After being acquitted in May 1987 of all 10 counts of larceny and fraud — charges that some said were politically motivated — in connection with a New York City subway project, former Reagan administration Labor Secretary Ray Donovan turned to the Bronx prosecutor and famously asked, “Which office do I go to, to get my reputation back?”
That same thought surely has crossed the mind of U.S. Supreme CourtJustice Brett M. Kavanaugh more than once in the year since he barely survived a politically motivated, evidence-free smear campaign by liberal activists and Senate Democrats aimed at blocking his elevation to the high court.
But now, nine Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee may soon provide an answer, of sorts, for Justice Kavanaugh as to where he could go to get his reputation back.
The nine lawmakers are pressing the Justice Department and the FBI to pursue criminal charges against four people who made false rape and sexual-assault allegations against Justice Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearings last year.
Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied the accusations, and none of them was ever even remotely corroborated. To the contrary, the most high-profile charge — leveled by his primary accuser, Christine Blasey Ford — was never corroborated, not even by her longtime friend Leland Keyser. Ms. Keyser refused to change her story despite being pressured by mutual acquaintances of the two women.
Mrs. Ford’s credibility was totally shredded after she was unable to support her accusation of a sexual assault at a private party in the early 1980s with even the most basic details of when and where it supposedly happened, or how she got there or got home afterward. Moreover, no one she said was at the same party backed up her claim.
All but three of the 12 Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee signed a letter sent Oct. 8 to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray seeking information on the status of the committee’s four referrals for criminal probes, initially submitted a year ago.
“The Committee referred four individuals to the [Justice Department] and FBI for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. 1001 (materially false statements) and 1505 (obstruction), for false statements made to the Committee during the course of its investigation,” the lawmakers wrote. “It also referred two of those same individuals for potential violations of 18 U.S.C. 371 (conspiracy). We seek information about what actions [the Justice Department] and FBI are taking in response to these referrals.”
This pushback by the Judiciary Committee Republicans is as necessary as it is overdue, because as long as there are no legal consequences for making false accusations, liberal activists will continue to employ these hateful, scurrilous tactics.
Character assassination is the end justifying the means at its most disgraceful. What’s also disgraceful is that none of the 10 Judiciary Committee Democrats (and the other three Republicans) signed the letter. Their silence equals complicity.
“[W]hen individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert important Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede its work,” the Republican senators’ letter says. “Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal.”
Curiously, Mrs. Ford is not among the four referred by the senators for possible criminal prosecution. Two of them are Michael Avenatti, an ambulance-and-TV-camera-chasing lawyer with a long and ugly record of legal misconduct, and a client, Julie Swetnick, who accused Justice Kavanaugh and some friends of “targeting women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang-rape them.”
The third is Judi Munroe-Leighton, who claimed Justice Kavanaugh and a friend had raped her “several times each in the back seat of a car,” but later admitted to having said so “as a way to grab attention” and that she had never even met the judge. The fourth is Jeffrey Catalan, who claimed the nominee had “assaulted a close friend on a boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1985,” but who later “recanted and apologized on social media for making the false allegation.”
The senators asked that the Justice Department and FBI respond to their inquiry by Oct. 21. Messrs. Barr and Wray should not continue to stall on decisions about prosecuting this foursome’s falsehoods.
Absent severe legal consequences, there will continue to be no downside to the far left’s practice of character assassination against conservative judicial nominees and others it opposes politically.
The legal maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied” even applies to a Supreme Court justice, one who was slimed by leftist ideologues. Justice Kavanaugh deserves to get his good name — and reputation — back.
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