Democratic Senator Crushes Kavanaugh for Dismissing Importance of Mark Judge's Testimony
In Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the sexual assault allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, both the judge and Senate Republicans seemed wholly unconcerned with the fact that the committee was not calling any other witnesses — in particular, Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford alleges was present at the time of the assault, and who has been hiding out in a beach house in Delaware since the allegations arose.
The rationale for not subpoenaing Judge? He had already stated, in written testimony from his lawyer to the committee, that he does not remember any such event taking place.
But as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) pointed out, that leaves a whole lot to be desired.
"You've made reference, Judge, to a sworn statement, I believe, by Mark Judge to the committee," said Blumenthal, who happens to be a former federal prosecutor. "Is that correct?"
"I've made reference to what Mark Judge's lawyer has sent to the committee," Kavanaugh agreed.
"It's not a sworn statement, is it?" said Blumenthal.
"Under penalty of felony?"
"Well, it's a statement signed by his lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder," said Blumenthal. "It is six cursory and conclusory sentences. Are you saying that that is a substitute for an investigation by the FBI, or some interview by the FBI under oath?"
"Under penalty of felony, he said that this kind of event did not happen and that I never did or would have done something like that."
Blumenthal did not back down. "As a federal judge, you always want the best evidence, don't you?"
"Senator, he has said, and all the witnesses present — look at Miss Keyser's statement," protested Kavanaugh.
Put aside, for a moment, the fact that Mark Judge did not actually say Kavanaugh "never did or would have done something like that," he only said he had no memory of such an incident.
The fact of the matter is that a brief written statement to the committee is nothing like being questioned and probed in person by investigators, who can ask follow-up questions and gauge nonverbal cues for a person's honesty. This is the exact same reason why Rudy Giuliani has demanded that Trump have the right to answer Special Counsel Robert Mueller's questions in writing.
Kavanaugh apparently either does not understand an essential part of getting evidence from witnesses, or he is pretending he doesn't. Either would call into question his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court.