Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby Grizzly » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:13 pm

cogent, concise, laconic, succinct, terse, trenchant, compact, crisp, curt, down to brass tacks, effective, epigrammatic, honed, short-and-sweet

So, thanks for not answering when the vote is.. *rolls eyes*...
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:14 am

you wasted my time with that video don't apologize and now you're upset that I won't answer a question that you could easily google yourself ....... you had time to google that video why couldn't you just google that question? :roll:

During a break in testimony, Brett Kavanaugh reviews his QAnon notes.

Caroline O.

So, yea. Corey Booker just noted that Kavanaugh's name wasn't on Trump's list of potential SCOTUS nominees until after the Mueller probe began.

... and then Kavanaugh said he would not recuse himself if an issue related to the Mueller probe reached the SCOTUS.

So there it is.


Does Brett Kavanaugh’s 1996 Legal Essay ‘Donald Trump Should Be Allowed To Commit Crimes If He Becomes President’ Disqualify Him From The Supreme Court?
Yesterday 10:05am

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings are already one of the most heated and consequential political battles in recent memory, and many Democrats in the Senate are arguing that the judge holds dangerous legal views that make him unfit to become a Supreme Court Justice. In the midst of such a controversial debate, it becomes essential to ask the question: Does Judge Kavanaugh’s 1996 legal essay “Donald Trump Should Be Allowed To Commit Crimes If He Becomes President” disqualify him from the Supreme Court?

Every Justice’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is bound to vary in one direction on the political spectrum or another, but Kavanaugh’s 1996 assertion that, in the event of Donald Trump being elected to the U.S. presidency, Trump should be allowed to carry out criminal acts with zero legal repercussions is an unprecedented stance for a Supreme Court nominee.

Republicans and Democrats alike must take into consideration Kavanaugh’s staunch belief that “if Donald Trump ever becomes president, then he can steal from people and also do other, more serious crimes” before they decide whether he’s a good choice for the Supreme Court.

As Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearings continue over the next several days, you can expect Democrats to call Kavanaugh’s qualifications into question by homing in on passages like this one:

I watched a 60 Minutes segment that had Donald Trump on it last night, and wow, was I impressed. I could not help but watch it over and over and over again. As a student of law, hearing Donald Trump express that he is rich and even has a friend who is a beauty model thoroughly convinced me that if there’s ever a day when he is the president Of The United States, he should be permitted, without limitations, to break any and every law he so chooses to. In fact, if Donald Trump were to go as far as colluding with a foreign nation to interfere with America’s democratic process while running for office, I’d do everything in my legal power to make sure that he’d be able to pardon himself even if he was found guilty.
Republicans will surely argue in support of Kavanaugh by claiming he is a strict Constitutionalist and citing his successful legal career, but when one reads Kavanaugh’s essay and sees passages like “If Donald Trump was president and I happened to be a Supreme Court Justice, I would support a constitutional amendment that ensured Trump would never, ever go to jail, even for intentionally killing multiple people with one of his many awesome helicopters,” it raises several red flags that are not so easily ignored for either side of the political aisle.

The Senate has a difficult decision in front of it as it weighs the pros and cons of confirming a Supreme Court Justice who has written that “Donald Trump should get paid to commit treason.” Its decision will affect the country for decades to come, but it’s a complicated issue, and the right answer sadly remains unclear.
https://www.clickhole.com/does-brett-ka ... ce=Twitter

Five Times Brett Kavanaugh Appears to Have Lied to Congress While Under Oath

Pesky documents keep surfacing to contradict the nominee’s claims about his past.

Pema Levy and Dan FriedmanSep. 6, 2018 6:43 PM

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearings. Erin Scott/ZUMA

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has made declarations under oath during his current and past confirmation hearings that are contradicted by documents from his time as a counsel to the president and staff secretary in the George W. Bush White House. Newly released documents have undermined Kavanaugh’s declarations to the Senate Judiciary Committee, contradictions that are drawing close scrutiny from many Democrats. Kavanaugh has denied making any misleading or false statements.

His role in accessing stolen documents: In 2002, a GOP aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Manuel Miranda, stole thousands of documents belonging to the committee’s Democratic staff. At the time, Kavanaugh was a White House lawyer working on judicial nominations, which included working alongside Miranda. In 2003, President Bush nominated Kavanaugh to his current position on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and his confirmation hearing was held in 2004—though he was not confirmed until two years later. During his 2004 hearing, Kavanaugh denied ever receiving any of the documents Miranda stole. Asked if he “ever come across memos from internal files of any Democratic members given to you or provided to you in any way?” he replied, “No.” In 2006, also under oath, he again denied ever receiving stolen documents.

But newly released documents show that Miranda had indeed sent Kavanaugh information from the stolen internal documents. The nominee continues to deny he knew the information was stolen. But he can no longer deny he received it.

Warrantless wiretapping: At a 2006 confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh told Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that he knew nothing of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program, launched under President George W. Bush, until the New York Times revealed it publicly in 2005. Kavanaugh insisted he’d heard “nothing at all” about the program before that, even though he was a senior administration aide. But a September 17, 2001 email provided to the New York Times this week shows that Kavanaugh was involved in at least initial discussions about the widespread surveillance of phones that characterized the NSA program. In the email to John Yoo, then a Justice Department lawyer, Kavanaugh asked about the Fourth Amendment implications of “random/constant surveillance of phone and e-mail conversations of non-citizens who are in the United States when the purpose of the surveillance is to prevent terrorist/criminal violence?” Kavanaugh said Wednesday that his 2006 testimony was “100 percent accurate.” But the email, which describes the gist of the wiretapping program, which Bush approved in 2002, calls Kavanaugh’s claims of ignorance into question.

Torture: During the same 2006 confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that he “was not involved” in legal questions related to the detention of so-called enemy combatants. But Durbin said Thursday that records show that there are at least three recorded examples of Kavanaugh participating in discussions of Bush administration detainee policy. Kavanaugh stood by his prior answer.

The nomination of Judge William Pryor: In Kavanaugh’s 2004 confirmation hearing, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) asked the nominee about his support for William Pryor’s nomination to the 11th Circuit, given that Pryor had called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.” Kavanaugh responded, “That was not one that I worked on personally.” Newly released documents suggest otherwise. Emails from the Bush White House show that Kavanaugh was involved in selecting Pryor, interviewing him, and shepherding his nomination through the Senate.

The nomination of Charles Pickering: During his 2006 confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh downplayed his role in the nomination of Charles Pickering, a controversial judicial appointee. (For instance, Pickering once reduced the sentence of a man who burned a cross in front of an interracial couple’s house.) “This was not one of the judicial nominees that I was primarily handling,” Kavanaugh said. But new emails show he may have been more involved than he let on.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... nder-oath/
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:21 am

Russia probe’s most popular lawyer risks conflicts

William Burck is juggling major clients in the Russia case — but Robert Mueller says that’s OK for now.


William Burck is pictured. | AP Photo
Steve Bannon is represented by William Burck, a veteran attorney and former federal prosecutor who helped send Martha Stewart to jail, and who also counsels two other Trump insiders of interest to Robert Mueller. | Steve Helber/AP Photo
When Steve Bannon sits down with special counsel Robert Mueller later this month, at the former White House strategist’s side will be one of the most important — and busy — lawyers in the Trump-Russia saga.

Bannon is represented by William Burck, a veteran attorney and former federal prosecutor who helped send Martha Stewart to jail and who also counsels two other Trump insiders of interest to Mueller: former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and White House counsel Don McGahn.

No other lawyer involved in the multiple investigations into Russian election interference is publicly juggling three clients of such high profile.

The unusual arrangement raises the question of possible conflicts for Burck, particularly if one of his clients should contradict — or even incriminate — another.

At a minimum, the dynamic could be awkward. At worst, it could create tensions that would leave Burck’s clients looking for new legal representation.

In an interview with POLITICO, Burck — who is rarely quoted by reporters — acknowledged the potential for ethical conundrums and said he will keep reassessing the situation as the special counsel’s investigation develops.

“It’s a general pool type of relationship where, if a conflict arises, where everyone in good faith will try to figure out what the best way to proceed is,” Burck said. “I can never be adverse to one of those guys.”

Mueller himself has signed off on Burck’s triplet of Trump insiders, according to a source familiar with the arrangement.

Burck’s many admirers at the top of the legal profession say he’s up to the task.

“Bill is a guy who I think is as smart as they come as a lawyer and as smart as they come strategically,” said Preet Bharara, a close Burck friend and former Justice Department colleague whom President Donald Trump fired from his post as a U.S. attorney last March.

Burck gave money to the 2016 presidential campaign of Trump primary rival Jeb Bush, but he could have wound up a Trump insider himself. Early last year, Trump aides gauged his interest in serving as a personal attorney to Trump on the Russia investigation, and later approached him about a job leading the White House’s legal response to the probes, a source familiar with the discussions said.

Burck, 46, is no stranger to high-profile cases. He worked on the team in 2004 that prosecuted Stewart in relation to insider stock trading after being hired by an up-and-coming U.S. attorney named James B. Comey.

More recently, as a partner at the Washington law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, he led the successful defense of Maureen McDonnell, then the first lady of Virginia, against corruption charges that went all the way to the Supreme Court. He has also represented the bombastic internet file-sharing mogul Kim Dotcom, who is accused of massive copyright infringement.

Burck knows how a White House works too. He served as a top lawyer for President George W. Bush at the end of the Republican’s second term, helping the administration manage Democratic congressional investigations and Bush’s decision to side against his own vice president and deny a pardon for the convicted former White House staffer I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The former president has also designated Burck as a lead representative for any official business that comes up related to his two terms in the White House.

“He’s a really good lawyer with good judgment. If I was in a similar situation, I’d hire Bill Burck,” said Joshua Bolten, the former Bush White House chief of staff. “I’m not surprised he’d be in demand by more than one of the folks who are requiring counsel in the course of these investigations.”

McGahn came calling in May amid the fallout from Trump’s decision to fire Comey from his post as FBI director — an explosive move that prompted Mueller’s appointment. Priebus hired Burck soon after he was ousted as Trump’s chief of staff last summer.

Bannon is the last of the three to turn to Burck. Up until late last year, the bombastic former Trump aide had been telling associates he didn’t have a lawyer and wasn’t worried about his potential legal exposure.

But Bannon has since drawn the attention of the House Intelligence Committee and of Mueller, thanks in part to author Michael Wolff’s controversial book “Fire and Fury,” which quotes Bannon describing a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton — attended by Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort — as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

Trump was furious at Bannon, who later sought to make amends with a statement saying that he had meant to criticize only Manafort’s participation in the Trump Tower meeting.

But the damage was done: FBI agents visited Bannon earlier this month at his Washington town house, attempting to serve him with a subpoena to appear before the Mueller grand jury. A source familiar with the case said their appearance likely stemmed from Bannon’s shifting statements about the Trump associates.

Bannon referred the FBI to Burck, who negotiated an in-person interview for Bannon with Mueller’s investigators in lieu of a grand jury appearance.

Burck also served as the middleman for Bannon during his contentious closed-door appearance last week before the House committee, where Republicans and Democrats tried to get answers from the former Trump aide about his time working in the White House.

Burck relayed the committee’s questions by phone back to White House lawyers who insisted that the questions about Bannon’s tenure on the Trump presidential transition team and inside the White House were out of bounds. The White House was concerned that Bannon’s testimony might be covered by executive privilege, which shields presidential deliberations from legislative scrutiny, though Trump has not yet actually asserted the privilege.

Bannon’s posture angered both Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence committee, which slapped Bannon with a subpoena. Burck is currently negotiating his client’s possible return — perhaps as soon as next week — under clearer terms that are also acceptable to the White House.

Burck is also preparing Bannon to meet with Mueller’s team, and executive privilege is not expected to be an issue.

“My view is Mueller is going to get everything, and he’s really the person who should be hearing it,” Burck said.

“My guys are there to be witnesses,” he added. “They’re there to tell whatever it is they’re supposed to tell, to answer questions truthfully.”

Lawyers in corporate settings often represent multiple employees, and it’s also not uncommon for attorneys to take on several clients involved in white-collar cases. The arrangement can save both time and money because an attorney is already up to speed on multiple facets of the case. Former federal prosecutor Beth Wilkinson, for example, represented four senior Hillary Clinton staffers in the FBI’s probe into the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server.

Still, some critics warn that Burck has placed himself in a risky situation where he could be forced to step aside if any one of his three clients ends up in conflict with one of the others. Mueller’s office would likely flag any potential conflicts to Burck, including if they see material differences in his clients’ testimony or if one is holding incriminating evidence against another.

Speaking on MSNBC last week, Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, questioned the propriety of Burke representing Bannon at the same time as McGahn, the chief lawyer in Trump’s White House.

“That means that basically the White House’s lawyer’s lawyer will sit in the room when Bob Mueller asks Steve Bannon these questions and they will know what Steve Bannon said, they will know if he said something bad about the president or his son or whatever,” Klain said.

But Mueller himself is apparently untroubled by the arrangement, given the approval he has communicated to Burck. Mueller’s spokesman declined comment when asked about Burck’s arrangement. But several sources familiar with the investigation said that’s a sign that neither Bannon, Priebus nor McGahn — the latter two of whom have already been interviewed by the special counsel’s team — is a target of Mueller’s investigation.

Burck insisted there’s no coordination on testimony between his clients and the Trump White House. But he said White House lawyers have provided him with reams of documents related to his clients’ work there, and that a four-person team at his law firm is combing through them in search of any potential legal land mines.

“That’s a big part of doing this, especially when you’ve got multiple representations,” he said. “You’ve got to be sure that you’re not stumbling into a conflict.”
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/ ... nts-367521
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby 82_28 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:09 pm

David Brock I knew Brett Kavanaugh during his years as a Republican operative. Don't let him sit on the Supreme Court.

I used to know Brett Kavanaugh pretty well. And, when I think of Brett now, in the midst of his hearings for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, all I can think of is the old "Aesop's Fables" adage: "A man is known by the company he keeps."

And that's why I want to tell any senator who cares about our democracy: Vote no.

Twenty years ago, when I was a conservative movement stalwart, I got to know Brett Kavanaugh both professionally and personally.

Brett actually makes a cameo appearance in my memoir of my time in the GOP, "Blinded By The Right." I describe him at a party full of zealous young conservatives gathered to watch President Bill Clinton's 1998 State of the Union address — just weeks after the story of his affair with a White House intern had broken. When the TV camera panned to Hillary Clinton, I saw Brett — at the time a key lieutenant of Ken Starr, the independent counsel investigating various Clinton scandals — mouth the word "bitch."

But there's a lot more to know about Kavanaugh than just his Pavlovian response to Hillary's image. Brett and I were part of a close circle of cold, cynical and ambitious hard-right operatives being groomed by GOP elders for much bigger roles in politics, government and media. And it’s those controversial associations that should give members of the Senate and the American public serious pause.

Call it Kavanaugh's cabal: There was his colleague on the Starr investigation, Alex Azar, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mark Paoletta is now chief counsel to Vice President Mike Pence; House anti-Clinton gumshoe Barbara Comstock is now a Republican member of Congress. Future Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson were there with Ann Coulter, now a best-selling author, and internet provocateur Matt Drudge.

At one time or another, each of them partied at my Georgetown townhouse amid much booze and a thick air of cigar smoke.

In a rough division of labor, Kavanaugh played the role of lawyer — one of the sharp young minds recruited by the Federalist Society to infiltrate the federal judiciary with true believers. Through that network, Kavanaugh was mentored by D.C. Appeals Court Judge Laurence Silberman, known among his colleagues for planting leaks in the press for partisan advantage.

When, as I came to know, Kavanaugh took on the role of designated leaker to the press of sensitive information from Starr's operation, we all laughed that Larry had taught him well. (Of course, that sort of political opportunism by a prosecutor is at best unethical, if not illegal.)

Another compatriot was George Conway (now Kellyanne's husband), who led a secretive group of right-wing lawyers — we called them "the elves" — who worked behind the scenes directing the litigation team of Paula Jones, who had sued Clinton for sexual harassment. I knew then that information was flowing quietly from the Jones team via Conway to Starr's office — and also that Conway's go-to man was none other than Brett Kavanaugh.

That critical flow of inside information allowed Starr, in effect, to set a perjury trap for Clinton, laying the foundation for a crazed national political crisis and an unjust impeachment over a consensual affair.

But the cabal's godfather was Ted Olson, the then-future solicitor general for George W. Bush and now a sainted figure of the GOP establishment (and of some liberals for his role in legalizing same-sex marriage). Olson had a largely hidden role as a consigliere to the "Arkansas Project" — a multi-million dollar dirt-digging operation on the Clintons, funded by the eccentric right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife and run through The American Spectator magazine, where I worked at the time.

Both Ted and Brett had what one could only be called an unhealthy obsession with the Clintons — especially Hillary. While Ted was pushing through the Arkansas Project conspiracy theories claiming that Clinton White House lawyer and Hillary friend Vincent Foster was murdered (he committed suicide), Brett was costing taxpayers millions by pedaling the same garbage at Starr's office.

A detailed analysis of Kavanaugh's own notes from the Starr Investigation reveals he was cherry-picking random bits of information from the Starr investigation — as well as the multiple previous investigations — attempting vainly to legitimize wild right-wing conspiracies. For years he chased down each one of them without regard to the emotional cost to Foster’s family and friends, or even common decency.

Kavanaugh was not a dispassionate finder of fact but rather an engineer of a political smear campaign. And after decades of that, he expects people to believe he's changed his stripes.

Like millions of Americans this week, I tuned into Kavanaugh's hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee with great interest. In his opening statement and subsequent testimony, Kavanaugh presented himself as a "neutral and impartial arbiter" of the law. Judges, he said, were not players but akin to umpires — objectively calling balls and strikes. Again and again, he stressed his "independence" from partisan political influences.

But I don't need to see any documents to tell you who Kavanaugh is — because I've known him for years. And I'll leave it to all the lawyers to parse Kavanaugh's views on everything from privacy rights to gun rights. But I can promise you that any pretense of simply being a fair arbiter of the constitutionality of any policy regardless of politics is simply a pretense. He made up his mind nearly a generation ago — and, if he's confirmed, he'll have nearly two generations to impose it upon the rest of us.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/i ... d_nn_fb_ma
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:13 am

Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-17?

Who is this Barbara Leeden emailing Kav on the subject of spying? You might know her as the ultimate Mike Flynn The Felon fan girl, staffer to Grassley, and a dark arts dark web aficionado obsessed with HRC’s email server.


Flynn ally sought help from 'dark web' in covert Clinton email investigation

Barbara Ledeen, a staffer on the committee looking into Trump’s Russia ties and a friend of Mike Flynn, tried to launch her own investigation into Clinton’s emails

Stephanie KirchgaessnerLast modified on Fri 13 Oct 2017 09.38 EDT
Barbara Ledeen, a staffer on the committee looking into Trump’s Russia ties and a friend of Mike Flynn, tried to launch her own investigation into Clinton’s emails

A close associate of Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn arranged a covert investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, and through intermediaries turned to a person with knowledge of the “dark web” for help.

Flynn, a retired three-star general who led chants of “lock her up” at last year’s Republican national convention, is a central figure in the FBI’s investigation into whether the Kremlin worked with the Trump campaign to sway the US election.

Flynn is personally and ideologically linked to Barbara Ledeen, a longtime conservative activist who works for the Republican senator Chuck Grassley on the Senate judiciary committee – which is now investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Ledeen’s husband, Michael Ledeen, is also a confidant of Flynn, and co-authored a book with him last year.

Flynn was forced to resign in February after just 24 days on the job as Trump’s chief intelligence official in the White House, when it emerged that he had lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about conversations he had with the then Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

According to interview notes released by the FBI last year, Ledeen decided in 2015 to launch her own investigation into Clinton’s use of the server. At the time, she was a staffer on the Senate judiciary committee.

According to the FBI files, Ledeen wanted to determine whether the emails had been hacked by a “foreign power”, because the incident angered her as a citizen and because she wanted to know whether such a hack would put her children, who served in the military, in danger.

Clinton’s use of a private server was steeped in controversy throughout her unsuccessful presidential bid, but Ledeen’s concerns proved to be unfounded. A federal investigation found no evidence that the emails on Clinton’s private server were ever compromised.

Ledeen’s name was redacted on the FBI documents describing the investigation, which were released last year in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. But a person who reviewed the unredacted documents confirmed to the Guardian that Barbara Ledeen was the subject. Her involvement was also confirmed by the Senate judiciary committee in response to the Guardian’s questions.

According to the FBI notes, Ledeen wanted to pursue her own investigation in 2015 into whether or not Clinton’s emails had been compromised but could not finance the work.

She sought out the help of an unnamed defense contractor and also turned to Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House, for help. According to the FBI notes, Gingrich “wanted to speak to others about the project” and asked Judicial Watch, the conservative activist group, for financial assistance.

Judicial Watch allegedly turned to another, unnamed, contractor who was familiar with the “deep web and dark web”, according to the FBI files. The parties were concerned about what they would do if they came across any emails that contained classified information. According to the FBI investigation, the project was later halted.

The incident and web of relationships is important for two reasons.

First, because Ledeen is the second person with ties to Flynn who allegedly sought to investigate Clinton’s use of a private server in an unofficial capacity.

In June, a former British intelligence official named Matt Tait said that he had been approached by a longtime Republican operative called Peter Smith, who had a history of seeking damaging material about the Clinton family and was known for his close ties to Gingrich.

Smith was convinced that Clinton’s private server had been hacked by a foreign power, probably Russians, Tait said.

Smith, who died at the age of 81 10 days after giving his own account to the Wall Street Journal, told the newspaper he had operated independently of the Trump campaign.

He allegedly told Tait that he had been approached by a person on the “dark web” who claimed to have a copy of emails from Clinton’s server and wanted help validating their authenticity.

According to Tait’s account, Smith claimed to be working with Flynn, who at the time was serving as a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Ledeen’s involvement is also important because she works on the Senate judiciary committee, which is conducting an investigation into the Trump campaign. Her family’s relationship with Flynn raises questions about whether Ledeen could be wielding influence over the investigation.

Grassley’s spokesman said that Ledeen’s 2015 inquiry had not been authorised by the judiciary committee and that the committee had only learned of it after it had been completed.

“She was instructed not to do any further follow-up once the committee learned of her involvement,” the spokesman said.

Congressional investigators do not have the power of the FBI and federal prosecutors to bring criminal indictments, but they can compel witnesses to testify publicly and under oath, and can potentially play an important role in setting the groundwork for impeachment proceedings against the president.

Grassley has several important decisions to weigh in how his investigation will proceed, including whether to call the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, to testify publicly about a 2016 meeting he attended with Russians.

A Grassley spokesman told the Guardian that Barbara Ledeen was a part-time staffer on the judiciary committee judicial nominations unit. He said Ledeen was “in no way” connected to the investigations team and “would not have access to any of its materials”.

“Senator Grassley has no relationship with Barbara’s husband and wouldn’t recognise him if he saw him,” the spokesman added.

Ledeen and her husband have been influential – and controversial – players in conservative circles in Washington for decades.

Michael Ledeen, Barbara’s husband, is a historian and former Reagan administration official who helped to develop the secret programme to sell US arms to Iran in the late 1980s, in what is known as the Iran-Contra affair.

Neither Barbara nor Michael Ledeen responded to requests for comment. Michael Ledeen’s daughter, Simone Ledeen, formerly worked with Flynn in Afghanistan.

An attorney for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... a-dark-web
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:32 pm

Kavanaugh Was Obsessed With Right Wing Conspiracy Theory About Clintons Killing Someone

Katherine KruegerThursday 11:46am

Photo: AP
As his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee drags into its third day, the picture of Brett Kavanaugh is becoming somewhat clearer. But a Princeton professor writing in a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday added a seedy new layer of context to Kavanaugh’s place during Bill Clinton’s administration, when he was apparently obsessed with pursuing a favorite right wing conspiracy theory.

Ahead of the publication of a memoir by Kenneth Starr, who served as independent counsel during the probe that eventually led to Clinton’s impeachment, history professor Sean Wilentz writes that he dug into Kavanaugh’s files in the Office of Independent Counsel records, which are housed in the National Archives. What he found was Kavanaugh, who served as as associate independent counsel to Starr, convincing his boss to reopen the investigation into White House Counsel Vince Foster’s death.

Foster had a history of depression, and killed himself in a federal park in Virginia in July 1993. But his death became fodder for right wing conspiracy mongers, who claimed Foster was murdered as part of a White House coverup of the Whitewater real estate scandal. By the time our likely next Supreme Court justice got his hands on it, multiple investigations had found that Foster’s death was indeed a suicide, per the Times:

Judge Starr’s predecessor as independent counsel, Robert Fiske, had looked into unfounded claims that White House Counsel Vincent Foster, who committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park in 1993, had in fact been murdered as part of an alleged White House cover-up related to Whitewater. After a thorough investigation, Mr. Fiske concluded in 1994 that there was nothing to the conspiracy theories and that Mr. Foster, who suffered from depression, had indeed killed himself. Official accounts by the United States Park Service in 1993 and by Republican Congressman William Clinger, the ranking member of the House Government Affairs Committee in 1994, came to an identical conclusion, as did a bipartisan report of the Senate Banking Committee early in 1995.

But shortly after the Senate report came out, Kavanaugh pushed Starr to reopen the probe yet again, citing “allegations” his death was “related to President and Mrs. Clinton’s involvement” in the scandal. And just who could’ve whispered those disproven allegations in Kavanaugh’s ear? Citing files at the National Archives, Wilentz reports that it was a who’s who of conservative wingnuts, some of whom are still active on the scene today:

One was Reed Irvine, a self-appointed debunker of the “fake news” of mainstream media. Another was Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, an English author of a book entitled “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton” that posited that the Oklahoma City bombing was an F.B.I. plot gone awry. A third was Christopher Ruddy, today the chief executive of Newsmax and confidante of President Trump, but at the time on the payroll of the right-wing tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife to promote conspiracies.

Although Kavanaugh wrote in notes that he personally believed Foster’s death was a suicide, he still pushed the investigation on for three years at a cost of some $2 million, a process that involved such far-fetched ideas as scrutinizing carpet in the White House and harassing Foster’s bereaved friends and family. The professor recounts in the Times:

As inventive as they were vindictive, these partisans concocted all sorts of wild theories to explain why Mr. Foster could not have killed himself. According to one of Mr. Kavanaugh’s sources, Mr. Foster had been working for the National Security Agency and was being blackmailed by the Israelis over a secret Swiss bank account. Carpet fibers had been found on Mr. Foster’s clothing, which was proof positive that he was murdered, his body wrapped in a carpet and then dumped. Another charged that “long blonde hairs” on Mr. Foster’s clothing pointed to a cover-up.


He investigated the Swiss bank account connection, down to examining Mr. Foster’s American Express bills for flights to Switzerland. He meticulously examined the White House carpets, old and new. (By now, Mr. Foster had been dead four years.) He sent investigators in search of follicle specimens from Foster’s bereft, blonde, teenage daughter. (“We have Foster’s hair,” one agent working for Mr. Kavanaugh reported in triumph.)

Mr. Kavanaugh apparently took a special interest in Hillary Clinton’s bruited affair with Mr. Foster, a popular rumor in the fever swamps of the right. As he reported, his investigators “asked numerous people about it,” before he decided to ask Mrs. Clinton herself.

We already knew Kavanaugh poses an existential threat to Roe, is riding high on a torrent of support from conservative dark money donors, and uh, really, really does not want to answer questions about the Federalist Society. Now we know he’s good at taking directions from the worst fever swamps of the right as well.
https://splinternews.com/kavanaugh-was- ... 1828855594


I mean, here's the thing abt Kavanaugh: Most people, when confronted with clear evidence that they had used stolen materials, would be a bit sheepish and apologetic: "Oh, sorry, I had no idea."

Not him.

We can debate whether Kavanaugh knowingly lied all we want.

But it is incontrovertible that Kavanaugh is not AT ALL apologetic about using stolen materials.

I mean, frankly, he should be stripped of his coaching position, bc he's teaching those nice Catholic school girls that theft pays.
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:01 pm

Sam Alden

Confirmed: Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted

A perfect nominee for a president with no clear relation to the truth.

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

Sept. 7, 2018

In a more virtuous world, Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be deeply embarrassed by the manner in which he has arrived at the doorstep of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

He was nominated by a president who undermines daily the nation’s democratic order and mocks the constitutional values that Judge Kavanaugh purports to hold dear.

Now he’s being rammed through his confirmation process with an unprecedented degree of secrecy and partisan maneuvering by Republican senators who, despite their overflowing praise for his legal acumen and sterling credentials, appear terrified for the American people to find out much of anything about him beyond his penchant for coaching girls’ basketball.

Perhaps most concerning, Judge Kavanaugh seems to have trouble remembering certain important facts about his years of service to Republican administrations. More than once this week, he testified in a way that appeared to directly contradict evidence in the record.

For example, he testified that Roe v. Wade is “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court.” But he said essentially the opposite in a 2003 email leaked to The Times. “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so,” he wrote then.

Judge Kavanaugh’s backers in the Senate brushed this off by pointing out that his 2003 statement was factually correct. They’re right, which means that his testimony this week was both disingenuous and meaningless.

As we’ve learned with each new trickle of previously withheld documents, Judge Kavanaugh didn’t start misleading senators just this week.

At his 2004 confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee, he denied any involvement in the vetting of a controversial judicial nominee while serving as one of President George W. Bush’s White House lawyers. The nominee, William Pryor Jr., had among other things called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.” In fact, Mr. Kavanaugh was more than a little involved, as emails from that period — which Senate Republicans had withheld until early Thursday morning — made clear.

In that 2004 hearing and again in 2006, when he was being considered for a seat on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Mr. Kavanaugh told Congress, under oath, that he knew nothing about the extensive theft of secret strategy documents from Democratic senators’ computers by Republican staffers. As it turns out, he did in fact receive those documents or summaries of them. But he now claims that he had no reason to believe that they had been stolen, even though one email he got had the subject line “spying” and began, “I have a friend who is a mole for us on the left.”

Then there are the persistent doubts about his truthfulness in telling senators in 2006 that he had no knowledge of Mr. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program or his detainee treatment policy — claims that have been called into question by yet more emails, which showed he knew about both of those things years before they became public.

As Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois told Judge Kavanaugh on Thursday, “You say that words matter. You claim to be a textualist when you interpret other people’s words, but you don’t want to be held accountable for the plain meaning of your own words.”

Judge Kavanaugh was quick to provide lawyerly explanations for all of these discrepancies, but they paint a pattern that’s hard to ignore: He misstates facts under oath, and Republicans cover for him by making it hard, if not impossible, to get the documents proving it. With the help of the White House and a personal lawyer for Mr. Bush, Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has subverted a long-established, nonpartisan process and hidden more than 90 percent of the material pertaining to Judge Kavanaugh’s time in government.

It’s only thanks to Senate Democrats and others that we’ve been able to see important pieces of the judge’s lengthy paper trail. There is far more that was never even requested. Far from being embarrassed by all this, Judge Kavanaugh is acting like someone who knows there is virtually nothing he can do to imperil his nomination.

Instead, he’s followed his own cynical advice to a 2002 judicial nominee: “She should not talk about her views on specific policy or legal issues,” he wrote in an email then. “She should say that she has a commitment to follow Supreme Court precedent, that she understands and appreciates the role of a circuit judge, that she will adhere to statutory text, that she has no ideological agenda.”

That is more or less how Judge Kavanaugh got through his hearings. But his ideological agenda is well known, which is precisely why he’s been on Republican Supreme Court shortlists for the last decade. That agenda includes, for starters, a well-established hostility to women’s reproductive rights and a stunningly expansive view of presidential power and impunity.

Republicans defend their steamrollering by saying that most Democrats have already made up their minds to oppose Judge Kavanaugh. That’s rich: In the months before the 2016 election, multiple high-ranking Republican senators openly vowed to block any and all Supreme Court picks by Hillary Clinton, period. It’s also irrelevant. The people deserve to know everything possible about nominees to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land, and they depend on their senators to seek out that information and share it.

The Constitution calls this process advice and consent. Until the last few years, Republicans claimed to take that responsibility seriously. Now they are making a mockery of what is meant to be a careful and deliberative process by playing three-card monte with the American people. They did the same with last year’s tax bill, rushing it through in the dead of night with virtually no debate or review.

The Republicans engage in this sort of subterfuge for an obvious reason: While they hold unified power in Washington, most of their agenda [urlhttps://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/12/7/16745584/republican-agenda-unpopular-polls-tax-reform]is hugely unpopular[/url]. So they hide as much of it as possible out of a fear that if more of it came to light, they will pay at the polls. Come November, voters can make that fear come true.

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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:05 am

Kavanaugh spent 2 million dollars looking for Vince Foster's hair sample DNA


September 8, 2018/41 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Department of Justice, Law, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel
There’s something that is missing from the debates back and forth about whether Brett Kavanaugh lied during any or all of the three Senate confirmation processes he has undergone. I’m of the opinion Kavanaugh lied skillfully, but because he’s a lawyer he managed to do so without committing perjury.

But on one issue — Kavanaugh’s use of emails stolen from Democrats — we don’t need to determine whether he lied or not, because he irrefutably did something that should make him unacceptable to be confirmed.

Even those that argue Kavanaugh didn’t lie and those that argue that, because Manny Miranda wasn’t prosecuted (during a GOP Administration and benefitting from speech and debate protection) or because it wasn’t a technical hack but rather a permissions violation, these emails weren’t “stolen,” do agree that using them was wrong. Here’s David Lat, for example, who wrote most of a book’s worth of Twitter threads defending Kavanaugh this week, admitting that using the emails was “unethical and wrong.”


And whatever you believe about whether Kavanaugh lied in any of these confirmation processes, what is irrefutable is that last week he was told, from the people involved, that he had, in fact, received and used stolen emails. For example, Patrick Leahy told him, repeatedly, that a document of his that got forwarded in draft form, that the document was not public at the time Kavanaugh received it.

Given such a circumstance, there is one natural, decent response. You apologize. Upon learning, allegedly for the first time, that you had indeed used stolen emails, you apologize to the people they were stolen from. “Gosh, I’m sorry. I had no idea. I’m sorry.” That’s what you say when you discover you used emails stolen from someone.

Brett Kavanaugh didn’t do that. He sat in front of his entire Catholic school girl’s basketball team, and instead of apologizing, he defended himself.

So no matter whether he was lying, one thing is crystal clear: he doesn’t think it was wrong to use stolen emails. He had no moral or ethical regret upon learning, definitively, that he had used stolen emails.

There may be several reasons that explain his lack of remorse for using stolen emails.

Obviously, he’s trying very hard not to offend the guy who appointed him before he’s confirmed, and pointing out that it is unethical to use stolen emails might be a sore subject for Donald Trump, who got elected by exploiting stolen emails.

Perhaps, too, he’s just an unethical person, the kind of guy whose Catholicism serves as a sanctimonious self-justification to engage in really unholy behavior.

But the biggest reason why Brett Kavanaugh might be reluctant to apologize for a clear ethical injury, even if he claims it was unwitting, is that it would taint his actions confirming judges. That is, it would make it clear he cheated — even if unwittingly — to push lifetime appointments through Congress. Those judges were confirmed illegitimately. And Kavanaugh, bidding for the third of three lifetime appointments, doesn’t want to do anything to highlight that illegitimately confirmed judges are, themselves, tainted.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/09/08/b ... -behavior/
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:01 pm

NAACP Calls for Investigation into Kavanaugh Testimony

September 8, 2018

Released Records Indicate Misleading and False Statements

BALTIMORE (September 8, 2018)—The nation’s foremost civil rights organization issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

At the close of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the NAACP calls upon the Senate to conduct a special investigation into possible perjury by Judge Kavanaugh.

Records released only this week provide substantial evidence that Judge Kavanaugh made misleading and false statements to the Judiciary Committee during his appellate court confirmation over a decade ago. The documents contradict his testimony during his prior judicial confirmation hearing regarding a number of matters, including but not limited to his role in the judicial nominations of Charles Pickering and William Pryor and his role in the theft of Senate emails. Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee this week only compounded the inconsistencies, fueling our concern that he has committed an extraordinary breach of public trust, then and now.

A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is simply too important to sweep aside glaring revelations about the truthfulness of a nominee’s testimony before the very body charged by the Constitution to evaluate his fitness to serve.

The Senate owes it to the American people to investigate these serious charges promptly and thoroughly. A referral to the Department of Justice for perjury charges may be appropriate. Any other course of action at this time would be an abdication of the Senate’s advise and consent role and threaten the integrity of the Supreme Court itself. The nation has the right to expect the truth from a sitting federal judge and Supreme Court nominee.
https://www.naacp.org/latest/naacp-call ... testimony/
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:56 pm

Lisa Murkowski’s Biggest Reason To Oppose Brett Kavanaugh May Not Be Abortion Rights

Alaska Natives are urging the senator to vote no. She owes her re-election to them.

Jennifer Bendery

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), always keeps us guessing where she’ll come down on major Senate votes.
WASHINGTON ― For all the speculation about Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and whether she’ll vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, there is an issue beyond abortion rights perhaps weighing more heavily on her as she makes her decision: protections for Alaska Natives.

Advocates for Alaska Natives, who were crucial to Murkowski’s re-election in 2010, tell HuffPost they’ve been flooding her office all week and urging her to oppose Kavanaugh.

They’re raising concerns about his record on climate change, which is already causing real damage in Alaska. As a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh in 2017 held that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the authority to regulate hydrofluorocarbons, chemicals linked to global warming. They’re also unhappy with his record on voting rights. Kavanaugh voted in 2012 to uphold a South Carolina voter ID law that disenfranchised more than 80,000 minority registered voters.

The most pressing matter, however, is a case the Supreme Court is reviewing on Nov. 5 that could devastate Alaska Natives’ subsistence fishing rights. The case, Sturgeon v. Frost, raises questions about who has the authority to regulate water in national parks in the state ― the federal government or the state of Alaska. The case arose after Alaska resident John Sturgeon, who was on an annual moose-hunting trip, was riding a hovercraft on a river running through a national park when Park Service officials threatened to give him a citation. Sturgeon is arguing that his ability to use his hovercraft in this scenario is about states’ rights and that federal authority should be eliminated.

Kavanaugh has previously ruled to limit federal power in cases before him. If he gets confirmed and votes with the other four right-leaning justices in favor of Sturgeon’s argument, it will destroy the way of life for tribal communities who rely on subsistence fishing in protected federal waters, some Alaska Native rights groups say.

“This would be a death knell to us in Alaska, absolutely,” said Heather Kendall-Miller, an Alaska Native and an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund. “If this goes down, Alaska will be in a state of chaos when the fishing season begins. There will be lots of civil disobedience. It will be explosive.”

Kendall-Miller wrote an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News this week laying out some of these concerns about Kavanaugh. She said her organization has been in talks with Murkowski’s staff and has been meeting with the senator’s office this week.

“We continue to cycle people through her office with these concerns,” she said.

Alaska Native Michael Dirks collects a silver salmon he caught while fishing in the Chukchi Sea in 2010. His Point Hope villa
Andy Cross via Getty Images
Alaska Native Michael Dirks collects a silver salmon he caught while fishing in the Chukchi Sea in 2010. His Point Hope village has lived a mostly subsistence life of hunting and fishing for thousands of years.
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Representatives from the National Congress of American Indians have also been meeting with Murkowski and raising concerns. NCAI President Jacqueline Pata has highlighted Kavanaugh’s record on climate change.

“Native foods and fisheries are declining, and tribal access to traditional foods and medicines is often limited by reservation boundaries,” Pata said in a statement.

A Murkowski spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on how much of a factor Alaska Natives’ concerns are in her decision on Kavanaugh.

But the Republican senator owes her 2010 re-election to tribal communities, so anything harmful to them is going to be a significant issue for her.

That year, Murkowski unexpectedly lost her primary to a tea party challenger. She responded by running as an independent, launching a write-in campaign and winning the race against all odds. Whose support didn’t she have? The Republican Party. Whose support did she have? Alaska Natives, who turned out for her and fueled her victory.

“If the Alaska Native community raises its decibel level on matters from subsistence to civil rights, that would register with Sen. Murkowski,” said a source familiar with Murkowski’s thinking, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

This would be a death knell to us in Alaska. Heather Kendall-Miller, an Alaska Native attorney
Local Alaska tribes and constituents perhaps carry the most weight in shaping Murkowski’s decisions. She’s hearing from them, too.

The leaders of four Alaska tribal councils separately wrote to Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) last week, urging them to oppose Kavanaugh. Letters came from leaders of the Hughes Tribal Council, the Ruby Tribal Council, the Tanana Tribal Council and the Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government.

Late Friday, the leader of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska ― which have more than 30,000 tribal citizens ― posted a letter on Facebook on behalf of the tribes urging Murkowski to vote no.

“We are concerned moving his nomination forward due to his unsound views and the potential injury that his misperceptions would wreak upon your Native Alaskan constituents, our Native Hawaiian friends and fellow indigenous peoples,” said tribal President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson.

Some Alaska residents came to Capitol Hill on Thursday to protest Kavanaugh and visited Murkowski’s and Sullivan’s offices. One of them, Alaska Native Dorothy Johnson, said putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court would put her community’s livelihood at risk.

“If we get our subsistence rights taken away from us, we are going to suffer,” Johnson told news outlet GrayDC. “It’s going to be very hard.”

This story has been updated to include a letter from the Tlingit Haida Tribes of Alaska.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/li ... 3e20921?yo
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:03 pm

Zoe Tillman

NEW: Two Dem senators, Coons and Whitehouse, announced today that they've asked the FBI for details on how they investigated the sexual assault allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh: https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/imo/m ... gation.pdf

On ethics complaints being dismissed: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zo ... reme-court

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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:00 pm

Inbox: Reps. Jerry Nadler and Hank Johnson have sent a letter to the National Archives and Records Admin to request that the National Archives complete its review and release records to the Judiciary Committee related to Brett Kavanaugh's White House service from 2001 to 2006.

House Dems Seek Kavanaugh White House Docs Withheld In Confirmation Fight
Tierney Sneed

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America
Top Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday requested the production of documents from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanugh’s tenure as a White House lawyer. They pointed specifically to materials that were either withheld or not requested by the Senate during Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), who chairs the Judiciary subcommittee overseeing the courts, sent the request to National Archives and Records Administration.

The Democrats’ letter said the documents were relevant to ethics and transparency legislation Congress is considering for the federal judiciary. The request pointed to the materials from Kavanaugh’s time as a staff secretary to President George W. Bush, which were not among the records requested by then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) when Kavanaugh’s nomination was before his committee.

Grassley requested the records from Kavanaugh’s time in Bush’s White House Counsel’s Office, which preceded the staff secretary role. But only some of those records were made available to the committee, after a personal attorney for Kavanaugh conducted a review of them himself.

“As a result of this process, the Senate Judiciary Committee received only a small fraction of Justice Kavanaugh’s White House records before voting on his nomination,” the Democrats said.

The House members requested production on a rolling basis — starting with the White House Counsel Office materials covered under Grassley’s original request — and said that they would work with the archive agency to streamline the process for the staff secretary document production.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/bret ... nt-request
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:17 pm

Ronan Farrow

Two @nytimes rep
Two @nytimes reporters, @rpogrebin and @katekelly, spent months independently reporting out Deborah Ramirez’s allegation against Brett Kavanaugh and found it credible—and documented another serious claim of misconduct with an eyewitness:


Joyce Alene

There must be a full Congressional investigation to determine whether someone, and if so who, gave orders that kept the FBI from investigating credible allegations & speaking to witnesses who reached out to them. We were told this was a full investigation.

Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.
Deborah Ramirez’s Yale experience says much about the college’s efforts to diversify its student body in the 1980s.
ImageJudge Brett M. Kavanaugh during the announcement of his nomination to the Supreme Court on July, 9, 2018.
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh during the announcement of his nomination to the Supreme Court on July, 9, 2018.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
Robin PogrebinKate KellyBy Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly
Ms. Pogrebin and Ms. Kelly are reporters with The Times and authors of the forthcoming book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”
Sept. 14, 2019

Deborah Ramirez had the grades to go to Yale in 1983. But she wasn’t prepared for what she’d find there.
A top student in southwestern Connecticut, she studied hard but socialized little. She was raised Catholic and had a sheltered upbringing. In the summers, she worked at Carvel dishing ice cream, commuting in the $500 car she’d bought with babysitting earnings.
At Yale, she encountered students from more worldly backgrounds. Many were affluent and had attended elite private high schools. They also had experience with drinking and sexual behavior that Ms. Ramirez — who had not intended to be intimate with a man until her wedding night — lacked.
During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.
To Ms. Ramirez it wasn’t funny at all. It was the nadir of her first year, when she often felt insufficiently rich, experienced or savvy to mingle with her more privileged classmates.
ImageThe yearbook photo of Deborah Ramirez in The Yale Banner in 1987.
The yearbook photo of Deborah Ramirez in The Yale Banner in 1987.
“I had gone through high school, I’m the good girl, and now, in one evening, it was all ripped away,” she said in an interview earlier this year at her Boulder, Colo., home. By preying upon her in this way, she added, Mr. Kavanaugh and his friends “make it clear I’m not smart.”
Mr. Kavanaugh, now a justice on the Supreme Court, has adamantly denied her claims. Those claims became a flash point during his confirmation process last year, when he was also fighting other sexual misconduct allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who had attended a Washington-area high school near his.
Ms. Ramirez’s story would seem far less damaging to Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation than those of Dr. Ford, who claimed that he pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes while covering her mouth.
But while we found Dr. Ford’s allegations credible during a 10-month investigation, Ms. Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated. During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.
At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.
We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)
Mr. Kavanaugh did not speak to us because we could not agree on terms for an interview. But he has denied Dr. Ford’s and Ms. Ramirez’s allegations, and declined to answer our questions about Mr. Stier’s account.
Yale in the 1980s was in the early stages of integrating more minority students into its historically privileged white male population. The college had admitted its first black student in the 1850s, but by Ms. Ramirez’s time there, people of color comprised less than a fifth of the student body. Women, who had been admitted for the first time in 1969, were still relative newcomers.
Mr. Kavanaugh fit the more traditional Yale mold. His father was a trade association executive, his mother a prosecutor and later a judge. They lived in tony Bethesda, Md., and owned a second home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. As a student at a prominent Jesuit all-boys school, Georgetown Prep, Mr. Kavanaugh was surrounded by the sons of powerful Washington professionals and politicians. He was an avid sports fan and known to attend an annual teenage bacchanal called “Beach Week,” where the hookups and drinking were more important than the sand and swimming.
Ms. Ramirez grew up in a split-level ranch house in working-class Shelton, Conn., perhaps best known for producing the Wiffle ball, and didn’t drink before college. Her father, who is Puerto Rican, rose through the Southern New England Telephone Company, having started as a cable splicer. Her mother, who is French, was a medical technician.
Before coming to Yale, Ms. Ramirez took pride in her parents’ work ethic and enjoyed simple pleasures like swimming in their aboveground pool, taking camping trips and riding behind her father on his snowmobile. She was studious, making valedictorian at her Catholic elementary school and excelling at her Catholic high school, St. Joseph.
She and her parents took out loans to pay for Yale, and she got work-study jobs on campus, serving food in the dining halls and cleaning dorm rooms before class reunions.
She tried to adapt to Yale socially, joining the cheerleading squad her freshman year, sometimes positioned at the pinnacle of the pyramid. But Ms. Ramirez learned quickly that although cheerleading was cool in high school, it didn’t carry the same cachet at Yale. People called her Debbie Cheerleader or Debbie Dining Hall or would start to say “Debbie does … ” playing on the 1978 porn movie “Debbie Does Dallas.” But Ms. Ramirez didn’t understand the reference.
“She was very innocent coming into college,” Liz Swisher, who roomed with Ms. Ramirez for three years at Yale and is now a physician in Seattle, later recalled. “I felt an obligation early in freshman year to protect her.”
There were many more unhappy memories of college. Fellow students made fun of the way she dropped consonants when she spoke, but also ribbed her for not being fluent in Spanish. They mocked her knockoff black-and-red Air Jordans. They even questioned her admission on the merits. “Is it because you’re Puerto Rican?” someone once asked her.
“My mom would have preferred me to go to a smaller college — looking back at it, she was right,” Ms. Ramirez said. At Yale, “they invite you to the game, but they never show you the rules or where the equipment is.”
It wasn’t until she got a call from a reporter and saw her account of Mr. Kavanaugh described as “sexual misconduct” in The New Yorker that Ms. Ramirez understood it as anything more than one of many painful encounters at Yale.
Ms. Ramirez also did not see herself as a victim of ethnic discrimination. The college campuses of the 1980s had yet to be galvanized by the identity and sexual politics that course through today’s cultural debates.
Years after graduating, however, she started volunteering with a nonprofit organization that assists victims of domestic violence — the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, or SPAN. She became a staff member for a time and continues to serve on its board. Gradually she embraced her Puerto Rican roots.
This awakening caused Ms. Ramirez to distance herself from the past. She fell out of touch with one Yale friend — who had asked Ms. Ramirez to be her daughter’s godmother — after the friend’s husband made fun of a book she was reading on racial identity. The husband, a Yale classmate, was one of the students she remembered being at the dorm party that difficult night.
“If I felt like a person in my life wasn’t going to embrace my journey or would somehow question it,” she said, “I just let them go.”
Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were wrenching, as he strained to defend his character after Dr. Ford’s searing testimony. Thousands of miles away, Ms. Ramirez, who was never asked to testify, also found the hearings distressing. Her efforts to backstop her recollections with friends would later be cited as evidence that her memory was unreliable or that she was trying to construct a story rather than confirm one.
Ms. Ramirez’s legal team gave the F.B.I. a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence. But the bureau — in its supplemental background investigation — interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own.
Two F.B.I. agents interviewed Ms. Ramirez, telling her that they found her “credible.” But the Republican-controlled Senate had imposed strict limits on the investigation. “‘We have to wait to get authorization to do anything else,’” Bill Pittard, one of Ms. Ramirez’s lawyers, recalled the agents saying. “It was almost a little apologetic.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island and member of the Judiciary Committee, later said, “I would view the Ramirez allegations as not having been even remotely investigated.” Other Democrats agreed.
Ultimately, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, concluded, “There is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.” Mr. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Oct. 6, 2018, by a vote of 50-48, the closest vote for a Supreme Court justice in more than 130 years.
Still, Ms. Ramirez came to feel supported by the very Yale community from which she had once felt so alienated. More than 3,000 Yale women signed an open letter commending her “courage in coming forward.” More than 1,500 Yale men issued a similar letter two days later.
She also received a deluge of letters, emails and texts from strangers containing messages like, “We’re with you, we believe you, you are changing the world,” and “Your courage and strength has inspired me. The bravery has been contagious.”
College students wrote about how Ms. Ramirez had helped them find the words to express their own experiences. Medical students wrote about how they were now going to listen differently to victims of sexual violence. Parents wrote about having conversations with their children about how bad behavior can follow them through life. One father told Ms. Ramirez he was talking to his two sons about how their generation is obligated to be better.
Ms. Ramirez saved all of these notes in a decorative box that she keeps in her house, turning to them even now for sustenance. One person sent a poem titled “What Is Justice” that has resonated deeply with her.
“You can’t look at justice as just the confirmation vote,” she said. “There is so much good that came out of it. There is so much more good to come.”
This essay is adapted from the forthcoming book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”

Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Postby Laodicean » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:17 pm

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