Kavanaugh Being Confirmed to SCOTUS or a Snowball in Hell: Which Has Better Odds?

I put the following in a comment on my original Kavanaugh post, but things are heating up and I decided I wanted to write a full essay.

Here’s the comment:

Apparently, a new Cavanaugh accuser has come forward, but her allegations are disturbing for a number of reasons:

In an explosive statement released by (her attorney Michael) Avenatti, Swetnick claimed that in the 1980s she witnessed efforts by Kavanaugh and his classmate, Mark Judge, to get teenage girls “inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.”

“I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,” she alleged in the statement. “These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.”

Swetnick alleged she became one of the victims of “one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes.” She did not say that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her.

Of course, it’s disturbing that Kavanaugh and Judge, as teens, (allegedly) maliciously got teenage girls intoxicated and then arranged gang or train rapes. If true, there may be scores of victims out there, and even after all this time, the cases could go criminal, or at least result in massive civil trials.

The other part is that Swetnick apparently didn’t do anything to protect these victims. I know that victims themselves often don’t disclose for long periods of time after their assault, but supposedly Swetnick knew exactly what was going on and did nothing either during the event or afterwards. It’s one thing to keep your own assault private, and another thing entirely to fail to protect girls who presumably were your friends and classmates.

All that aside, that’s three separate women coming forward, with the potential of more to come, which looks pretty grim for Kavanaugh.

Oh, as for attorney Michael Avenatti, what kind of lawyer protects his client’s privacy by putting her name and photograph on this twitter account?

Oh, Avenatti is Stormy Daniels’ attorney, so take that for what it’s worth.

I pulled the following comment off of Facebook, which was written in response to this news article and it raises some interesting questions about Julie Swetnick (and which corrected my misconception that Swetnick was the same age or younger than Kavanaugh).

Firstly, there’s the odd question of Swetnick’s age.

In her online profile detailed by the New York Times, Swetnick claims to have graduated from Gaithersburg High School in 1980 before enrolling at the University of Maryland.

However, in her own sworn affidavit published by Avenatti, Swetnick claims that she first met Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, sometime between 1980 and 1981. That would’ve put Kavanaugh, who was born in 1965, at only 15 or 16 years old at the time. Swetnick also claims she attended multiple parties where the two were in attendance between 1980 and 1983, meaning Swetnick would have been a college student well into her junior year who was still attending high school parties filled with kids who went to a school a full 25 minutes away from hers.

While this isn’t entirely outside the realm of possibility, it seems odd that a 19- or 20-year-old college student and her friends would still be hanging out at parties with 16-year-olds, as her statement suggests.

Secondly, there’s the question of her apparent lack of judgment.

In the affidavit, Swetnick claims that “during the years 1981-1982,” she became “aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to ‘spike’ the ‘punch’ at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.’” Swetnick then alleges she has “a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.”

Knowing all this, Swetnick says she simply tried to “purposefully avoid the ‘punch’ at these parties.”

So let’s get this straight, here: Swetnick, who would’ve been a legal adult for most of if not the entire time she says she attended these parties, admits she was well aware that young men were intentionally drugging drinks in order to lure women into bedrooms and gang-rape them. But rather than report these claims to the authorities, or at the very least avoid the parties altogether, Swetnick not only kept quiet about the whole thing, but admits she actually kept attending the parties herself for up to two years afterward.

Thirdly, there’s the question of Swetnick’s own victimization timeline.

Despite saying she intentionally avoided the spiked drinks at the rape parties she kept attending for some inexplicable reason, Swetnick claims she herself was gang-raped at a party that occurred sometime in 1982, where Kavanaugh and Judge were allegedly in attendance.

However, earlier in her affidavit, Swetnick said she attended “well over 10 house parties in the Washington D.C. area during the years 1981-1983 where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.”

So according to her own timeline, not only did Swetnick know these parties were being used to drug and rape women, but says she herself was gang-raped at a party sometime in 1982 – yet continued to attend these same house parties until sometime in the following year.

Now none of that means Swetnick’s allegations are not factual and true, but the whole situation does seem pretty odd.

I’m adding content from Heavy.com which repeats much of what the Facebook comment reveals:

Swetnick said she “attended well over 10 house parties in the Washington DC area during 1981 to 1983 were Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. These parties were common occurrence in the area and occurred nearly every weekend during the school year.”

On numerous occasions at these parties, Kavanaugh and Judge, she said, would “drink excessively and engage in highly inappropriate conduct, including being overly aggressive with girls and not taking no for an answer. This contact into included the fondling and grabbing the girls without their consent.”

Punch would be spiked with drugs and “grain alcohol.” She said Kavanuagh, Judge and other teen boys would “target particular girls so they could be taken advantage of (and) it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party.”

Swetnick said that in 1982, “I became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people. During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking.”

Okay, so far three women have come forward with some pretty damning allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, and if Swetnick is being truthful, there are potentially many more victims out there who could testify against him.

However, I’m a little confused (and some of this repeats content of the Facebook comment). Swetnick, in her sworn affidavit (and if she perjured herself in a sworn statement, it could actually mean jail time for her), said she attended ten of these parties between 1981 and 1983, and was sexually assaulted at one in 1982.

First off, before she became a victim, why, either during these events or afterward, didn’t she do something to help the victims like call the police? If the Facebook comment was right, she was a legal adult during much of this time, and Kavanaugh and Judge were about 15. I understand the dynamics of victimhood, and once she was assaulted she may still have not felt up to pressing charges (though she does say she told others what happened soon afterward), but why would she continue to attend these parties? I would have thought she’d be terrified to even see Kavanaugh and Judge after her assault.

Okay, again, nothing about this means she can’t be telling the truth, and I know she gave a sworn statement because she didn’t want to testify before Congress, but it’s a strange set of circumstances to absorb. Kavanaugh and Judge would have to be teenage criminal masterminds to get away with multiple events involving multiple victims. Plus, once these girls started talking to each other about these two heinous characters, why would any girl ever stay at a party where these guys were in attendance, and why would they ever get drunk and stoned around them? These two teen boys must have had incredibly notorious reputations in High School (and word does get around). It’s a miracle that none of this information has leaked out before now, especially with (potentially) scores of teenage girl victims involved.

All that said, it looks pretty likely at this stage of the game, that Kavanaugh will not be confirmed. These allegations will likely affect his current employment as well, and as I’ve already said, could even result in multiple civil suits and for all I know (not sure how the statute of limitations affects this, but these are serious crimes), a criminal case.

Oh, and unless Kavanaugh’s wife is super loyal or has other reasons for staying married to a man who very likely is a violent sex offender (*cough* Hillary Clinton *cough*), his marriage is over, and if I were his wife, he’d only get supervised visits with his kids.

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42 thoughts on “Kavanaugh Being Confirmed to SCOTUS or a Snowball in Hell: Which Has Better Odds?

  1. “First off, before she became a victim, why, either during these events or afterward, didn’t she do something to help the victims like call the police? ”

    Because Kavanaugh and Judge were star football players — and, as we have seen even recently, that carries more weight than some girl who gets used and abused. It’s bad now for them, it was even worse in the 1980s, when we had barely gotten past the idea that wife abuse was just some private affair that had no place in the courtroom.

    It’s easy for us to ask, “Well, why didnt you do something?”… even as we overlook the scores of people who watched the murder of Kitty Genovese, and yet no one called the police to report it. We have women who endure years, if not decades of assault from their husbands, and never once go to the police. Honestly, I think the question of “why” is more easily answered than “why were he and his teammates getting drunk at keggers at age 15 and gang raping girls?” Oddly, no one seems to be addressing that one.

    As for Stormy Daniels, well… consider that your president first said he’d never heard of her, then someone else paid her, then she was paid by funds from his campaign fund. The story changed so many times one could get whiplash. Again, the fact that this guy is her lawyer is irrelevant; why arent people asking why the president was having an affair with a porn star (possibly two) while he was married and then tried to pay them off with hush money?

    Increasingly, Kavanaugh’s stories are falling apart. If he had any sense at all — and if the GOP had any sense at all — he’d withdraw before he becomes an albatross at the midterms.

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    • He very likely will withdraw or simply not be confirmed when it comes up for a vote. What’s baffling is if Swetnick were 19 or 20 years old at the time, why would she be even slightly impressed with High School football players? Again, I’m not saying she’s being untruthful, but the whole sequence of events seems “off.”

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  2. I saw a weird interview this morning with a mother of two teenage girls (who were right there by her while she answered questions and expressed her opinion). This mother in Montana said, oh he is a accused of groping women, so what. We don’t care. And her daughters shook their heads, not to care.

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      • No worries. In watching Facebook comments in response to news stories about this latest revelation, there were a surprising (to me) number of women continuing to defend Kavanaugh and to say some pretty harsh things about Swetnick. I don’t know if they’re just sticking to their political guns or they really believe the allegations are 100% false.

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  3. Last I checked, “Innocent until PROVEN guilty” is still the way the judicial system works. Also, “Because I said so” and/or “Because I told my friends five years ago” does not equal evidence. So far, all three women have made allegations, with no evidence, cannot even say when or where these events took place (or if Kavanaugh was in fact there) and every person they’ve named as having been there at the time of the events has stated that what they claim happened, did not happen.

    So yeah, given that, and the fact that these people were hidden away for months to be sprung on the committee at the last second smells of political hit and not victims seeking justice.

    Barring the production of factual evidence, Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

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  4. You make some very valid points here. Couple of things that stand out to me:
    Why would a 19/20 year old girl be hanging out with High School kids. This was my era. College kids didn’t hang with High school kids, at least not under classmen.

    If she was witness, as she claims, to these events why didn’t she report them? Under age drinking. Rape and/or assault. If she really did witness these events and kept quiet then, in my mind, she is complicit in harm done. To stop it all she would have had to have done was drop a dime and make an anonymous report. That would have been enough to get an investigation started. Yet, there is no record of such report – why?

    If she was a victim, why would she keep going back? These were not events she was required to attend, so she went back of her own volition.

    Nope, not buying it. Of course it could be my own bias coming into play. I have a disdain, bordering on hatred, of the MeToo stuff. It is nothing but a power-trip, a new take on the witch trials. The idea of innocent until proven guilty by preponderance of evidence is gone. These … people have thrown our laws out the window. They know that they don’t really have to prove anything, that the accused is guilty until they can prove they are innocent – but by then it is too late.

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    • I remember while I was in high school, and before and after that, the youth groups at churches included high school kids and college kids. When I was attending a Presbyterian church like five years after I graduated from high school, and I was a sponsor for youth, we decided to change that (there was some resistance to change but we did it). The young adults (college singles as young married people) became a new thing.

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      • Apples and oranges. That was church, not a kegger. 😉 Totally diff mindset. Then too, while guys might date a younger (usually upper classman) girl, college age girls would hardly give the time of day to a guy more than a year her junior.

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      • I’ve found it quite bizarre that some defenders of Kavanaugh say we’ve probably all had too much to drink in high school and done embarrassing things. I never went to a “kegger” in high school.

        I’ll tell you what, though… I went to church camp a couple times. And that’s where the making out happened. One notorious story involved a boy my age and an older girl.

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      • Church youth groups can’t be compared to teen parties. After I graduated high school, I still hung around the kids I graduated with, but never attended parties of kids still in high school. by the time I was 19 or 20, it would have been unthinkable to party with little high school kids.

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  5. If you would be so kind, James, please fix one word for me.

    … singles as young married people) became a new thing.
    I meant (and typed) singles and young…

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  6. I have to add, there were people in the young adults group that weren’t married or in college. Basically, it was anyone young after graduating high school. (That could still be problematic. I, for instance, graduated from high school [1980] and started college while I was seventeen.)

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  7. Is this a new strategy, I wonder, to see how many #MeToo stories will emerge and just how outrageously implausible they will become, to underscore that none of these stories are credible and all of them are contemptible poltically-motivated smears of an honorable well-qualified jurist?

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    • I suppose that fits rather literally the old saying that “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander as well”. If women can come forward with unsubstantiable and possibly wholly imaginary stories against the nominee, then why not men doing similarly against the women’s stories?

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  8. It was inevitable that someone would bring up Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s massive A Rape on Campus hoax from 2014 in relation to Julie Swetnick’s allegations against Kavanaugh as evidence that it’s possible for such dramatic tales to be lies. Unfortunately, it’s reporters like Erdely who make it more difficult for other, similar allegations to be believed and points to the need for fully vetting sources rather than an emotionally driven “rush to judgment.”

    Also, about a decade ago, Swetnick hired attorney Debra Katz to represent her in a sexual harassment lawsuit against a former employer. Katz is one of the attorney’s representing Kavanaugh’s first accuser Chirstine Blasey Ford.

    That seems like an amazing coincidence, until you consider that Katz is a well-known feminist attorney and strong supporter of the #MeToo movement. If Ford needed a D.C. based attorney of that calibre, she’d be likely to hire someone with Katz’s reputation. And since Swetnick lives in the D.C. area and also needed an attorney with such a reputation, she might be likely to hire someone with Katz’s fame.

    This is turning into a total three-ring circus. There are all kinds of twists, turns, and surprise last minute reveals. I feel like I should pull up a chair, have a bucket of popcorn and a soft drink by my side, and just watch the show. You never know what’s going to happen next.

    I wonder if Ford will actually appear before Congress and testify today?

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    • I wonder if the Senate Judiciary Committee will subpoena Mark Judge or order an FBI investigation at the last minute. (And I guess that’s what sexual harassment is for — either firearms or fun.)

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      • I read a story this morning that said Judge’s lawyer suggested he get out of town and lay low, but a reporter found him staying at a friend’s house about three hours away. Given that two men have come forward saying they sexually assaulted Dr. Ford rather than Kavanaugh and Judge, I’d be interested in having them testify under oath. Also, in spite of Julie Swetnik’s sworn affidavit, I really think she needs to testify. You can’t cross examine an affidavit and her allegations, that Kavanaugh assaulted multiple girls while in high school, is probably the most damning.

        From what I’ve heard in the past, the FBI considers their investigation of Kavanaugh complete, but that was before the other two women made their allegations. Dianne Feinstein tried to order the FBI to investigate, but they told her “no,” so I don’t know if the Judiciary Committee has the authority to do so. President Trump does, but it’s pretty unlikely he’ll take that step in my opinion.

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  9. It’s pretty clear they don’t intend to try and find out what happened.

    Also, I have a question. Maybe y’alls can set me straight.

    Is this how rape or harassment works? If one
    guy assaults a girl, then that settles it?

    Is it like, a code of honor?

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  10. During her testimony, Ford leveraged her background as a research psychologist to explain to Dianne Feinstein how she can be so certain, after over 30 years, that it was Kavanaugh who attacked her. It sounded convincing as long as you don’t have the same background about the affects of trauma on memory, or no one checks the research, but it’s not as clear cut as Ford lets on. I think this is something Ford’s attorneys came up with. However, I can use Google: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337233/

    This doesn’t invalidate Ford’s testimony, which has been devastating so far, but it does illustrate that just because a person is an expert and can use technical terms, it doesn’t mean they’re the last word. That’s usually why in a trial, both defense and prosecuting attorneys will bring in their own expert witnesses.

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  11. I have news for you, James. Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election. Politicians on both the right and left say nice things about Bill, which boggles my mind. But not enough people can stomach or understand his wife (not even when strings are pulled to get her on the ticket). I’m one of the people who didn’t support her reactions to things, but she’s not worse than her disgusting husband (contrary to many stalwart conservative views).

    What happened to Dr. Ford when she was a child/minor shouldn’t be about Democrats versus Republicans . And whether she is more or less traumatized by the memory doesn’t change the disgusting nature of an assault and one that included covering her mouth and laughing. And maybe, just m-a-y-b-e, it’s matters to enough people in this country or the current government that the nation not be overseen by minimizers of power issues.

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      • There’s enough dishonesty already exhibited by him that he can be left in the position he already has (which isn’t a ruined life). If there is anything to prove or which can be proven beyond his funky dishonestly, or if the dishonesty is to be nailed down as too onerous for his current position, then that’s another matter.

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  12. I don’t understand Kavanaugh’s play on this. People are generally perceived as more credible when they are calm while testifying. Ford showed just enough emotion to indicate that she was stressed but still competent, what you’d expect of a sexual assault victim who was disclosing her assault in a highly public venue.

    Kavanaugh is acting like he’s falling apart. I’m told his opening statement was strong, but since then, he’s been nearly hysterical. While party line Republicans defend him and congratulate him, from an outsider’s point of view, he’s a hot smoking mess. I don’t doubt that the death threats (really, progressives? I mean, if you’re the good guys…) have been horrible for Kavanaugh, his wife, and his young daughters (I have no sympathy for those who go to war against children for any reason whatsoever), he needs to maintain his composure. At this point, he hasn’t a prayer of being confirmed, and to spare his family any further pain, even if he admits to no wrong doing and maintains that he’s the victim here, he should withdraw as the wounded but noble hero. At least he retains some small modicum of dignity. Otherwise, they’ll rip him and his family apart.

    Oh, and it’s over for today: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/live-blog-kavanaugh-ford-testify-senate-judiciary-committee-n913556

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