News and Commentary

Feinstein’s Failure And The Thin Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh

The Left on Thursday was practically foaming at the mouth after Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) released a vague statement saying she had a letter accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of something and had “referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.” She wouldn’t share the letter with her fellow Democrats at first, but the Intercept found information that the contents involved a sexual matter involving Kavanaugh when he was in high school, which was 35 years ago.

We now have an idea of what that allegation might be, as Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer have reported at the New Yorker what the woman (who, like Kavanaugh, would be in her 50s now) at the center of the allegations apparently said.

This woman accused Kavanaugh of holding her down and attempting to force himself on her while at a party and that Kavanaugh and a classmate turned up music “to conceal the sound of her protests,” according to The New Yorker. She also said Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself from all this, and claims she has “sought psychological treatment” as a result of this encounter.

Kavanaugh told Farrow: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

The classmate involved in the alleged incident told The New Yorker: “I have no recollection of that.”

This all seems odd. Farrow and Mayer make no statement suggesting they had actually reviewed the letter, and said the woman declined to be interviewed. Twitter and email requests to Farrow were unanswered at press time.

And as Hot Air points out, while Farrow and Mayer have high credibility thanks to their reporting on Harvey Weinstein and other serial abusers, this report misses the “hallmarks” of previous reporting — such as multiple accusers and friends claiming the accuser told them about the incident back when it actually happened.

Previous reporting on the Kavanaugh issue from The Intercept, The New York Times, and the Huffington Post (two of which may have been rewrites of the other), all suggested the letter sent to Rep. Anna Eshoo’s office and then forwarded to Sen. Dianne Feinstein was written by someone other than the original accuser. Maybe they’re all wrong and Farrow and Mayer are right, but the horrible way this story has been covered makes it impossible to know what is actually going on.

The Intercept, for example, reported Wednesday night that “different sources provided different accounts of the contents of the letter, and some of the sources said they themselves had heard different versions, but the one consistent theme was that it describes an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman while they were in high school.”

The New York Times on Friday reported similar content as The New Yorker, but said its source was “three people familiar with the contents of the letter,” not the letter itself or the alleged accuser.

On Thursday, The Guardian reported what it had learned from a “source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter” who said Kavanaugh and a classmate “locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room.”

The New Yorker also claimed that “in recent months, the woman had told friends that Kavanaugh’s nomination had revived the pain of the memory, and that she was grappling with whether to go public with her story.” She apparently decided against it.

She — or someone else — apparently sent the allegation to Democratic congresswomen but don’t want to back up their claims or continue with the accusation.

Feinstein had the allegations since July. She did nothing with them. How could she? There’s nothing in them that can be verified. She didn’t tell her colleagues. But once the media got wind that there was a possible #MeToo angle to Kavanaugh, Feinstein sent the letter to the FBI, which declined to investigate the matter.

There’s absolutely nothing to back up this decades-old allegation. Reporting on the incident is all over the place — but the thinness of the allegation, and the incomplete story don’t matter. The fact that 65 female former classmates sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee doesn’t matter. (Republicans are being accused of knowing about the allegations beforehand and searching for these women, but a Judiciary aide said they received the letter from the women Friday morning.)

All that matters is that now there’s a #MeToo accusation against this Supreme Court nominee. The damage is done. Now, after he’s confirmed, every decision he writes will be referred to by low-information Democrats as being written by a predator. They’ve Clarence Thomas’d him.