Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell appeared upbeat in public last night. But the truth is that once the president ordered the FBI do a further investigation of Brett Kavanaugh’s background, his confirmation to the Supreme Court was put in serious jeopardy. It could even lead to criminal charges and loss of his current position as a federal judge.
Yesterday Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, after demanding an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh, said:
“Some of us on the Republican side … feel more comfortable moving ahead to a final vote once the FBI has done a supplemental background check.
When asked if he and other GOP senators were open to voting “no” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Flake said:
“Sure, you bet, that’s why we’re doing an extended background investigation.”
The implication here is that Mitch McConnell does not have the votes he needs since Flake (and presumably Collins and Murkowski also) are open to voting against Kavanaugh.
If these three Republicans were having doubts about Kavanaugh after the testimony of Dr. Christine Ford, then an FBI investigation will only add to their doubts. In fact the FBI is extremely likely to find additional incriminating information that will make it clear that Kavanaugh is not fit to be a justice on the United States Supreme Court.
There will be two main lines of inquiry that the FBI will follow concerning Kavanaugh’s background:
- The allegations against him from several women that he committed sexual assault. This would include the charges of gang rape from his high school friend Julie Swetnick (represented by Michael Avenatti).
- The charges that he lied under oath on numerous occasions.
Both of these areas are fraught with danger for Brett Kavanaugh.
Julie Swetnick has already completed sworn statements about her allegations of gang rape, and Avenatti has said there are many more witnesses willing to testify. So the FBI will be talking to all of these people in detailed interviews that will uncover facts not currently known.
Included in the interviews will be Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge, who both Dr. Ford and Ms. Swetnick said participated in the alleged sexual assaults also. He will have to tell the truth or face going to prison for lying to the FBI.
Even if there is no real evidence that Kavanaugh committed sexual assault, the FBI probe could still lead to criminal charges — for perjury.
As an article in last night’s Washington Post said:
“If investigators uncover evidence that Kavanaugh lied to lawmakers during hearings or on his background-check forms, that could spark a criminal investigation in which law enforcement could use the full extent of its legal powers.”
We’ve written extensively about how Kavanaugh has lied under oath during congressional testimony, so there may be a lot for the FBI to look at there. (He lied about about stolen emails and a judge he once clerked for.)
Also, Kavanaugh’s old friends from high school and college have been quoted as saying that the nominee lied extensively in his senate testimony about his drinking.
One of his college friends, Liz Swisher said that Kavanaugh “was clearly lying” about his drinking. She told the Post:
“Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him … it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”
There are many other people willing to testify to the same thing.
Another old friend of Kavanaugh, Lynne Brookes, who is a Republican, told the Post that he lied about his drinking: “You can’t lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out, he’s gone too far,” Brookes said.
There seems to be a great deal of evidence right now — even before the FBI investigates — that Kavanaugh repeatedly lied under oath, which is a felony. And it will be very easy for the FBI to prove this after they interview all of their witnesses and compare their statements to Kavanaugh’s sworn testimony.
Maybe the FBI won’t be able to prove within the next seven days that Kavanaugh committed the alleged acts of sexual assault. But if he did in fact lie under oath, the FBI will be able to prove that. And when they do, Kavanaugh‘s nomination to the Supreme Court will go down in flames.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.