofed” nominee.

The FBI is investigating allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with the disadvantage of limited time (one week) and a locked-in record. The key witnesses have already made their statements under penalty of felonies to Congress, where they deny any recollection of the party described by Ford or even seeing such conduct by Kavanaugh. The Democrats knew this was unlikely to change with the FBI collecting additional statements.

Democrats didn’t seriously question Kavanaugh

The FBI is also looking into an allegation from Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party while both were students at Yale. But Ramirez admitted to having problems recalling the event due to her own heavy drinking, and she said her memory was refreshed after she first declined to come forward. There have been no direct witnesses at this party who recall the disgusting act alleged by Ramirez.

What was most striking at the hearing is that Democratic senators did not seriously question Kavanaugh on the details of these allegations. Instead, they focused on his refusal to call for an FBI investigation or absurd asides, like Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal demanding to know whether Kavanaugh “believed Anita Hill” in her testimony against Clarence Thomas 27 years ago. The only substantive focus was on Kavanaugh’s drinking in high school and college, and risqué references to his high school yearbook.

While the Democrats suggested this was meant to bolster Ford’s account of Kavanaugh being almost blacked out with alcohol, it seems quite implausible given the specificity of the questions, particularly on the yearbook entries. Clearly, the Democrats were trying to establish that Kavanaugh has lied about drinking and sex in his youth.

It all came down to a single moment when Kavanaugh would be faced with admitting to alcohol abuse and embarrassing sexual terminology or deny such alleged facts under oath.

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse provided the moment by demanding to know the meaning of “boofed,” “Devil’s Triangle” and other terms in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook. These terms are references to anal and group sex.

Many of us were unfamiliar with them (honestly, I now realize I led a relatively monastic life), but they are apparently well-known. Kavanaugh’s description of the first as flatulence and the second as a drinking game led to a torrent of ridicule. Despite someone in Congress trying to change the Wikipedia definition of “Devil’s Triangle” to include a drinking game, Kavanaugh is believed by many to have knowingly lied about these terms as well as when he denied that he drank excessively.

It was a curious tactic for the Democrats who once argued that President Bill Clinton could not be impeached for lying under oath about sex. They now argue that Kavanaugh should be denied confirmation (or if confirmed actually impeached by a later Democratic Congress) on the basis of lies about drinking or sexual terms.

The fact is that there is no subject matter exception for perjury. A lie about anything counts as a lie. Clinton was rightfully impeached on this basis, and Kavanaugh could be rejected on that basis. (Full disclosure, I testified during the Clinton impeachment hearings that such perjury would constitute an impeachable offense).

Democrats boofed Kavanaugh

Where does that leave us? A new college friend has come forward to say Kavanaugh lied when he denied abusive drinking. Charles Ludington, a professor in North Carolina, told the FBI that Kavanaugh was a “belligerent and aggressive” drunk in college. Others have also contradicted Kavanaugh. However, Kavanaugh did not deny drinking. Indeed, as now famously mocked by Matt Damon on “Saturday Night Live,” he repeatedly (and rather painfully) said that he liked beer. He did not deny ever being drunk.

If the assault allegations are left unproven and Kavanaugh’s testimony on drinking is relatively vague, that leaves his yearbook and the sexual references often exchanged among teenage boys.

Those references in a 17-year-old’s yearbook could become the legal equivalent of the Butterfly Effect (where a butterfly flapping its wings could eventually cause a typhoon in another part of the world). They have precious little to do with any alleged assault or Kavanaugh’s undeniable qualifications as a jurist. The problem is that Kavanaugh had to answer the questions — or refuse to answer as a matter of dignity. A new political verb is born: to boof, leaving the nominee with the choice of either degrading or false testimony on collateral or marginal terms or conduct. As with Bork, boof will be available as a noun, and adjective and an adverb for future nominations.

Absent some sudden corroboration for Ford or Ramirez, it could come down to simply that. And if this is the standard for future confirmations, then we are all boofed.

Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

287 thoughts on “Boofed Is The New Borked: How Democrats Laid A Perjury Trap For Brett Kavanaugh”

  1. I’m 58, not terribly older than Kavanaugh. I am skeptical as to how “well-known” those slang terms were at the relevant time period, or are today. I

    had never heard the term, “boof” until the hearings. I ran to Google, and quickly learned that a “boofer” is an unkempt, poorly dressed person, according to western PA slang. I have lived in western PA all my life and never heard THAT term either. What I *did* occasionally hear was “booper,” which meant, yes, “flatulence.”

    I have never heard of “devil’s triangle,” either as a drinking game, or a sexual activity. By analogy, however, I have heard of “corn hole.” In my youth, it was either a noun or verb relating to the anus, probably the meaning behind the “Great Cornholio” of Beavis and Butthead fame. I was surprised decades later to hear the term bandied about in casual and relatively polite conversation, with a completely different, innocuous meaning relating to a party game or sometimes a drinking game.

    Given these vagaries, all the claims that his explanations prove Kavanaugh “lied” amount to only Fake News.

  2. Perjury trap? Not by a long shot. At least not with respect to Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony. It’s silly to make the argument that Judge Kavanaugh fell into a perjury trap based on his high school yearbook references to the slang expressions “boofed” and “Devil’s Triangle.” It’s also completely false to argue, as Mr. Turley does here, that “These terms are references to anal and group sex.”

    First, perjury can only be sustained when a false statement is or can be attributed to a material fact. The operative expression is “material fact.” The meanings of the slang expressions “boofed” and “Devil’s Triangle” aren’t facts. They are merely opinions. Moreover, they are only opinions at a particular point in time, as the meaning of those slang expressions may not even have been consistent during the relevant time period. Furthermore, the meanings of slang expressions can and do change over time.

    That said, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the expression “boofed” was even used as slang for anal sex during the time that Judge Kavanaugh attended high school. Similarly, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the expression “Devil’s Triangle” was even used as slang for group sex during the time that Judge Kavanaugh attended high school. Nor does Mr. Turley or anyone else proffer any such evidence.

    For example, two major U.S. slang dictionaries had no entries whatsoever for “boof” or “boofed.” See J. E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of Slang (1994) and Robert Chapman & Barbara Ann Kipfer, Dictionary of American Slang, third edition (1995) and fourth edition (2007). In fact, variations on “boofed,” such as “boof” and “boofa,” as slang for anal sex did not even begin to appear until the 2000s. And nobody can present any evidence that Judge Kavanaugh used the word “boofed” in the 2000s.

    It is specious and disingenuous for any attorney to argue that the Judge Kavanaugh committed perjury based on his opinions about the meaning of slang terms that he used in his high school years. This especially so given the complete lack of any factual, independent sources that can confirm commonly understood meanings of those slang terms during the specific time period when Judge Kavanaugh attended high school.

  3. Note how the definitions of a made up word show up when minimal research is done. Boof as defined by the left immediately becomes something pornographic as does the Devils Triangle.

    But if one goes back we find boof or boofing means buryin the bow of a kayak in the water. One can easily see adolescent drawing an obvious conclusion but meaningful? Not even close

    So let’s find a possible genesis. Boffing meaning screwing or the F word. Goes back to 19th century or before common usage in Britain.

    The number one boffer in WWII for example was a State Department leftist Averall Harriman. Famous for boffing Winston Churchill;s daughter in law Pamela while her husband was off fighting the wars

    Hmmmm…. brings me back to the contention that stone throwers shouildn’t live in glass houses. The problem with that analogy is where you going to find enough stone throwers . Todays photos in the new showed, for example about 50 people for the Schumer fille effort even with the number one sex goddess of the natioin in attending and perhaps because the Emiliy’s exact opposite Lizzie Borden Warren was a speaker.

    Marxine the photos numbered 11 or 12

    Now watch the Congressional Channels. Blood Chuck Schumer or Pelosi in tightly angled manifestations with a few people up behind the speaker and not one filled seat behind the camera. Piglosi’s eight hour dream a thon the same way and now even filibusters doesn’t mean someone has to be speaking

    Methinks those recent examples of booffing us over are the result of one of Harrimans boffing safaris.

  4. 5 “mean girls” terrorize a teenage boy with false sexual assault allegations.

    “In a tape-recorded interview with school officials in 2017, the lawsuit alleges K.S. said she made the sexual assault claim against T.F. because “I just don’t like him.”

    “I just don’t like to hear him talk. … I don’t like to look at him,” K.S. reportedly disclosed in the recorded interview obtained by Fishman.

    On Oct. 2, 2017, K.S. told fellow students “that she would do anything to get T.F. expelled … and accused T.F. of sexual assault” with school officials, the lawsuit states. T.F. was subsequently charged in juvenile court with indecent assault and two counts of harassment.”

    I think the new meaning of “boofed” actually should refer to the weaponization of false sexual assault accusations against an enemy.

  5. “Former Justice Stevens changes mind on Kavanaugh

    Situation Room

    Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the nation’s highest court, according to the Palm Beach Post.

    Source: CNN”

    And he’s right.

    1. Anonymous – Interestly enough, I never thought Justice Stevens belonged in SCOTUS.

    2. Fun Fact: Obama will never be a “natural born citizen” and Obama will never be eligible for the office of president.

      Fun Fact: The entire welfare state is unconstitutional as Congress has merely the power to tax for “…general Welfare…” not individual welfare.

      Fun Fact: Private property is held “…in exclusion of every other individual…” including Mr. Government, the sole exception being the “taking” of property under Eminent Domain. Affirmative action, rent control, quotas, forced busing, “Fair Housing,” “Non-Discrimination,” etc., etc., etc. are all unconstitutional.

      Fun Fact: The Commerce Clause provides for regulation to assure the free flow of the stream of commerce among the states, etc., and to preclude bias or favor for any state or entity. Regulation of any aspect of free enterprises is unconstitutional including, but not limited to, the regulation of design, engineering, production and marketing of products.

      America has been getting in wrong since “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s wholly unconstitutional “Reign of Terror.”

    3. trust me nobody cares about this opinion of his.

      the thing about being a judge is, you cant say your opinion truly when people care, and once you’re off the bench, you can say but nobody cares

      kind of ironic

    1. Lisa Page to Peter Strzok, “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.”

      Lisa Page to Congress, “The texts mean what the texts say.”

    2. I hope Turley will now support impeaching Thomas who committed perjury over a number of years by not reporting his wifes income, over half a million dollars on his income report. That is done under penalties of perjury,. He also refused to recuse himself when he voted to side with his wife’s employer in the Citizen United suit. Of course, at the time we all did not know of this corruption. If Clinton could be impeached over perjury in a civil suit that had nothing to do with his conduct in office, then Thomas should be impeached for basically accepting bribes and perjury which DID concern his official duties. HOW ABOUT THAT TURLEY?

      1. Prove it. Alleged means nothing with out some basis in fact. Something the left is not in short supply of but something the left has NONE of on hand.

    3. By whose definition? The left says anything is ‘the truth’ if it supports The Party. That is their sole stab at having a moral basis.

      The RINO faction aka the right wing of the left same.

      Others have their own definition.

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