Last week’s Kavanaugh-Ford circus ended with the decision to subject Brett Kavanaugh to a seventh FBI investigation, this one to focus in on the particular charges of sexual misconduct that have been brought against him since the end of the first hearing. One assumes, and hopes, that the FBI will be on the lookout for the following:
- Corroboration or refutation of Dr. Ford’s charge that 36 years ago Judge-to-be Kavanaugh tried to rape her. To date, the three witnesses she named as being present at the party where she was allegedly victimized have said they have no knowledge or recollection of any such attempted rape. These witnesses include two men, presumably friends of Judge Kavanaugh, and a life-long woman friend of Dr. Ford who nonetheless refuses to support her claim.
- Corroboration or refutation of Debra Ramirez’s charge that Judge Kavanaugh, as a Yale freshman, exposed himself to her at a drunken party. An investigation by the New York Times, which opposes Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, has revealed that Ms. Ramirez has expressed doubts as to whether or not the incident actually happened, that Ms. Ramirez has telephoned other former classmates in an unsuccessful attempt to have them confirm her alcohol-soaked memories (she’s admitted to being too drunk to have thought clearly), and that the Times’s own investigative reporters have likewise failed to find anyone who will confirm the accuracy of Ms. Ramirez’s memories/fantasies.
- Corroboration or refutation of Julie Swetnick’s assertion that in 1980 and 1981 she attended “well over ten” parties in which the future Judge Kavanaugh drugged women to make it easier to gang rape and “train rape” them, including Ms. Swetnick herself. It might be interesting to ask why, if what Ms. Swetnick alleges really happened, she attended so many parties herself, as well as why nobody else ever reported these parties at any time until Ms. Swetnick herself did so, almost forty years after the so-called fact. (Yes, I’m aware of assertions that it may take decades for a sexual assault victim, male or female, to report what happened, but to understand how and why entire groups of victims, victimizers, and onlookers can maintain a conspiracy of silence for decades may require more explanation.)
It’s highly unlikely that an FBI report that exonerates Judge Kavanaugh will change many minds. After all, all the Senate Judiciary Democrats have already announced that they’ll vote against his confirmation anyway. Their demand for FBI Investigative Report 7.0 seems like the latest in the long string of delaying tactics begun when their leader, Senator Feinstein, chose to sit on Dr. Ford’s initial allegations for 45 days, releasing them only after opportunities to privately investigate them or even question Judge Kavanaugh about them had passed. The Democrats are already rehearsing a new argument to be used against Judge Kavanaugh should he pass the latest FBI investigation: His anger at the accusations leveled against him shows he lacks the “judicial temperament” necessary to be a Supreme Court Justice.
But there are still a few fence-sitting Senators who have not yet announced their positions on Judge Kavanaugh. A favorable FBI report may persuade them to support him after all. We’ll see.
And what if the FBI actually turns up something it failed to find in the course of its first six investigations. That too, will, and should, affect the outcome of this sorriest of messes. Should the FBI come up with something in the upcoming week, it’ll be the subject of the next column. Stay tuned.
Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present). He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014. He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.