The Kavanaugh Conspiracy: Demands To Reopen Investigation Ignore Both Key Facts and Law

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the renewed calls for the investigation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  The often over-heated coverage however omits key factual and legal context for a new report.

Here is the column:

It appears Washington has another conspiracy to make this a long, hot summer. Indeed, the conspiracy du jour has all of the favorite elements: a corrupted FBI, a powerful protected person, buried evidence of possible crimes. If it sounds like a Russia investigation redux, think again.

For years, Democrats in Congress defended the FBI over its mishandling of the Russia collusion investigation. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) denounced those alleging a “sham investigation” as “spreading a false narrative” for political purposes.

Now, however, Whitehouse and other Democrats are denouncing the same FBI as having run a “sham” investigation. The disclosure that the FBI received thousands of uninvestigated “tips” against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh also led columnists to characterize the investigation as anything from “laughable” to “lying” in a confirmation cover-up. And Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick may have set a record for “sham” references (six) in a single short column, declaring that “because the shamming … happened openly, the revelation that it was shamatory feels underwhelming. We have become so inured to all the shamming in plain sight that having it confirmed years later barely even feels like news.”

It may not “feel like news” because the most newsworthy aspect of this controversy is, instead, the renewed — mostly implicit — call to remove Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court. And that’s not even news. It’s nonsense.

The furious allegations of a cover-up began this week with a letter from Assistant FBI Director Jill Tyson to Sens. Whitehouse and Chris Coons (D-Del.). The letter was a delayed response to an earlier inquiry on the investigation of tips given to the FBI during Kavanaugh’s heated confirmation process. To call the letter “delayed” is an understatement by a measure of years. Whitehouse and others are correct in objecting to the fact that these senators asked two years earlier about these tips and any investigation. There is no excuse for failing to respond to members of Congress on such questions, particularly given their oversight responsibilities of the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Tyson disclosed that the FBI “received over 4,500 tips, including phone calls and electronic submissions,” after reopening the Kavanaugh investigation following allegations of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford. Only a few tips were investigated; instead, the FBI sent them to the Trump White House.

That led to media assertions that FBI Director Christopher Wray may have “lied” when he said the investigation was “by the book.” The problem is, it may well have been by the book — or at least by the memorandum, a memorandum written by the Obama White House.

The DOJ conducts background investigations pursuant to a March 2010 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the DOJ and the White House. Under the Obama MOU, the FBI promptly notifies the “requesting entity” if it learns of new information before a candidate assumes a nominated position that would raise questions about the “candidate’s suitability or trustworthiness.” Clearly, the FBI can investigate any substantial evidence of a crime. However, the background investigation itself is not a criminal investigation.

Kavanaugh’s first background investigation was completed and disseminated on July 18, 2018, after interviews with 49 individuals over five days. On Sept. 12, 2018, a Democratic senator sent the FBI information regarding allegations of sexual assault. That was almost a week after the confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh had ended. The FBI sent the information to the Trump White House the next day and, on that day, the White House asked the FBI to perform a limited investigation on the new allegations. The FBI spent six days investigating and interviewing 10 more people. It did so, again, not as a criminal investigation but as “an investigative service provider” under the Obama-era MOU’s terms. It also took the unprecedented step of creating a “tip line” to facilitate the process and ultimately sent those tips to the White House, also under the Obama MOU.

For those of us who encouraged further investigation, it already was known that the FBI was swamped with often anonymous “tips” during that heated week. The confirmation process became a ragefest among senators, the press, and the nominee himself. Reporting that the FBI received 4,500 tips is hardly surprising. Indeed, the number seems modest, given the coverage of the tip line and advocacy groups pushing for new allegations. Moreover, given the short extension of the Senate for the “supplemental investigation,” no one could possibly believe the FBI would run down most, let alone all, of the tips. Finally, there is no indication of whether there were credible claims of criminality or wrongdoing in this torrent of tips.

There is a valid concern about the propriety of referring tips to the White House about its own nominee. However, this was the system created under the Obama-era MOU. If someone accused Kavanaugh of rape, prosecutors could have investigated that crime. Indeed, state prosecutors offered to open an investigation if Ford filed a complaint. But this was a background investigation done in an artificially short time frame. The reason for that rush is that either Ford or Democratic senators waited until after the confirmation hearings to make this bombshell disclosure.

Despite the supplemental investigation by the FBI and the exhaustive investigations by the media and advocacy groups, there still is no concrete evidence against Kavanaugh that would support criminal investigation, let alone prosecution. It certainly is possible that one of these tips disclosed clear criminal conduct, but it also would likely mean that the witness never revealed such evidence to the police when it occurred or the Senate during Kavanaugh’s 2006 appellate nomination or before his initial Supreme Court nomination hearings ended.

Of course, Democrats are not the only ones keeping such speculation alive. In a recent interview, former President Trump said of Kavanaugh: “I saved his life. He wouldn’t even be in a law firm. Who would have had him? Nobody. Totally disgraced. Only I saved him. … I saved his life, and I saved his career.”

However, the demands for the removal of Kavanaugh this week are hardly new, including an ongoing petition drive. Calls to impeach Kavanaugh or prosecute him for perjury arose shortly after his confirmation from then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), and others.

It is exceptionally unlikely that Kavanaugh could be charged with perjury — let alone prosecuted — over allegations that likely occurred decades ago. The anti-Kavanaugh activists know that. But that is not their point. Some are surprisingly honest about using this latest controversy to renew efforts to pack the court with a liberal majority. Columnist Joan McCarter noted, for example, that impeachment would take time but that the court can be packed now to rid it of “dangerous ideologues, and a few corrupt ones.” While Kavanaugh is investigated, she said, Democrats should “dilute the Trump/RNC/Koch/Federalist Society’s malign influence and balance it out with four or six or however many additional justices.”

That would do more than “dilute” the court. It would destroy it.

These advocates are trying to create new precedent to reopen confirmation hearings and expose justices to ongoing investigations with shifting majorities in Congress. The fact that many of these critics refer to Kavanaugh’s conservative rulings only emphasizes their raw political motives.

There are legitimate questions to raise about the FBI’s delayed response and even a possible need for new background investigation procedures for nominees. But the Senate declaring open season on a sitting justice would do great harm to both institutions.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

178 thoughts on “The Kavanaugh Conspiracy: Demands To Reopen Investigation Ignore Both Key Facts and Law”

  1. It is not merely reasonable it is near certain that they did NOT constitute reasonable suspicion of a crime.
    If they did the FBI would have investigated then, and would be free to do so now.

  2. This is a great read (guide) for conservatives from Michael Anton at The American Mind:

    A quick and dirty guide to regime propaganda
    Gaslighting getting you down? Feel like the regime has dialed the Megaphone up to, and past, eleven? You’re not crazy. It’s definitely happening and likely to get worse as our masters’ ability to cope with reality further worsens—or worse, they gain the complete and absolute control they seek. They’re both scornful and terrified of dissent, which explains why they incessantly shriek at us and lie to our faces.

    So, to help you navigate the twitstorm, I present a guide to seven of the regime’s most common, oft-deployed lies. This is not meant to be comprehensive. I’m sure there are tactics they use that either I haven’t crystalized or that aren’t front-of-mind at the moment. I encourage others to expand the catalogue with their own observations. The better we can understand how they try to manipulate us, the better we can resist and counter it all.

    Let’s start with the Unholy Trinity of ruling class horse manure. These first three are similar, but subtle differences determine the ways they’re used in differing circumstances.
    https://americanmind.org/salvo/thats-not-happening-and-its-good-that-it-is/

    1. This has everything to do with an abortion case on the next court calendar. It’s a preemptive move to delegitimize a pro-Life ruling by undermining the credibility of Justice Kavanaugh.

      1. Olly, I understand what you are saying, but this entire fiasco was based on a known lie without which the country would have been spared.

    2. Alan, show us evidence from a well-known source claiming that Blassy-Ford ‘lied’. A legal journal would be good.

      1. Some people are blind to things that appear right before their eyes. Perhaps you are one of them. Her testimony proves her a liar. Nothing else needs to be said, but the relativists will immediately show why truth and lies can be considered the same.

        SM

        1. Actually, the standard of the rules of evidence require Blasey-Ford to prove she was telling the truth. She didn’t meet that standard. Ironically, it was the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee that put politics above their sworn duty to defend our constitutional system of justice. They ignored the principle of innocent until proven guilty. 330 million people in this country and this is the best the Democratic party has to offer? Now we are having to endure another Democrat-led farce with the Jan. 6 committee. Ashli Babbitt is still dead after being murdered by an unnamed officer and political prisoners are being held in solitary confinement, uncharged and without due process. Do you think any witnesses will be called to testify on the FBI’s involvement in the Jan. 6th events?

          1. Olly, Ashley Babbit was attempting to enter the last sanctuary of huddling congressmen. They had nowhere to go from there. Their backs were literally to the wall. They couldn’t afford to have that room breeched.

            Ashley Babbitt calculated that because she was a woman, no Capitol Officer would have the guts to shoot her. She figured wrong!

            So now Trumpers want the identity of that Capitol Officer so they can essentially mark him for death. Which goes to show that Blue Lives mattter less to Trumpers than to BLM.

            1. “Ashley Babbit was attempting to enter the last sanctuary of huddling congressmen. ”

              She was thought to have broken the law. One doesn’t kill those breaking the law when there is no immediate danger of injury or death. The police officer had a gun and support from nearby police in the vicinity. The officer should have arrested her, not killed her. What makes things more suspicious is that we are not allowed to see all the interviews and tapes. Moreover, we are not permitted to know the officer’s identity. His identity was kept secret so long some might conclude the officer who killed her was unbalanced from all the leftist rhetoric and murdered her.

              SM

            2. in law they talk about proportional response. Killing an unarmed person is not proportional. Its murder. Add to that the shooter was not alone. There were half a dozed LE closer to the victim than the shooter. A cop got scared and lost his cool.

              1. in law they talk about proportional response.

                Exactly. Which brings to mind the disproportionate response to the BLM/Antifa mayhem in 2020 and the Jan. 6th event. Or George Floyd and the carnage taking place in Chicago every weekend. The American people aren’t stupid. Which explains why Big Tech and the MSM are needed to reframe the narrative as proportional.

          2. Blasey-Ford was a witness. She has no burden to prove anything. She came forward voluntarily, after contacting her congresswoman and telling her she had information about Kavanaugh, and was not recruited by anyone. A hearing to qualify a candidate for the SCOTUS by examining his character is not a criminal trial, so the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard does not apply. And, there were 4,525 more people who came forth voluntarily, demanding to be heard, who were shut down by the Republicans.

            “Democrat-led farce”? Really? The worst attack on our capitol since 1812, but it shouldn’t be investigated? Ashli-Babbitt was not murdered. The DOJ cleared the officer who shot her, after finding that she trespassed into the Capitol, after finding that she ignored commands to cease and desist despite guns pointing at her and finding that she proceeded trying to climb through a broken window to illegally enter the Speaker’s Lobby, knowing that guards were pointing guns at her and commanding her to stop. It’s her fault she died, but Trump bears much of the blame because of the Big Lie.

            The “political prisoners” I assume, are those insurrectionists who answered Trump’s call to “fight like hell” and Giuliani’s call for “trial by combat” and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s call to “fight” on January 6th. These people broke the law. Yes, they were stupid to fall for the Big Lie, and one of them, Jacob Chesley, a/k/a “the shaman”, was found to be seriously mentally ill. (what a shock!). The rest of them are being held on various charges, like trespassing, assaulting police officers, conspiracy, etc. They are in solitary confinement because: 1. they could not get bail because they were considered to be a flight risk and may have a criminal history and/or outstanding warrants; 2. bail was set but they couldn’t afford to pay; and 3. because they are at risk for being injured by other inmates. One of these geniuses told a federal judge last week that other prisoners pummeled him with feces and urine, so to protect them, they are segregated. Each of them has been charged with a crime. Each of them either has or will be arraigned, and has entered a plea. They either have counsel or will be appointed a public defender. One of them pleaded guilty and has been sentenced. All of them will be given trial dates unless they agree to a plea. That is due process. They are all “charged”, so what you said is not correct. Whatever alt right media told you this is lying to you.

            What, exactly, was the FBI’s “involvement” in the Trump Insurrection, and where did you hear about it?

  3. Jonathan: It’s been a busy week for you. First, you had to defend the indefensible Tucker Carlson. Now you have come to the defense of Justice Kavanaugh against charges the FBI failed to fully investigate Kavanaugh for his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. Critics call the FBI investigation a “sham”. You say the “overheated coverage however omits key factual and legal context for a new report”, Funny, I didn’t see any of that in your column. You further claim there is a “conspiracy” ( a much overused phrase you use to try to dismiss any serious discussion) by Senate Democrats and outside groups to impeach Kavanaugh and replace him with more liberal Justices. Fair enough so let’s revisit the FBI investigation in 2018.

    The FBI now says that, after pretty much ignoring for 2 years the request by Senate Democrats for more information on the Kavanaugh investigation, it received 4,500 hot-line tips about Kavanaugh. but apparently failed to follow up on many, if not all, of them. After the blockbuster testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her the FBI did interview close friends of Kavanaugh who said they had “no recollection” of the incident Dr. Ford told the Judiciary Committee about. Naturally. Frat buddies stick together. Bizarrely, the FBI did not even bother to interview Dr. Ford nor did they interview Kavanaugh himself. Normally, if a crime is being alleged the FBI refers the matter to its Criminal Investigation Division. This wasn’t done either. Probably because White House counsel for Trump understood a criminal investigation could prolong the hearings and endanger Kavanaugh’s chances for confirmation. Now the FBI did conduct a 2 hour interview of Deborah Martinez, the second accuser who claimed Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her. Martinez offered the names of witnesses who would corroborate her story but the FBI declined that information. Why? The FBI says it “provided all relevant tips to the Office of White House Counsel.” The operative word here is “relevant”. The FBI also says it told the White House it could conduct “further investigative activity”. But the White House refused to authorize further investigation of the charges against Kavanaugh. We now know why.

    Trump was determined. He wanted another conservative on the Supreme Court to protect him from what he for saw as threats to his ability to hold onto power. He expected that Kavanaugh would vote to support his agenda of authoritarian rule. That’s why Trump told Michael Wolff in the author’s new book “Landslide” that he (Trump) was “very disappointed” in Kavanaugh–especially after the Justice joined a unanimous Court in rebuffing Trump’s claims of massive “voter fraud” in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Trump felt betrayed and that is why he told Wolff “only I saved him”. Trump “saved” Kavanaugh by refusing to let the FBI fully investigate Kavanaugh’s history of sexual misconduct. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on. The only “conspiracy” here is by the FBI, the Trump White House and Senate Republicans who shut down any full investigation of Trump’s nominee and rushed through the vote. This whole episode is just another reminder that, in the words of Lord Acton, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    1. Acton’s quip is useful, but none of those parties ever exercised *absolute* power. Had Trump done so, he’d still be in office. Unfortunately the Dems apparently now desire it.

    2. Normally, if a crime is being alleged the FBI refers the matter to its Criminal Investigation Division

      Yet another lie. If evidence of a crime is found, it is refereed to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. waving about your tallywhacker is not a federal crime.

      Which is the biggest lie the left keeps telling. Background checks are not criminal investigations. IF the crime mentioned has never been reported by the victim (almost a requirement to start an investigation to seek a conviction) then the FBI assumes its not a fact based accusation.

    3. “Frat buddies stick together.”

      But “Me Too” types don’t?!

      They’re the definition of “in lockstep.”

  4. Turley wisely sums it up:

    “There are legitimate questions to raise about the FBI’s delayed response and even a possible need for new background investigation procedures for nominees. But the Senate declaring open season on a sitting justice would do great harm to both institutions.”

    As is his wont, Turley attempts to remain above the fray and dispense a fair-minded opinion by acknowledging the legitimate concerns of Democrats while defending the integrity of federal institutions from unwarranted attacks. It is heartening that a Professor of law would not subscribe to the “Deep State” false narrative pushed by Trumpists. Moreover, Turley, to his credit, does not overlook the fact that Trump is no better than some of the Leftists he criticizes:

    “Of course, Democrats are not the only ones keeping such speculation alive. In a recent interview, former President Trump said of Kavanaugh: “I saved his life. He wouldn’t even be in a law firm. Who would have had him? Nobody. Totally disgraced. Only I saved him. … I saved his life, and I saved his career.”

    Turley rejects Trumpism, and yet so many Trumpists on this blog believe that he encourages them. They need to read between the lines. He doesn’t.

    1. “Turley rejects Trumpism, and yet so many Trumpists on this blog believe that he encourages them. They need to read between the lines. He doesn’t.”

      Turley is center-left. He didn’t vote for Trump. In my experience, most supporters of Trump don’t hate people, as we see from the left and the Jeff’s on this blog. Trump supporters believe in the rule of law and the Constitution. They have that in common with Turley. That is why you get so confused. You don’t believe in the rule of law.

      1. Alan thinks ‘rule of law’ is a huge mob of deranged rednecks overwhelming Capitol Police.

        1. Your statement is rather ignorant and intentionally insulting. That tells us exactly who you are. I need not explain terms I frequently use like, the rule of law, or shoe on the other foot, for most intelligent and honorable people understand what they both mean. The vile can say whatever pops into their tiny minds and think themselves brilliant. That, however, is not what others see.

          SM

  5. Just heard a guest on Tucker Carlson refer to American liberal cultural as “evangelically stupid.” Here’s a fine example of the term. The Dims are stupid with a religious verve for it and Whitehouse is popish for it.

  6. Turley Stuck In A Talking Points Warp

    Professor Turley writes: “For years, Democrats in Congress defended the FBI over its mishandling of the Russia collusion investigation”.

    Turley first pushed this Talking Point about 3 years ago. Since then Donald Trump denied his reelection defeat and mounted an attempted coup. Yet we’re supposed to believe the FBI investigation against Trump was somehow unwarranted.

    One could argue, convincingly, that the FBI investigation on Donald Trump was totally justified. Any armchair analyst could have seen that Trump lacked the maturity and knowledge to hold high office of any kind.

    Therefore to say at this point that the FBI was ‘wrong’ to investigate Trump is like denying the January 6 insurrection.

    1. And a neurological investigation of Biden to discern whether his inability to speak coherently is a result of dementia.

    2. One could argue, convincingly, that the FBI investigation on Donald Trump was totally justified. Any armchair analyst could have seen that Trump lacked the maturity and knowledge to hold high office of any kind.

      A perfect score of zero for a comment.

      The first sentence is an abject lie. Never one fact to open a counter intel investigation. ( I would love for you to name one.)

      The second sentence is meaningless twaddle

      1. Remember it was Turley and Dershowitz who argued against the FBI’s investigation and both failed impeachments of Trump…so instead of doing the country’s business the world watched a total meltdown of what once was a functional government along party lines and just pure hate for one man…there is even a new mental illness called Trump anxiety disorder…well add that one to a growing list of about 7000 disorders…pick your drug to take…of course 80-90% of those drugs fail to help after some time so they put you on another 1 or 2…welcome to zombie land…now once the republicans figure out how to steal the house, senate and Presidency back, and we will, then the civil war will just keep growing…we will not let BLM, Antifa, CRT, counter culture, remove the flag, remove the national anthem, remove God, defund the police, people run our country…it will never happen…the left thinks we are all just a bunch of uneducated fools who can’t think for ourselves…read Dr. Thomas Sewell’s journey and story…he went from being abandoned as a black child to Marxism to 100% conservative as an older adult as he witnessed first hand the failed democratic policies of government…he said not one program set up and run by democrats ever helped the poor…not one…just the opposite happened…kept them uneducated and poor…Candance Owens…Larry Elders…Dr. Ben Carson…all feel the same and all went from dirt poor black kids through being liberal democrats to conservative republicans…how???…reading, studying, and hard work…I just do not see a way out of this mess we have gotten ourselves into…

      2. Iowan, candidate Trump was a threat to not just American stability, but to the stability of western democracies. NATO barely survived Trump’s one term. Trump tried to pressure Ukraine to parrot Putin lies!

        The FBI had every right to scrutinize such a reckless candidate.

        1. This is said by one lacking proof, data and credibility by one dependent on insult and outrageous statements.

          SM

        2. NATO barely survived Trump’s one term. Trump tried to pressure Ukraine to parrot Putin lies!

          The Secretary General of NATO stated that after President Trump cajoled, shamed and demanded all signatories honor the commitment to NATO, that NATO has never before been so robust. The Secretary General of NATO identified President of the United States Trump, as the single force responsible for that improvement
          As to the Ukraine, you are wholly ignorant of what diplomacy looks like.

          Spewing talking points is just more meaningless (and wrong) twaddle

        3. It was flagrantly illegal for the FBI to scrutinize Trump. Who do you think you are? No one voted for your misanthropic ass. Or for any of your deep state comrades.

    3. “Any armchair analyst could have seen that Trump lacked the maturity and knowledge to hold high office of any kind. ”

      You have self-evident Stalinist reasoning. That is why you use subjective findings to prove guilt rather than objective ones. Then you add a bit about one’s mental state.

      You are a hypocrite as well. You don’t scrutinize those you like in the same fashion as you scrutinize everyone else.

  7. 4500 tips and all 4500 of the tipsters were right there on the scene of Kavanaugh’s desecration watching with glee in their pink hats. Black pointy hats will be the appropriate apparel for the upcoming trial. Bubble bubble toil and trouble.

  8. I was shocked that Turley didn’t expand on this simple fact.
    There were no allegations of a criminal act which could be prosecuted.

    There was a claim of Kavanaugh as a minor committed what wouldn’t have been considered a crime at the time, where even if it was considered a crime, the statute of limitations had long run out and that those indicated by the complaint / allegation could not confirm that event took place, let alone the party. Suggesting that Ford made this up…

    As to saying Kavanaugh perjured himself… that’s less likely than Ford’s perjury.

    This is all a distraction.

    -Gumby

  9. Without corroborating evidence, and no viable witnesses, a handmade tale of of plausible (e.g. Floyd vs Chauvin) rather than probable cause. An exquisite act of social justice for social progress and other special, peculiar, and exclusive causes.

  10. Reporting that the FBI received 4,500 tips is hardly surprising. Indeed, the number seems modest, given the coverage of the tip line and advocacy groups pushing for new allegations.

    At 4,500 tips, you’d think Kavanaugh was sex trafficking for the Mexican cartels. And yet there has been more evidence for the existence of Bigfoot than this conspiracy.

  11. Wow! Does Turley ever have the ability to spin. Let’s start with: “The fact that many of these critics refer to Kavanaugh’s conservative rulings only emphasizes their raw political motives.” How about this, Turley: the fact that there were 4,500 tips that were ignored while Kavanaugh’s nomination was shoved through shows the raw political motives of the Republicans, especially since the adverse information about Kavanaugh was first sent to the White House? That makes more logical sense than what you spin, Turley. But, of course, it’s all Obama’s fault, because of the “memorandum of understanding” that adverse information about a nominee first be sent to the White House. Uh, Turley, is a MOU law, is it binding on subsequent administrations? Does a MOU absolve the FBI from failing to investigate complaints about a nominee for a lifetime appointment to the court of last resort in this country, especially when the number of such complaints is overwhelming? Oh, wait, it’s because the accusers didn’t come forward sooner, so it’s all their fault. All according to Tuley.

    Turley says there’s no “concrete evidence” of Kavanaugh haven’t committed any criminal offenses. Well, when you don’t investigate, you don’t find evidence. More red meat for the disciples.

    1. Turley’s political theater of manufactured outrage and distorted versions of events has become comically absurd.

      1. Actually, Fishy, it is your own comments that are always ‘comically absurd.’

        Keep ’em coming.

    2. “As we reported in “Justice on Trial,” many of the so-called “tips” received were frequently about Blasey Ford’s personal history, from quacks and activists, irrelevant, etc. The main thing the FBI (and senators) learned was of witness tampering by Blasey Ford affiliates.” @mzhemingway

    3. Natacha, should Kavanaugh be impeached? A trial could be held where the presiding judge would not be by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and no witnesses would be made available for cross examination. If it was tried once so why not try it again. Perhaps you could be appointed to be the overseer of the amputation of many thumbs to be placed on the scales of justice. Seems like just right up your alley.

      1. I don’t know what the results of a real investigation would show, so that depends. If some really bad things came to light, then maybe, but at the end of the day, if Kavanaugh has some bad things in his background that would have been disqualifying, the fault lies with the Republicans who blocked a full investigation. I’m guessing that the only reason why this is coming up now is because Trumpy Bear has turned on Kavanaugh because he didn’t help him cheat his way into a second term. So, Trump trashes Kavanaugh, saying no law firm would hire him, that he’s a loser, whatever. I know Trump is an ignoramus, but being on a federal court of appeals is not a small feat.

        1. Only one problem with your argument (well, maybe a couple.) The Senators were provided with all 4500 of the tips at the same time as the White House. The Dem’s were more than motivated to find something with which to trash Kavanaugh. Either the Dem’s were lazy, or there was nothing substantive there. Now, years later, the Dem’s want to go through the whole thing again. Don’t forget, the whole original rush was because Feinstein didn’t disclose the Ford claim until AFTER the original hearings.

          1. They might get him this time. Maybe he used a loop in a garage door pull once or maybe bought a box of Legos. Serious business. The feds send platoons of heavily armed guys out to look at loops and Legos.

          2. Where is the proof that Senators received the tips? Where did you hear this? Here’s what Turley wrote: “The furious allegations of a cover-up began this week with a letter from Assistant FBI Director Jill Tyson to Sens. Whitehouse and Chris Coons (D-Del.). The letter was a delayed response to an earlier inquiry on the investigation of tips given to the FBI during Kavanaugh’s heated confirmation process. To call the letter “delayed” is an understatement by a measure of years. Whitehouse and others are correct in objecting to the fact that these senators asked two years earlier about these tips and any investigation. There is no excuse for failing to respond to members of Congress on such questions, particularly given their oversight responsibilities of the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ).” This proves that the Democrats didn’t have the “tips” and are just now getting around to looking into them.

            It was the Republicans who wouldn’t even let the 25 additional witnesses testify against Kavanaugh (which is all the public was told about at the time), not the Democrats. We don’t know what the tips would show, but the Republicans’ mishandling of this nomination will forever stain Kavanaugh’s reputation, whatever it was, because even Republicans have to wonder what’s there with 4,500 people having information to share. Maybe he deserves a questionable reputation, maybe he doesn’t, but it’s their fault for shoving through a nomination with so many uninvestigated tips.

        2. if Kavanaugh has some bad things in his background that would have been disqualifying, the fault lies with the Republicans who blocked a full investigation
          This is a raw talking point, absent a single supporting fact.
          Do you know who decided Ford was lying? Minority leader of the committee charged with examining and investigating judicial candidates. Diane Fienstien. She received the information and sat on it? Why? Understand, the minority leader of the committee has at her disposal, a full time investigative team of lawyers with subpoena power, and the power to interview witnesses under oath. Diane Fienstien never did that investigation. IN fact, Diane Fienstien never informed the Chairman of the Committee she possessed any accusations concerning Kavanaugh.

          1. Remember what the left did to Bork and Thomas…Thomas said it was a public lynching just because he is a conservative and Bork was 100 times smarter than the far left…I have watched all those hearings and today it is just a S^%T show and shows how dysfunctional our government really is…Kavanaugh with his wife and daughters left in tears…totally trying to destroy a man on live TV with FALSE lies…one witness said after the hearing that she lied…perjury??? YES!!!…anything happen to her NO!!!…Ginsberg got almost 100 votes to confirm her…a very far left progressive…why?…she was nominated and qualified PERIOD…no Supreme Court Justice has ever been through what Kavanaugh has been through and STILL going through…every conservative in the government or even a private citizen feels like we have a target on our front and back…afraid of what could happen just going about our normal lives…is that the country I grew up in?…NO…will we get back to normal or is it a new normal…it is a new normal for sure…living in fear of my government…NOT GOOD!!!

        3. Do you beleive that some tip more credible than the nonsense flogged by the Press came on the tip line ?

          This is really simple – you have reasonable suspicion of a crime or you do not.

          If there was – the FBI would have investigated.
          If as you appear to be claiming – they did not because of Trump influence – though there is no evidence of that,
          The Biden DOJ/FBI is perfectly capable of investigating right now.

          They will STILL have to meet the reasonable suspicion test to open an investigation and the probable cause test to conduct a search.

          There is absolutely no need for either the president or congress to act for the FBI to now or then pursue a tip where reasonable suspicion existed.
          There is no reason to beleive they did not then, and no reason that they can not now – so long as they can pass the reasonable suspicion test.

          This is all a giant red herring.

          The press has far greater investigative powers than the DOJ/FBI – and no constitutional limits on their investigations.
          Yet we all know the press found NOTHING in 2019. Because there was nothing to find.

          This is no less stupid a gambit today than it was in 2019. Go ahead and do this stupid thing if you wish.

          In fact I would encourage it.

          I do not think anything could inspire the supreme court to restore teeth to the 4th amendment than the left deciding to “investigate” supreme court justices based on useless tips.

          Whi knows maybe this attack on Kavanaugh will make him into a justice more cognizant of individual rights.

        4. As is typical of left wing nuts – your thinking is incredibly shallow.

          Go ahead reopen an investigation of Kavanaugh.

          Nothing would make me happier.

          This is pretty trivial.
          There is an old adage “If you strike the king, you must kill the king”.

          That applies here. If you go after Kavanaugh – you better “get him”.

          If you do not you will with near certainty make him – and must of the rest of the court hostile to government, 4th amendment apridgements, democrats and tips and poorly founded investigations.

    4. As Turley noted the process used for Kavanaugh was put in place by Obama.

      Further that process appears to be nearly correct.

      Neither the FBI nor the federal govenrment had the constitutional authority to conduct witch hunts.

      The Kavanaugh hearings were an immoral outrage inflicted on us by democrats.

      Who should be thankful that republicans have not as of yet reciprocated.

      Many of us thought we got past character assassination with Joe MacCarthy.

      The Obama MOU essentially enshrined the actuaal requirements of the constitution.

      The FBI was free to investigate tips that reflected reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed.
      That is a low bar. Regardless, the decision to investigate or forward to the white-house was made by FBI and DOJ.
      That is what the constitution requires.
      Clearly nearly all tips did not meet that low standard.

      That should not be surprising. It is precisely what one would expect whether the nominee was republican or democrat.
      Just as only a tiny percent of tips on ANY tip line EVER prove worthy of further inquiry.

      1. “Many of us thought we got past character assassination with Joe MacCarthy.”

        John, I have no love for Joe McCarthy, but I think certain things have been overplayed. I bring this just to provide a perspective of one bit of history.

        Mr. Welch said to McCarthy at the hearings: “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

        This occurred after an entire day of Welch pestering McCarthy to provide names. McCarthy provided only one name. McCarthy explained why he provided a name.

        “May — may I say that Mr. Welch talks about this being cruel and reckless. He was just baiting — He has been baiting Mr. Cohn here for hours, requesting that Mr. Cohn, before sundown, get out of any department of the government anyone who is serving the Communist cause. Now, I just give this man’s record and I want to say, Mr. Welch, that it has been labeled long before he became a member, as early as 1944 — ….”

        The earlier statement made by McCarthy due to Welch’s badgering was:

        “But in view of Mr. Welch’s request that the information be given once we know of anyone who might be performing any work for the Communist Party, I think we should tell him that he has in his law firm a young man named Fisher whom he recommended, incidentally, to do the work on this committee, who has been, for a number of years, a member of an organization which is named, oh, years and years ago, as the legal bulwark of the Communist Party, an organization which always springs to the defense of anyone who dares to expose Communists. I certainly assume that Mr. Welch did not know of this young man at the time he recommended as the assistant counsel for this committee. But he has terror and such a great desire to know where anyone is located who may be serving the communist cause, Mr. Welch. And I thought we should just call your attention to the fact that your Mr. Fisher, who is still in your law firm today, whom you asked to have down here looking over the secret and classified material, is a member of an organization, not named by me, but named by various committees, named by the Attorney General, as I recall. And be belonged to it long after it had been exposed as the legal arm of the Communist Party. “

        ” Senator McCarthy: Knowing that, Mr. Welch, I just felt that I had a duty to respond to your urgent request that “before sundown,” when we know of anyone serving the Communist cause we let the agency know. Now, we’re now letting you know that your man did belong to this organization for either three or four years, belonged to it long after he was out of law school. Now I have hesitated bringing that up, but I have been rather bored with your phony requests to Mr. Cohn here, that he, personally, get every Communist out of Government before sundown; therefore we will give you the information about the young man in your own organization. Now, I’m not asking you at this time to explain why you tried to foist him on this committee; that you did, the committee knows. Whether you knew that he was a member of that Communist organization or not, I don’t know. I assume you did not, Mr. Welch, because I get the impression that while you are quite an actor, you play for a laugh, I don’t think you have any conception of the danger of the Communist Party. I don’t think you, yourself, would ever knowingly aid the Communist cause. I think you’re unknowingly aiding it when you try to burlesque this hearing in which we’re attempting to bring out the facts, however. “

    5. Aparently you are clueless about the constitution, and the rule of law.

      Government is NOT free to investigate whatever or whoever it pleases.

      Once upon a time we recognized th chilling power of a government investigation.

      Today the left fully recognizes that and seeks to exploit it – but only against those it does not like.

      For the government to open an investigation – reasonable suspicion of a crime must exist.

      If you bother to read Horowitz you could learn something about that.

      The alleged Downer complaint received by the state department BARELY met that standard,
      and a legitimate investigation was opened. Shortly after Downer was interviewed and reasonable suspicion vaporized – but in the meantime the Steele Dossier showed up and that overcame the fact that reasonable suspicion regarding Papadoulis’s conversation with Downer had vaporized. The FBI investigated the allegations in the Steele Dossier and found NONE that held up.
      In early January they interviewed the Steele Dossier primary subsource and that ended any pretense of credibility of the Steele Dossier and the FBI moved to end the investigation – as is constitutionally required when reasonable suspicion is gone. But Strzok unconstitutionallya kept the investigation open long enough to conduct and entrapment interview of Gen. Flynn – that is AFTER the investigation should have closed.

      If you have a tip that meets the standard of reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed – then the FBI was free to investigate.
      Everything else was required to be forwarded to the WH.

  12. He’s a momma’s boy and should have never been nominated. In reality he’s McConnell’s pick, and a DC habitué. He stands for nothing.

  13. Anonymous accusations casting aspersions against Kavanaugh only hold weight in a democrats mind. Daily on this blog there are those who think opinions equal facts, and accusations should be punished regardless of the actual facts. Does the Senate or House of Representatives have the authority to inquire further into Justice Kavanaugh? I have my doubts, if the accusations are provable then the Judicial should first adjudicate, then the Legislative can remove him by impeachment, if he is found quality. Anything other than court proceedings are just for show. There are numerous cases addressing the issue of Congressional authority I’ve included two.———–

    190 Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 189 (1881).——————————————-
    Whether the power of punishment in either House by fine or imprisonment goes beyond this or not, we are sure that no person can be punished for contumacy as a witness before either House, unless his testimony is required in a matter into which that House has jurisdiction to inquire, and we feel equally sure that neither of these bodies possesses the general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen.
    The powers of Congress itself, when acting through the concurrence of both branches, are dependent solely on the Constitution. Such as are not conferred by that instrument, either expressly or by fair implication from what is granted, are ‘reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ Of course, neither branch of Congress, when acting separately, can lawfully exercise more power than is conferred by the Constitution on the whole body, except in the few instances where authority is conferred on either House separately, as in the case of impeachments. No general power of inflicting punishment by the Congress of the United States is found in that instrument. It contains in the provision that no ‘person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,’ the strongest implication against punishment by order of the legislative body. It has been repeatedly decided by this court, and by others of the highest authority, that this means a trial in which the rights of the party shall be decided by a tribunal appointed by law, which tribunal is to be governed by rules of law previously established. An act of Congress which proposed to adjudge a man guilty of a crime and inflict the punishment would be conceded by all thinking men to be unauthorized by anything in the Constitution.————————-

    191 McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135, 170 (1927). The internal quotations are from Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190, 193 (1881).———————————-
    The question there was whether the House of Representatives had exceeded its power in directing one of its committees to make a particular investigation. The decision was that it had. The principles announced and applied in the case are that neither house of Congress possesses a ‘general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen’; that the power actually possessed is limited to inquiries relating to matters of which the particular house ‘has jurisdiction’ and in respect of which it rightfully may take other action; that, if the inquiry relates to ‘a matter wherein relief or redress could be had only by a judicial proceeding,’ it is not within the range of this power, but must be left to the courts, conformably to the constitutional separation of governmental powers; and that for the purpose of determining the essential character of the inquiry recourse may be had to the resolution or order under which it is made.

  14. Why bother lambasting Kavanaugh? He and AC Barrett have been far from the Constitutionalists we were promised. They’ve shown little spine against the left. I actually rooted for Kavanaugh and like millions of Conservatives felt bad for him about the awful treatment him and his family were subjected to. As usual, anyone we stand for doesn’t take too long to disappoint and to go along to get along.

    1. Mark Levin has stated several times and that Donald Trump asked him for a list of names that he would recommend for all the positions that his administration wound up filling on the Supreme Court.

      And, when it came to Justice Kavanaugh / Barrett & Gorsuch, and HARDCORE CONSTITUTIONALIST. Not 1 ruling in each persons name would be remotely considered small c conservative, Constitutionalist Lite. Just the opposite. Each ruling is hardcore constitutionalist hard right!!!!

      1. Can you explain what you mean ?

        I think it is clear that you beleive something happened that you do not like.

        I am happy with gorsuch, but Kavanaugh appears to be another Roberts clone and I do not know for sure of ACB yet.

        But I know of nothing illegitimate in the process of appointing them.

        The fact that they are not my choices or that I think they are inferior choices does not mean they were improper choices.

    2. I forgot to add this. Mark Levin has said that, “Kavanaugh / Barrett & Gorsuch” all 3 are considered by him, “small c conservative, constitutionalist
      Lite.” Furthermore, it would not be long before every conservative would be greatly disappointed in each one of these disgusting individuals.

      And when Mark Levin came out about this before each one wound up on the Supreme Court, I walked away from each one and I didn’t give a damn what the left did either one of them. Trump had no business listening to his idiots inside his small c conservative administration!!!! he should have listened to Mark Levin!!!!!

      1. Garland,

        Why hasn’t Turley gone on Levin’s radio show or appeared on Levin’s Sunday Fox show? They both work for Fox. You’d think that they would support each other, but neither EVER mentions the existence of the other. How do you explain their respective silence?

        1. Jeff, just because you get a check from the same network doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be incestuous. I am sure Chris Wallace would never go on Levin’s show either.

          1. Paul,
            Fox employees constantly go on each other’s shows to lend support to each other. This is standard operating procedure. Mark Levin cannot plug his book at MSM because he is dismissed as a crank. He will not be invited onto Newsmax or OAN because they are in competition for the same Trumpist audience.

            Chris Wallace would never go on Levin’s show for the same reason Turley would never appear with Alex Jones. Wallace and Turley do not wish to sully their reputations by appearing with hate-mongers.

      2. Trump did – and continues to get some bad advice from many republicans.

        Several leading lawyers who have won similar cases have pointed out that many of Trump’s lawsuits – including the election suits and the post election censorship lawsuits – are taking good cases and proceding in ways near certain to lose and create bad law.

        It tootk a lonjg time for Trump to find the right people for SOME key jobs in his administration.

        Far too many republicans stabbed Trump in the back as president and sought to undermine his presidency and the promises he made.

        Trump trusted “the generals” far too long, and as a consequence did not get us out of Afghanistan during his term.
        Though he made departure near certain.

        It took a long time to get a few key people into the intelligence community to expose the malfeasance going on.

        Wray was a disasterous apointment at FBI.

        Sessions was in myriads of ways a poor choice as AG.
        While Barr was a significant improvement, Barr’s legacy did not last until inauguration.
        DOJ and FBI are as politically corrupt as ever.

    3. I did not root for Kavanaugh – and i got nothing different from him than I expected.

      I can beleive he was a poor choice and still note that the entire effort to smear his character to defeat him was still an immoral farce.

      We now have a court with 3 roberts’ that is a disaster for all.

  15. 4500 tips. Could he have even known that many people when the alleged incident took place. The incident that no one can say when or where it happened, not even Ford the accuser. Not even her own witnesses.
    Makes witch hunts look reasonable.

    1. Who said that all of these witnesses were going to testify about the incident with Dr. Ford? They called in with “tips” about Kavanaugh. We don’t know what these “tips” were about.

      1. Irrelevant.

        If there were others with evidence that constituted reasonable suspicion of a crime – the FBI could have investigated.

        Why you wish to rehash this is odd.

        The Kavanaugh hearings were a disaster for democrats.

        And you want a repeat ?

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