This strikes me as being too much like Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show.” But here it is, a criminal complaint filed with the Justice Department accusing Brett Kavanaugh of perjury.
The problem is, of course, that he did commit perjury and 51 Republican senators will nevertheless vote to confirm his nomination to the Supreme Court.
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But it's ok to commit perjury at one's confirmation hearings. Clarence Thomas did so repeatedly. In fact, it's practically required. The bullshit about balls and strikes is a lie, if not legally perjury, and liberals do it too. Sotomayor testified that her judicial philosophy is “fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make law, it is to apply the law.” Roberts said, “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them.” These people know that every Supreme Court decision makes law. If the Court rules that a statute means A and not B, then it has made a law that means A. One might forgive them for this lie, however, because the Senate has made it a prerequisite for confirmation. It would reject any nominee who was truthful about a justice's role.
An article at Salon.com reminds us of Rehnquist's perjury at his confirmation hearings:
"Conservatives have been accepting perjured testimony from favored nominees at least since the time of William Rehnquist, who lied about two matters in 1971 and again in 1985: his involvement in voter suppression efforts in Arizona in the 1960s, and his intellectual authorship of a memo written for Justice Robert Jackson, 1952 opposing the unanimous decision in (Rehnquist could not deny writing the memo, but claimed — against all evidence — that it represented Jackson’s views, not his own. New evidence of Rehnquist’s views in 2012 further undermined his claim)."
The passage quoted above has two links, if you go to the article.
The Washington Post has an article by a baseball umpire stating that his job requires "rule interpretations and judgment calls," including in the calling of balls and strikes. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/sorry-judg…
Kavanaugh's lies are of the Rehnquist variety rather than the "lie" of "balls and strikes." (I remember having some insomnia while the hearing for Rehnquist's nomination to be CJ was being held. Watching it on C-Span at 3 or 4 in the morning I actually shouted out: "He's a f**king liar!")
Wouldn't you think that one's Supreme Court confirmation hearings would be the last place that one would commit perjury? There's an incongruity, somehow.
The complaint is unconvincing. Paragraph 9 reads:
9. The July 28, 2002 email and other emails from Miranda to Kavanaugh in 2002 referenced confidential documents of Democratic Senator Leahy’s staff.
The July 28, 2002 email references a confidential letter written by Collyn Peddie and presumably sent to Senator Leahy. Miranda writes, “I have not seen the letter.” Although the complaint refers to “confidential documents,” plural, it fails to identify any document other than the Peddie letter.
The complaint then asserts:
10. Kavanaugh knew that the information in emails was stolen from the Democrats because emails he received from Miranda in July of 2002 and March of 2003 counseled Kavanaugh to conceal and not distribute the information.
The information could have only been stolen if the Democrats wanted to keep it secret. If we accept the premise that the only reason to keep information secret is that you stole it, then that means that the only information that could have been stolen from the Democrats was information that the Democrats previously stole. I suggest that we should not accept the premise.
That is followed by this:
11. On April 9, 2003, Kavanaugh sent an email to another member of the White House staff with information he received from Miranda. It was vote information on 15 Democratic senators, on a contentious issue, that was obtained from “Democrat sources.”
As far as I can tell, the referenced E-mail does not exist, or at least isn't among the E-mails listed in Exhibit “A.”
The claims in paragraphs 9-11 are dubious, but even if we accept those claims, that doesn't establish perjury. For example, paragraph 18 of the complaint asserts, “Kavanaugh falsely testified under oath that he had no knowledge that Miranda had infiltrated Democratic files.” But the complaint cites no evidence that this testimony was false, either in paragraphs 9-11, or anywhere else. Seeing references to documents that Miranda did not steal (para. 9) would not tell Kavanaugh that Miranda was stealing documents. Nor would knowing that Miranda possessed stolen information (para. 10) tell Kavanaugh that Miranda was stealing documents unless Kavanaugh had information indicating that the stolen information came in the form of documents. Nor would knowing that Miranda had information from Democratic sources (para. 11) tell Kavanaugh Miranda was stealing documents unless there was some indication that the sources provided copies of documents.
There may be a case to be made that Kavanaugh committed perjury, but this complaint doesn't make it.
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