There are a few avenues of attack that the Democratic Party and organizers are pursuing in the hopes of exposing Brett Kavanaugh for the partisan, activist judge that he is. One is to get the information being shielded by Republicans out into the open, as Sen. Cory Booker did today with great courage. One is reminding half the population that rights over their own bodies are at stake. And one very important one—and potentially the best opportunity of succeeding in sinking Kavanaugh’s nomination—is to point out that Kavanaugh’s relationship to President Trump and the ongoing investigations into criminal activities surrounding the 2016 election are, beyond a reasonable doubt, dubious. The chances of this working are even better if you can get Judge Kavanaugh to perjure himself more than he’s already suspected of having done.
In a remarkable exchange, lasting almost five minutes, Sen. Kamala Harris—who might have become president today—implied that 1) Judge Kavanaugh has spoken with someone about Bob Mueller’s federal investigation into Trump; 2) this conversation is potentially very problematic for someone interviewing for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court; and 3) she has access to the person Judge Kavanaugh spoke with and the details of the conversation he had with that person.
Harris: Judge, have you ever discussed special counsel Mueller or his investigation with anyone?
Kavanaugh: Well, it’s in the news every day.
Harris: Have you discussed it with anyone?
Kavanaugh: With other judges, I know—
Harris: Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer?
Harris: Be sure about your answer, sir.
When Sen. Harris says “Be sure about your answer, sir,” Kavanaugh realizes he isn’t going to elide case law and glibly throw around the word “precedent” to get out of this line of questioning.
Kavanaugh: Well, I’m not remembering, but if you have something you want to, ah—
Harris: Are you certain you‘ve not had a conversation with anyone at that law firm?
Suddenly, Mr. Memory doesn’t know the name of an incredibly well-known law firm, one that the guy nominating him to this job is intimately involved with. Here’s something to jog his memory: Kavanaugh’s former Bush White House pal, Edward McNally, talking a little over a month ago in the New York Times about his meet-cute with Brett:
Mr. Kavanaugh, who during the Starr investigation had gone to a few parties with the conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, had started dating Mr. Bush’s personal secretary, Ashley Estes. When the two married in 2004, the president and first lady attended the ceremony. By then, Mr. Kavanaugh had left the counsel’s office to become White House staff secretary, a role that controls the flow of papers into and out of the Oval Office.
Edward McNally, who worked on homeland security legal issues in the White House, said Mr. Kavanaugh had to ensure that every word of proposed executive orders or speeches was vetted by the relevant agencies before going to the president, sometimes trying to reconcile competing views. “He was regarded as a fair, neutral, straightforward arbiter,” Mr. McNally said.
Edward McNally works at Kasowitz Benson Torres these days. Sen. Harris, showing more annoyance at Kavanaugh’s obtuseness, continued.
Harris: Kasowitz Benson Torres, which is the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, who is President Trump’s personal lawyer. Have you had any conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that firm? Yes or no?
Kavanaugh: Is there a person you’re talking about?
Harris: I’m asking you a very direct question. Yes or no?
Kavanaugh: I need to know, I’m not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm.
Harris: I don’t think you need to. I think you need to know who you have talked with. Who’d you talk to?
Kavanaugh: I don’t think I ah, I’m not remembering, but I’m happy to be refreshed or if you want to tell me who you—
Harris: Are you saying that with all that you remember—you have an impeccable memory, you’ve been speaking for almost eight eight hours, I think more, to this committee … all sorts of things you remember. How can you not remember whether or not you had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm? This investigation has only been going on for so long, sir. So please answer the question.
Kavanaugh: Right. I’m not sure, I’m just trying to think, do I know anyone who works at that firm, I might know—
Harris: That’s not my question. My question is, have you had a conversation with anyone at that firm about that investigation? It’s a really specific question.
Kavanaugh: And I would like to know the person you’re thinking of.
Harris: I think you are thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us. Who did you have a conversation with?
From here, as the tenseness in the room reaches a peak, the audience begins to titter, and then Sen. Mike Lee—he, an enormous liar and windbag—tries to intervene and throw a towel over the sweating Kavanaugh. Protests erupt in the audience.