The confirmation fight over President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court long ago careened wildly out of control, driven by desperate Democrats determined to keep this highly qualified judge off the high court by a shameless exercise in character assassination.
Now that the FBI has completed its supplemental report on sexual misconduct accusations against the judge, the American people deserve to see that report to set the record straight.
While FBI background investigations for federal employment are normally not made public, allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh by Professor Christine Blasey Ford were made in televised hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Accusations by two other women were publicized in numerous news stories broadcast and published around the world.
Ford alleges that some 36 years ago, when she and Kavanaugh were in high school, he forced her onto a bed at a party while he was drunk and unsuccessfully tried to take off her clothes. She said Kavanaugh covered her mouth to stop her from screaming and she feared he would rape her and might even accidentally kill her.
Kavanaugh said repeatedly that he has never sexually assaulted Ford or anyone else. He has also denied other allegations that the two other women have made against him.
Ford provided no corroborating evidence or witnesses to back up her allegations, and other women were not called to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
After the airing of these charges, throwing a veil of secrecy over the findings of the reopened FBI background investigation of Kavanaugh would now deny him the return of his good reputation if the investigation found no convincing corroboration of the accusations.
And if the investigation found new support for the accusations against the appellate court judge – most likely leading to the Senate’s rejection of his nomination to the high court – the American public deserves to know that as well.
Senate Democrats have abandoned any semblance of due process and belief in the concept of innocent until proven guilty in their feeding frenzy to keep President Trump from appointing a conservative justice to the Supreme Court. Should they manage to keep Kavanaugh off the high court they will no doubt mount a similar all-out attack on whoever the president nominates next.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., bears the biggest share of the blame for putting both Ford and Kavanaugh through the public ordeal of airing Ford’s thus far uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh – and airing Kavanaugh’s categorical denials – before the world.
Instead of allowing Judiciary Committee staff or the FBI to privately interview Ford about her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, Feinstein spent nearly two months hiding the explosive allegations that Ford sent her in a letter.
In a disgraceful and blatant political act, Feinstein failed to inform her Judiciary Committee colleagues of the letter from Ford until the committee completed its confirmation hearing on Kavanaugh and was on the verge of sending his nomination to the full Senate for a vote.
And now, unbelievably, Feinstein wants to conceal the new FBI report. At least she’s consistent.
However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for the public release of the FBI report before any vote is taken in the Senate on the Kavanaugh nomination. I don’t often say this, but in this case I agree with Sen. Schumer.
There are two important reasons that Schumer’s request makes sense.
First, the contents of the FBI report will surely be leaked to the news media soon after senators read the report. But selective accounts from individual lawmakers will not give us a full or a necessarily accurate version of what’s in the report.
Second, secrecy will only spawn frenzied speculation about what the report says or doesn’t say, obliterating any distinction between fact and fiction.
The American people deserve the unvarnished truth. We have suffered through this spectacle with an expectation that the FBI investigation might shed some light on whether there is any evidence to corroborate the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Regardless, Democrats in the Senate won’t be satisfied. Consistency is not their strong suit – obstruction is.
During Kavanaugh’s testimony at his confirmation hearing, Democrats repeatedly demanded that the FBI launch what would amount to a seventh background investigation of the nominee over his long and distinguished career of federal service.
When Senate Democrats got their wish and President Trump ordered a one-week reopened investigation, they immediately condemned the background check as too short in duration and too limited in scope.
Then the Democratic senators howled that the FBI failed to interview Ford, as if the senators had been asleep when she testified for hours under oath in front of them. When asked at the end if she had anything more to add, Ford said she did not. Repeating the exercise would set a new standard for redundancy.
Feinstein continues to spew inane and irrational attacks on the very process she helped to corrupt.
In one news release, the California senator condemned the interviewing of former boyfriends who have issued statements casting doubt on the truthfulness of both Ford and Deborah Ramirez, another of Kavanaugh’s accusers. Ramirez has admitted she was so intoxicated she cannot say for certain that it was actually Kavanaugh who allegedly exposed himself to her at a college party decades ago.
In Feinstein’s contorted world, accusers should be blindly believed and all contrary evidence must be ignored. The senator cited “rape shield laws and the federal rules of evidence” as prohibiting interviews that might contradict the claims of Kavanaugh’s accusers.
Feinstein, who is not a lawyer, seems not to have read – and certainly not to have understood – the very laws and rules she cited. They do not prohibit interviews of other witnesses.
It is no coincidence that Ford’s attorneys are Democratic operatives and activists who were recommended by Feinstein – and who are not charging Ford to represent her. They appear far more interested in blocking President Trump from appointing a Supreme Court justice then in representing Ford.
As explained in my earlier column, these lawyers appear to have manipulated, betrayed and victimized Ford by failing to convey three written offers by the Judiciary Committee for her to testify privately and confidentially in her own home.
Then those same lawyers echoed Feinstein’s demand that Ford must be interviewed by the FBI. At the same time, the attorneys refused to divulge relevant recordings of the polygraph examination Ford took and notes from her marriage therapy sessions that shed more light on the professor’s accusation against Kavanaugh.
It is unfair for Ford to rely on those recordings and notes as support for her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, but to then refuse to hand them over.
While Democrats and many in the media have abandoned principles of fundamental fairness, due process, and the presumption of innocence, the American public has not.
A new Harvard-Harris poll finds that 60 percent of voters favor confirming Kavanaugh, absent some corroborating evidence of the claims against him. And 69 percent believe the entire confirmation process has devolved into the “national disgrace” – a term Kavanaugh used in his testimony.
The poll found that 75 percent of Americans blame Feinstein for concealing Ford’s letter from the Judiciary Committee until the initial confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh concluded. She achieved her goal when her action prompted the committee to reopen the hearing to take testimony from Ford and to hear Kavanaugh’s denials.
Democrats then demanded that the FBI investigate the accusations against Kavanaugh. This, too, was granted. Now that the FBI has finished its report, we are all entitled to see it.
Senate Democrats abused their role of “advise and consent” on Kavanaugh nomination’s by turning an inquiry into an inquisition.
Since we’ve heard the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh, and since the FBI has investigated these accusations, we are entitled to know what the FBI found.
In the interests of transparency, accountability, fairness and open government, the new FBI report on Judge Kavanaugh should be made public.
Gregg Jarrett joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and is based in New York. He currently serves as legal analyst and offers commentary across both FNC and FOX Business Network (FBN).