I wanted to flag some key details of this developing story. The Judiciary Committee staffer who was forced to resign today over an earlier sexual harassment allegation is more than just an embarrassment for the committee. It runs a bit deeper than that. Garrett Ventry was seconded to the Committee by CRC Public Relations, a well-connected right wing PR firm which works for The Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network (the campaign style group that runs ads and mobilization for Federalist Society-selected candidates).
If that name sounds familiar, it should. CRC Public Relations is the same firm that ran Ed Whelan’s effort to exonerate Kavanaugh with his nonsensical Twitter thread accusing a random high school classmate of attempting to rape Professor Blasey Ford.
We still have more questions than answers about Ed Whelan’s bizarre twitter thread that accused another Kavanaugh classmate of attacking Prof. Blasey Ford and roiled the already embattled nomination. So for those who didn’t see or would like to read through it again for clues to what happened, here’s the whole thing.
Top GOP senate candidate says Blasey Ford accusation no big deal since it didn’t lead to intercourse. “Again, it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere.” Story here from Cam Joseph.
Let me do a quick follow-up to the zany Ed Whelan self-immolation twitter thread. About two hours ago, Whelan denied to The Washington Post that he’d communicated with Kavanaugh, McGahn or “anyone at the White House” about his theory. I would suggest that Whelan’s words should be closely parsed because I’m skeptical that what he claims here is true.
Let me try to bring you up to date on a genuinely bizarre turn of events tonight which could end up being very damaging to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
As I noted below, around 6 p.m. this evening Ed Whelan, a key player in D.C.’s conservative judicial establishment, posted a lengthy twitter thread in which he made a highly conjectural argument that the accusation against Brett Kavanaugh is actually a case of mistaken identification and that Prof. Blasey Ford’s alleged attacker was actually a classmate of Kavanaugh’s named Chris Garrett.
I’m really not sure quite how to capture what just happened. But a major, major player in the conservative/Federalist Society legal establishment in DC just posted a lengthy Twitter thread in which he accuses another alum of Kavanaugh’s high school of assaulting Professor Blasey Ford. (After making the argument he falls back and says he doesn’t know whether the other guy is guilty. But the entire thread is intended to say that he is the culprit and that Kavanaugh is the victim of a wrongful identification.)
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I’m glad this is getting some attention. Let me quickly walk you through it.
As I noted here, Senate Republicans are pursuing a fairly clear strategy now: bluff Professor Blasey Ford into not appearing on Monday, thus allowing them to move on to a vote and rapid confirmation. But last night Mike Davis, chief counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee – in practice, Chuck Grassley’s chief confirmation process lawyer – got a little too aggressive on Twitter and made the strategy a bit too explicit
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota state Rep. Jim Knoblach abruptly ended his re-election campaign Friday amid allegations of inappropriate touching from his adult daughter.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Friday afternoon tore into her Republican colleagues for proposing a hearing with Christine Blasey Ford on Wednesday after Blasey Ford asked to testify on Thursday about her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham called on President Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “today” after a New York Times report said that Rosenstein floated secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to seek his ouster.
Rod Rosenstein must be fired today. @realDonaldTrump
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) September 21, 2018
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein slammed The New York Times’ report that he suggested recording President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, calling the piece “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s lawyer released a statement on Friday responding to a New York Times report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested recording and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. The Times’ reporting relied heavily on descriptions from people who had been briefed on the contents of memos written by McCabe, which, according to McCabe, contained information about “significant discussions he had with high level officials.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a pivotal vote needed for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, denounced a tweet from President Trump that criticized a woman who has accused the judge of sexual assault.
The Portland Press Herald reported Collins saying:
“I was appalled by the president’s tweet,” Collins said. “First of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault — I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case — but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist. So I thought that the president’s tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.”
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, 48 members of the Yale Law School faculty called for an FBI investigation into professor Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Republican Florida Gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis is claiming he can’t return the money donated to his campaign by a Republican activist who called President Barack Obama the n-word because he already spent it.
I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018