As the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probes decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is calling on investigators to look into whether the judge ever sought treatment for alcohol abuse.
“Kavanaugh, so many have come forward describing your abuse of alcohol,” Waters tweeted on Sunday. “I think it is important that the American people know if you have ever sought treatment for alcohol abuse.”
Kavanaugh, so many have come forward describing your abuse of alcohol. I think it is important that the American people know if you have ever sought treatment for alcohol abuse.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) September 30, 2018
Earlier Sunday morning, the longtime California Democrat claimed Kavanaugh was a “puppet” of President Donald Trump, who, alluding to his passionate testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, demonstrated a “lack of respect for others.”
“Aren’t Supreme Court justices supposed to be independent, and are they not expected to demonstrate the proper judicial temperament?” Waters then asked her nearly 865,000 followers.
Kavanaugh has proven that he is a puppet of Donald Trump. He got his marching orders and he promptly displayed Trump’s lack of respect for others. Aren’t Supreme Court justices supposed to be independent, and are they not expected to demonstrate the proper judicial temperament?
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) September 30, 2018
In an interview with MSNBC’s AM Joy, Waters reiterated her opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, once against describing the judge as President Trump’s “puppet.”
“We have to fight. We have to not only fight to make sure that women get the respect that they deserve, but when you have a credible person like Christine Blasey Ford, it helps us to point out that no matter how credible they are, no matter you how well spoken they are, no matter how smart they are, that these senators do not intend to allow sexual harassment to be the reason why someone will not be confirmed,” Waters said in her usual defiant tone. “And so I think that this has played out in a way that will only strengthen us and strengthen women and those who care about justice to fight and to confront them and protest against what we’re seeing.”
Waters’ comments come as the media continues to whip itself into a frenzy over Kavanaugh’s drinking habits, tracking down individuals who claim to know details concerning Supreme Court nominee’s hard-partying ways in college.
According to The Washington Post, its reporters tracked down two individuals claiming to be familiar with Kavanaugh’s college years and say the nominee’s denial of heavy drinking in an interview with Fox News are inaccurate.
“Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” Swisher, who says she was friends with Kavanaugh during college, told the Post. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”
Swisher’s College roommate, Lynne Brookes, accused Kavanaugh of attempting to “paint himself as some kind of choir boy.” “You can’t lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out, he’s gone too far. It’s about the integrity of that institution,” she told the paper.
In an interview with Fox News last Monday, Kavanaugh denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and pushed back on claims that he was frequently inebriated at parties thrown during his high school and college years.
“[Y]es, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18, and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there,” the Supreme Court nominee told host Martha MacCallum. “And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion and people generally in high school – I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit, but that’s not what we’re talking about.”
In an opinion-editorial published by Slate last Tuesday, William Saletan argues the culture at Kavanaugh’s high school — Georgetown Preparatory School — paired with accusations brought forth by Christine Blasey Ford and Debra Ramirez — justify an FBI investigation into the Judge’s alleged drinking habits.
On Thursday, Kavanaugh faces a Senate hearing about Ford’s allegations. He will try to draw a line. At a rehearsal with White House aides last week, he “grew frustrated” with questions about his drinking and his sexual behavior, according to the Washington Post. “I’m not going to answer that,” he said. Judge doesn’t want to answer questions either. The Republicans who control the committee are planning to leave Judge out of the hearing.
That’s unacceptable. The alcohol theory is arguably the most plausible explanation of what happened. It’s less crazy than Ford inventing a story and putting herself through hell so Trump can nominate a different conservative judge to the Supreme Court.
If the committee won’t delegate this job to the FBI, senators must do it themselves. Ask Judge and Kavanaugh about their history with alcohol. Talk to the people who drank with them or saw them drunk. If you think alcohol could have corrupted Ford’s memory or Ramirez’s memory, ask about their drinking too. This is an investigative avenue with a strong evidentiary basis and many potential witnesses, and it puts everyone’s denials in doubt. To confirm Kavanaugh without checking it out would be a betrayal of justice.
Of course, the consumption of alcohol has not been a federal offense since the end of Prohibition in 1933.
Some who knew Kavanagh during his high school days have pushed back against claims that the now-Judge drank too much.
“Drinking was prevalent in high school, but some guys handled it better than others, and Brett always maintained his composure,” Tom Kane, described as a “close friend” of Kavanaugh, told the Post. “He was not a stumbling drunk. He was never all that interested in getting wasted.”
Former NBA player Chris Dudley and former college classmate of Kanavaugh said the Trump pick is the target of an all-out smear campaign.
“I went out with him all the time. He never blacked out. Never even close to blacked out,” Dudley said. “There was drinking, and there was alcohol. Brett drank, and I drank. Did he get inebriated sometimes? Yes. Did I? Yes. Just like every other college kid in America.”