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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Lawyers for Professor Christine Blasey Ford have now sent a letter to Senator Grassley in which they say that “an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegation.” In other words, a period of fact-finding should precede any public hearing. Here’s the letter.

Lindsey Graham: “This has been a drive-by shooting when it comes to Kavanaugh . . . I’ll listen to the lady, but we’re going to bring this to a close.”

I want to flag your attention to something that may have been lost in this afternoon’s rush of events and statements. Yesterday Chairman Grassley, head of the committee that oversees the confirmation process, announced that a quickie hearing would be held Monday with only two witnesses: Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. He also seemed to imply that both would be there, even though he’d only spoken to Kavanaugh and had yet to make contact with Ford.

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Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged accomplice, does not want to testify in whatever hearing is slated to take place on Monday. Republicans clearly don’t want him to testify either, for a number of obvious reasons. But a friend, who is a member of the bar in Maryland, tells me that for assault, rape, attempted rape and a wide variety of other crimes there is no statute of limitations in Maryland. This surprised me greatly. But this person has practiced law in the state for 25 years and I think I’ve confirmed this with a bit of research on my own. This would appear to confirm this.

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Interesting and perhaps disturbing moment a short time ago as Carrie Severino, spokesperson of the Judicial Crisis Network, was interviewed on CNN. The JCN is the central campaign arm for Republican judicial nominations. The Federalist Society grooms and chooses the nominees. The JCN runs the campaigns, runs political ads in Senators’ states, as necessary. Here Severino argues that it’s not clear that what Ford describes wasn’t simply “rough horse play” as opposed to attempted rape.

Video after the jump ..

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I wanted to provide a brief follow-up on my post on Kavanaugh from last night.

The gist seems all the same to me. But I want to note articles in the Post, CNN and Politico. The Post and CNN pieces caught my attention because they painted significantly different pictures or at least had very different emphases.

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I wanted to share some thoughts, hopefully some insights, on the jagged and rapid unfolding events today on the Kavanaugh nomination.

1. The smart people I talk to are fairly confident, or at least they were this afternoon, that in the end Senate Republicans will be able to push Kavanaugh through. I’m not sure they’re right. The situation has been changed dramatically in the 30 hours or so since the Post published Professor Ford’s account along with additional details which tend to bolster her credility.

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Another wild news day when I was supposed to be hitting our Prime sign up drive. But we need to keep up this critical momentum for the future of TPM. Quick version: It’s really important. If you’re a regular TPM Reader, please sign up for Prime. Cheap, awesome, important. Click here. It hugely important to the future of this site.

One of the many emails coming in this morning in response to this post was from TPM Reader MT. He believes it is wrong and unfair that Democrats are bringing these accusations up at the last moment. To be clear, he opposes Kavanaugh and sees it as a sort of righteous and perhaps inevitable payback for Merrick Garland. But still, he sees it as basically wrong.

From what I can tell, this is actually incorrect on the facts, whatever you think of the fairness of the matter. Here’s what I mean.

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This comment doesn’t go to the core questions we’re wrestling with today with the Kavanaugh nomination – substantive, ideological or political. But it’s a fascinating glimpse at the big changes that have happened in the process over the last quarter century – and ones that could have a major impact over the coming weeks. I suspect the first President Bush may have been particularly responsive to Senators in the way that is described below. But broadly speaking this is a real change.

From TPM Reader JB, a GOP senate staffer at the time …

As the Kavanaugh confirmation process recalls certain aspects of Clarence Thomas’s during the first Bush administration, I thought I’d offer a recollection about the latter.

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