September 18, 2018

People who were discouraged by Mark Judge's letter should read it more closely. Kavanaugh's pal and alleged partner in rough horseplay sexual assault declined to discuss Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations in public, appearing to deny he was there, or witness to anything.

Maybe he shouldn't have written a memoir about being a blackout drunk in high school and college, or written in his yearbook that women should be beaten regularly. Those things sure serve to undermine his letter, which upon slightly closer examination, really just sounds like a whimpering plea to not make him talk.

Maya Wiley explained in concise and pointed legal terms why Mark Judge's letter saying he would prefer not to testify demonstrates very plainly that he should be compelled to testify. She rightly reminds us that rape is a crime of power, not of sex. Do we really want to skip over this aspect of Kavanaugh's alleged history, given the position he seeks, and the man who seeks to put him there?

Transcript below:

WILLIAMS: Maya, to your point earlier, we know what we know so far, and there are limits on that, but we believe there's only one other witness. This gentleman named Mark Judge who was in the room, it's alleged, during the he wrote the committee today and says in part, "i have no memory of the alleged incident. Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford's letter. I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes. I have no more information to offer the committee, and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford's letter." Again, apolitically, question to you, do you subpoena his testimony? Do you take no for an answer?

WILEY: You definitely subpoena his testimony because he's an identified witness. And you definitely want him to come and speak on the record under oath and say that he does not remember. And if he doesn't remember, why is he concerned about talking about it? Because there's nothing to talk about from his perspective. So it's a bit perplexing to hear that you don't remember and you don't want to talk about it. You just said you had nothing to talk about.

So the only conclusion to draw is that there's some reason he doesn't want to speak on the record under oath and I think that is a big problem not just for him, but for Judge Kavanaugh, because if his corroborating witness is essentially saying, "I don't remember, and I won't say I don't remember," that doesn't help him, right?

And I think if you're on the Senate side, I actually want to go back to a point that Ashley made, at the end of the day, the issue isn't whether or not there's a vacancy that a sitting president can fill, and I have questions about whether from a political standpoint and from a constitutional standpoint you should let a sitting president who's under federal investigation actually appoint a Supreme Court justice that may rule on that.

But put that aside, if the only issue here is whether or not we allow the time it takes to make sure that one of the most powerful government positions in the country is sufficiently vetted, is sufficiently -- that no stone goes unturned, as to the character of someone who will have tremendous power, and it's really important to me to remind everyone that rape and attempted rape is actually a crime of power, not of sex. It's an abuse of power. Think about that when we're talking about the highest most powerful judicial position in the land. Even one that has the ability to say to a sitting president or sitting elected officials whether or not they have the power to act on something. You definitely want to make sure you have someone with the fullest integrity. This is not a criminal trial. This is a -- this is a process of understanding the character as well as the competence and intelligence of the person you're going to put on the bench. This requires a full vet.

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