I’m a lawyer and most of the time I don’t outright tell people that because it tends to change how others look at me. Some find me suddenly repulsive, others find some respect. Either way, I’m just me and wanted to be treated and judged for being me, not my job capacity.
Today’s angry tirade, however, is supported by the fact that I actually know the law. I know lawyers and judges. I know how things are supposed to go, even though they rarely go the way they should (if you’ve never seen my courtroom, I call it a circus for a good reason).
First, as a female I am horrified that the complete lack of respect for women has been put on such a national stage and NO ONE CARES. I figured that out back when Clinton was running because the essence of most attacks were that she’s a dumb broad. Oh, and she used a private server for some emails (which, in case you didn’t know, is what Trump does every single time he tweets: “Politico is reporting that Trump has eschewed the normal security procedures when it comes to his personal cellphones. He has at least two — one for making calls and one for Twitter — but the call-capable phone has a camera and a microphone, which was against protocol in the Obama administration because those things could be used to monitor a president’s activities and movements. As for the Twitter phone, Trump reportedly refuses to swap it out and has gone as many as five months without having it checked by security experts, despite phones being checked every 30 days during the Obama administration.“). I’m off track. The point is that as a broad generalization society continues to believe men should lead the world as evidenced by Trump v. Clinton. You can claim “Crooked Hillary” and email servers all the live long day but the fact remains a man who admitted to sexual assault (“I did try and fuck her… I moved in on her like a bitch. I just started kissing them. I don’t even wait”) and even tells others how to sexual assault (“grab them by the pussy”), and basically being an all around grade A asshole won a national election over a career politician who actually knows how government works. Don’t tell me genitals didn’t have a thing to do with it. Every woman on earth was horrified at this man encouraging and admitting to sexual assault and cringed at the words heard in that tape. Why? Because almost all of us have been sexually assaulted at some point. Almost. All. Of. Us.
So Kava-nah gets nominated and suddenly there are sexual assault claims coming out of the woodwork. I get it. I really do. First, there is the fact that if the guy who groped me back in the day was up there trying to get a Federal job acting like a saint, trust and believe I’d be making numerous, serious, lengthy phone calls and beginning a social media campaign like I was running for office against him. Second, shit goes down in high school (and college). Kids drink, do drugs, have sex, get into trouble. I’ve always rested assured that if I ever ran for office my dirty laundry would be out there hanging in the summer breeze. I was awkward and awful in high school. There’s probably more stories out there about me than I remember. I would hope that if I was dumb enough to run for office and said something like “I HAVE NEVER!” some one would take me down a peg for lying. Especially if I lied under oath. In a Senate judiciary committee hearing. On national TV. Repeatedly.
I feel here may be a good point to address the “innocent until proven guilty” lie that keeps going around. Let’s think this through, shall we? Let’s pretend Kavanah is innocent until proven guilty. Who decides his guilt or not? There’s no judge. There’s no jury. There’s no prosecutor to make a case to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s because HE HASNT BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME. HE IS NOT ON TRIAL. HE IS NOT INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
I’d also like to take this moment to address the issue of Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. First, one prosecutor to another, that shit took balls. I don’t think I’d take that job, especially if being asked by a bunch of old white guys too scared to ask a lady questions. For the record, she’s right: this would be a horrible case to take to trial because it’s a he-said/she-said case. Those types of cases are dicey at best at trial. Trial is always a gamble but taking this situation (Federal nomination with several accusers from decades ago involving drinking) to trial is like not understanding how to play blackjack and rolling right up to try your luck with baccarat. Prosecutors try to take only the cases they can win to trial. So her recommendation that she wouldn’t take it to trial is not an indication of guilty or innocence or reliability or credibility: its trial strategy. So chill.
And while we’re at it- why DID they hire her? She’s a prosecutor. Her sole job is to save and protect witnesses on the stand while simultaneously tearing down the defendant. Wouldn’t it have served the Senate better if they had hired a criminal defense attorney if we’re going to go with the whole “innocent until proven guilty” trip? BTW, way to go old white guys with calling her a “female assistant.” I’m sure all the gals in the steno pool were so proud their favorite girl Friday was chosen. *insert eye roll*
Here’s the big problem I have with Rachel who should by my hero: she used all the tactics defense attorneys use, she used all her knowledge of how victims act after being assaulted, and turned them against the accuser. Why? Was it for the 15 minutes of lackluster fame? Is she planning on running for office? Does she hate her job that much that she’s willing to set fire to its principles on national TV?
Another off-shoot of this topic (since I am the only prosecutor trained in Domestic Violence and Assault in my office): sexual assault victims often say they don’t know or they don’t remember because they are absolutely terrified to tell the truth, to reveal facts. Once the entirety of the situation turns from a bad memory held in the head and heart, scarred on the soul, into an actual fact involving real time, real place, real people it’s like being victimized again. “It really did happen and it really did happen to me.” It’s hard enough (understatement) to get past the excruciating shame and heartbreak to get to a place where you can tell someone, anyone. Even a therapist. You may never tell your spouse, child, pastor, or parent. Many, many women have carried the secret of sexual assault to their grave and many more likely will.
Back to Kava-nah. The FBI turns in their top-secret report that can only be seen by a few people at a time in shifts. I’m not kidding. They’re not examining the purported signature of Jesus of Nazareth, it’s an FBI file on the limited investigation performed by the FBI. I do think it’s impossible to an actual, thorough investigation in a week. If I or any attorney had only 1 week to investigate a case there would be a lot of criminals walking around scot-free. Regardless, the report is top secret so having an informed debate about what is in it and whether it is enough to merit a vote is moot, which is sad in my opinion. I assume its top secret due to the names and the nature of the case, but information is often redacted in these types of cases so information can be provided without compromising integrity or privacy.
So we’ve gone down the sexual assault path that basically ended abruptly without a real resolution other than inciting anger from both sides of the aisle, and especially women.
As a further aside: I’d like to offer a big FUCK YOU to all the Senators who asked if protestors were “happy” that they accosted a senator with their stories of sexual assault, and especially to Senator David Perdue of Georgia who accused Democrats of paying females to verbally assault him with made up accusations of sexual assault while he was in the airport in D.C. Women don’t have to pay other women to make up stories of sexual assault: there are millions of real, pissed off assault victims out there, and they are everywhere, and if they see you, you are about to hear about their personal tragedy because they feel you have turned your back on them. Lest we forget: YOU are PUBLIC SERVANTS. As the chant goes, “We’ll Remember/This November.”
Meanwhile, thousands of legal scholars (no, seriously-2,400 of them roughly) have begged FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT PUT HIM ON THE SUPREME COURT. Retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens ( a republican if you care) has said NO to Kava-nah. Look, if a guy who HAD the job is saying you’re not fit for the job, he’s probably right. So why are so many legal eagles saying no?
Because, quite simply, Kava-nah can’t keep his shit together. He’s already expressed extreme bias against the democratic party by proclaiming the claims of sexual assault were a hit job and/or smear campaign on behalf of, or orchestrated by, the Clintons. Other people can do their job while hating any given political party without issue. The problem here, however, is that Kava-nah would have to recuse himself from basically 75% of the cases before the High Court. Look, if I could get a job earning a butt ton of money and only work 25% of the time, sign me up. But I’m guessing it’s not going to be a spot on the SCOTUS. This court is supposed to be the impartial, party-neutral judgment of the country and Kava-nah has already said that won’t happen on his watch.
So let’s say Kava-nah gets through the judiciary committee, which he will. We now have multiple sources telling whomever will listen they can prove Kava-nah has lied under oath. Like, A LOT. Often. Frequently. Repeatedly.
Kava-nah has said he wrote a prepared statement but after flying off the handle said he had become emotional. You lose your shit over something you wrote and likely rehearsed before reading in the committee hearing? Really? Okay so maybe not a lie, maybe just… emotionally and mentally unbalanced.
So first, let’s examine what’s there: The New York Times posted a fact-check, Vox made a chart of every time Kavanaugh dodged a question, and Current Affairs‘ Nathan Robinson dissected the testimony in an exhaustive 10,000-word refutation, “How We Know Kavanaugh Is Lying.” But let’s remove the “fake news” (LOL) for a minute. His own former classmates- Yale educated professionals, many of who are republican – have raised hell about all the lies. I can’t go into all of them (well I could but I’ve written enough already and you can find them all out on your own) but let’s hit the high notes.
Kava-nah wants to connect with the American people so he says he grew up around guns and violence. Right. The median income for where he grew up was over $146,000.00 The murder rate was 2.1 per 1000,000 people. BTW, that area was not too far where I grew up and actually had to deal with guns and violence- Baltimore. The median income in Baltimore is $38,000.00 a year. The homicide rate for 2017 was 55.8 killings per 100,000 people. I guess people with an income of $150k per year will feel bad for him.
Kava-nah presents a letter signed overnight by 65 women proclaiming his white knighthood. I’m no expert but the fact that he would ask 65 women overnight if they thought he was okay in high school should raise a red flag. No one should need to do that to prove how chaste they are, let alone with a 24 hour turn around deadline. If I want to think of all the asshole things that happened in school it’s going to take more time than 24 hours I further wonder how many he asked versus how many signed. What if he had asked 200 women and only 65 signed? That’s not exactly a ratio showing huge support.
If he lied about drinking, puking and sex, not really a big one for me as I’m pretty sure everyone lies about those things… but then again, not everyone is under oath asking for a lifetime appointment.
One of the lies that gets me is that he lied about his accuser’s testimony. He said her testimony was uncorroborated and even refuted by people who were at the party. Two of her witnessed didn’t remember the night in question, nor would they. For them its just another party, another evening. Nothing traumatic happened to them. The only other witness in the room, Mark Judge, refused to testify. Her long time friend, who Kava-nah says also denied the allegations, actually said she completely believes and support Dr. Ford. Let’s just say he didn’t know that and continue on.
“Memogate.” Ok gang, pay attention. This will be on the final exam in November. In 2003, a republican aide named Manny Miranda used a computer glitch to gain access to close to 5,000 confidential memos from the Judiciary Committee and gave them to President George H. Bush’s White House staff. Back then, Kava-nah was in the president’s counsel staff. Miranda was asked to resign, no charges, no arrest, no scandal to the press (that’s a blog for another day). In March of 2003 Kava-nah received 8 yes EIGHT pages of those leaked memos. This week he said he knew nothing about any memos.
Memogate reappears when Kava-nah is up for judgeship in the D.C. Circuit in 2005. Kava-nah is still saying, “Memos? What memos?” Meanwhile the ABA (American Bar Association) downgrades their endorsement of him from “well qualified” to just plain old “qualified.” You may ask yourself, Why would they do that? Because after their judicial investigator asked dozens of his colleagues “Yooo…what up with Brett?” They were like, “he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he hates certain groups, ya feel?” (They raised questions about “his professional experience and the question of his freedom from bias and open-mindedness” as well as his ability to be “balanced and fair”). I feel they have valid concerns but maybe you don’t. That’s fine.
Torture. Yeah this will be on the midterm but not the final exam so you should probably still take some notes. Kava-nah was the White House staff secretary under W, as you may recall. You may also remember that W was big on wire-tapping, water-boarding, Abu Graib – all that fun prisoner of war illegal torture stuff. In 2007, Kava-nah had advised some white house lawyers that SCOTUS Justice Kennedy would reject the thought that a combatant (detainee/prisoner of war) could be denied access to a lawyer. Here’s where it gets real interesting: Kava-nah has made only 4% (FOUR percent) of his paper trail available. So 96% of what he has said and done is… missing? Hmm, sounds like a Clinton type problem to me. BTW, all 4% were dumped in the committees lap the DAY BEFORE THE HEARING. So the senators had less than 24 hours to review almost 50,000 pages of documents. And the gatekeeper of the documents -Bill Burke- works for the republicans at the direction of Trump. Look I try to be fair here but if the fox is guarding the hen house…
While under oath Kava-nah says he had no idea he clerked for what a Yale Law School Dean called a “scumbag.” Another clerk said it would be damn near impossible to forget this judge’s famously inappropriate sexually-charged sense of humor. This judge had 15 women accuse him of sexual harassment and he finally had to retire. I know first hand that just because your boss is shit head doesn’t mean you are. I also know sometimes you have to take shit jobs to pay the bills or get your name out there. Here’s the thing: you can’t lie and say you didn’t know he was a piece of shit. That means either you’re a complete moron, you’re lying, or you thought his sense of humor was hilarious and all those other women were being whiny bitches. None of these answers make you look fit to hold down the highest legal job in the land.
Just briefly, I want to say that I understand what Trump said when he said it was a scary time for men. I am not saying its right or justified or appropriate or that it makes sense because to every one of those things the answer is no. But as a man who may have been wrongly accused (and probably correctly accused) and likely settled out of court just to shut her up, I can see why he would think a simple allegation is enough to knock a man off his pedestal is scary. Of course, the reality of the situation is that men have been able to do this to women since the inception of time. Women have to have a million little safety plans to just exist on a daily basis (use your keys as a weapon, walk in groups, watch your drink, be aware of your surroundings). A man can simply say “don’t hire her” for absolutely no reason and she won’t get hired. She can go on maternity leave and find out before her return her job has been eliminated. If she does return to her job she will earn only a portion of what her male colleagues make. She will take more time off to care for her child. If she is sexually assaulted at work she may have to make a tough decision to try to power through it to earn an income or quit and put her family’s livelihood at risk. An allegation from a female regarding a male is hardly ever enough for society as a whole to even bat an eye, even when its corroborated and supported by evidence. Its why women don’t report, why they aren’t believed, why they are mocked, and why they have to live in fear.