Last week, New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly detonated a bombshell. In their upcoming book about Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Pogrebin and Kelly revealed that one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Deborah Ramirez, gave the FBI the names of 25 people who could corroborate claims of inappropriate behavior by Kavanaugh during his days at Yale. However, the FBI never reached out to any of them. This revelation, among others, has led to calls for a fresh review of Kavanaugh’s behavior.
This revelation was lost in the furor over the Old Grey Lady’s initial omission of a critical detail about another alleged incident involving Kavanaugh. The same story reported that one of Kavanaugh’s classmates, Max Stier, saw Kavanaugh shove his penis into the hand of a female student–an incident subsequently corroborated by two government officials who found it credible. But the original story didn’t mention an important detail that appears in Pogrebin and Kelly’s book–that the student had no memory of the incident.
But the prospect that Kavanaugh may not have displayed full candor at his confirmation hearings has led to calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. That prospect has cast renewed attention on one of the Senators whose vote put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court by a paper-thin margin–Maine’s Susan Collins. On Friday, WCSH in Portland and WLBZ in Bangor had a chance to ask Collins about the incident while she was attending a groundbreaking ceremony. Watch here.
Collins repeated what has become the standard GOP talking point on Kavanaugh–calls for his impeachment are based on a story that The Times was forced to correct. She was apparently reiterating a statement issued earlier in the week by her spokeswoman, Annie Clark.
But as Aaron Rupar of Vox notes, this is misleading. While there is no denying that the original story should have included the fact that the female student had no memory of the incident, the fact she doesn’t remember it “does not prove that the alleged incident didn’t happen.”
But Collins had far more to say on the matter earlier in the week. Maine Beacon got its hands on a fundraising email Collins sent to her supporters in which she dismissed calls for a fresh look at Kavanaugh’s past in a manner that would do Trump proud.
Collins railed that Kavanaugh was “yet again under attack by the Far Left.” She claimed that because Democrats were “not willing to respect the results of the confirmation process,” they were trying to make Kavanaugh and his family “go through the pain of the confirmation process all over again”–and in so doing, potentially “ruin someone’s life in the process.”
Really, Susan? So if we want to know if the FBI’s investigation was as thorough as it should have been, we’re “Far Left”? And if you’re so concerned about the integrity of the confirmation process, why aren’t you willing to consider the possibility that said process was tainted? When you are confirming someone to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the nation, it is incumbent upon us to get it right. Are you willing to tell the people of Maine that wanting to get it right is “Far Left”?
You’re concerned about the toll a fresh look at Kavanaugh could take on his family. But what about the people who could corroborate Ramirez’ claims and weren’t interviewed? What about them? Don’t they deserve to be heard? Remember, two officials who spoke with Stier believe that his account was credible. If that claim wasn’t investigated, what else was missed?
Collins already had a fight on her hands for a fifth term in 2020, in part because she has some very large moral blind spots. She had few qualms about writing hefty checks to Cindy Hyde-Smith even after Hyde-Smith blew blatantly racist dog whistles in her bid to finish out the term of Thad Cochran. Well, add another to the list. If she believes wanting a fresh look at Kavanaugh’s behavior is “Far Left,” then it may be time for her to go.
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