The Farce Side: Dems Pan Kavanaugh Probe

The Farce Side: Dems Pan Kavanaugh Probe

October 01, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court kicked off its fall term this morning, but most eyes were on the empty seat. Heading into a packed season of cases, the biggest question isn't how the justices will handle their cases, but who will be with them when they do?

Senate Democrats are willing to do anything to keep the Court from returning to its constitutional moorings -- including setting fire to an innocent man's reputation. In less than two weeks, they turned Brett Kavanaugh's lifetime of service and legal accomplishment into a smoldering pile of ash -- using a 36-year-old sexual assault claim that not a single person can substantiate. Rachel Mitchell, the special prosecutor at the Senate hearing, looked at all of the evidence from last week's testimony and concluded that the "he said, she said" accusations from 1982 would normally be "incredibly difficult to prove." But, she went on, "this case is even weaker than that."

"I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee," Mitchell wrote in a nine-page memo to Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. "Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard." Despite Dr. Christine Ford's insistence that Kavanaugh was her attacker, Mitchell points out that her story has no corroboration. She "has not offered a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened," has "struggled" to identify Kavanaugh by name and has "no memory of key details" regarding the event.

Despite the holes in Dr. Ford's story, the Senate GOP agreed to demands for another FBI investigation late Friday. Turns out, even that isn't good enough for Democrats! After getting the very thing they said they wanted, Senate liberals turned their attention to phase two: discrediting the FBI's methods. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) could only shake his head at the absurdity of it all on Twitter:

"Dems: Dr Ford deserves a hearing!
Republicans: Let's have a hearing!
D's: Bullies! This hearing is a sham!

D's: We need an FBI investigation!
R's: Ok we'll have an FBI investigation.
D's: This investigation is a farce!"

All across the weekend talk shows, Senate liberals took that new approach to delaying Kavanaugh -- casting doubt on the bureau's parameters. "Based on some of the reports we've seen... I'm very concerned about this because the White House should not be allowed to micromanage an FBI investigation," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said on CNN. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono helped move the goalposts even farther on ABC's "This Week." Asked whether she thought it would be a "credible investigation," Hirono replied, "That's the big outstanding question." "...[T]o limit the FBI as to the scope and who they're going to question, that, that really -- I wanted to use the word farce -- but that's not the kind of investigation that all of us are expecting the FBI to conduct."

Pete Yachmetz, a former FBI agent who has vast experience in high level background checks, joined me on "Washington Watch" this afternoon to talk about what a seventh background investigation of Kavanaugh might look like. And most importantly, whether it would resolve anything.

Pete explained that there would be an intense review of the background checks that had already been done. But he said, "I believe there's a severe misunderstanding of the procedure of exactly what the bureau is going to do and won't do. This is not going to be a criminal investigation. There's no sitting grand jury, no subpoenas. Agents can't even force you to talk if they ring your doorbell... In all likelihood... agents are going to re-interview accusers with an eye toward corroboration and credibility. A comparison is going to be done." But, he warned:

"It's highly unlikely that they're going to find anything that they haven't found six previous time. If you were going to redo a single background investigation, perhaps they could miss something. If they did it twice, then I'd say perhaps you missed something. But if they went back and did it six times... in my opinion, it's highly unlikely that they're gonna find any credibility to those accusations and they're not going to be able to corroborate it. "

Republicans, meanwhile, have questions of their own for the FBI, like: who leaked Dr. Ford's letter to the press? Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) insisted that the GOP wasn't about to let that one go. "We're going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process to deter it from happening again," he said.

For now, at least one thing is obvious. Democrats aren't interested in the FBI's findings. They're interested in delaying Kavanaugh's nomination. If that means throwing the agency under the bus to hold up the vote even longer, so be it. In the end, nothing will satisfy them unless Kavanaugh withdraws -- a satisfaction, I'm sure, he has no intention of giving them.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Did Senate Dems Go Too Far? Surveys Say Yes.

October 01, 2018

The whole goal of the Brett Kavanaugh smear campaign has been to keep the Supreme Court seat open until Democrats retake Congress. But that prospect is looking more and more unlikely, polling shows. And the Left's handling of the case is almost certainly to blame.

Will Senate Democrats pay for how they've handled Kavanaugh? That's the question on both parties' minds headed into the home stretch of campaigning. After last week's testimonies, Republicans are getting their first glimpse at how the drama is playing with voters – and some of it might surprise you.

On, "74 percent of Republicans believe Judge Kavanaugh while 73 percent of Democrats believe Ford. Meanwhile, independents are evenly split, with 33 percent backing Ford while 32 percent back Judge Kavanaugh. In other words, it's a wash. And, for Democrats, that is an absolute nightmare." Bryan Dean Wright delves into the numbers on Fox News, explaining that not only is the country almost evenly split, but liberals may have actually awakened "a Republican giant."

"The progressive strategy of using sexual assault victims to bolster midterm turnout just backfired. Before the Kavanaugh fiasco, polls showed Republicans as less likely to vote in November than Democrats. The conservative base just wasn't motivated to show up as compared to progressives. That is no longer the case. Republicans are now aflame with outrage... A surge is underway."

In toss-up races, like Missouri, this could have an especially important impact. In a race that was virtually a dead-heat between Senator Claire McCaskill (D) and state Attorney General Josh Hawley, the Kavanaugh fallout is palpable. When McCaskill announced that she would vote against Kavanaugh, there was an instant, seven-point swing in favor of Republicans. "Forty-nine percent of likely voters say McCaskill's opposition to Kavanaugh makes them less likely to vote for her. Only 42 percent say it made them more likely to vote for her." If she thought she was playing to female voters, McCaskill was wrong. "Forty-seven percent of women are less likely to vote for her, while 42 percent were more likely now." And that poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday of last week, before the Senate postponed the vote.

The findings hold up in Rasmussen's surveys too. What their polls discovered, much to the Democrats' chagrin, is that the partisan gap on Kavanaugh is a lot bigger than the gender gap. "Among those following the story, 51 percent of men had a favorable opinion of Kavanaugh as did 45 percent of women. However, the partisan gap is what we have come to expect in polarized times. Eighty-one percent (81 percent) of Republicans following the story have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court nominee. That includes 78 percent of Republican women. Seventy-nine percent (79 percent) of Democrats have an unfavorable view (including 80 percent of Democratic women)."

The same dynamic, Scott Rasmussen says, holds up when people are asked about whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed. "Over this entire time frame, 49 percent of men said yes along with 44 percent of women. On a partisan basis, 82 percent of Republicans said yes, and 83 percent of Democrats said no."

Even more telling, experts like Glen Bolger are seeing a "significant jump" in GOP voter interest. Could it be that the Democrats' intensity advantage is melting away? "I figure it has to be Kavanaugh effect," he tweets. But, of course, it "remains to be seen if it lasts. GOP campaigns should not assume their turnout concerns are done." In the end, as horrific as the Brett Kavanaugh witch hunt has been for America, it may prove even worse for the Democratic Party.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

A Textbook Example of Bias

October 01, 2018

In California, the Gavin Newsom campaign is getting some interesting help: from first grade textbooks! The lieutenant governor is running for governor, and the free advertising in one local curriculum isn't hurting.

In Elk Grove Unified School District, district officials are test-driving a new history lesson on citizenship that spotlights LGBT activist Newsom as a "Champion for People's Rights." That's interesting, says the California Family Policy Council, since Newsom is best known for ordering the city clerks in San Francisco to issue same-sex marriage licenses in complete defiance of the law. The former mayor is listed, CFPC's Greg Burt says, "along with Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King," who are "universally recognized American figures ... (and) not particularly controversial."

Newsom, on the other hand, is no hero. He ignored the law and the people of California, who'd already told then mayor of San Francisco Newsom and every other elected official in the state their opinions on marriage. They approved Proposition 22, a measure defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, with 60 percent of the vote. Now, almost 15 years later, they want to teach first graders that the best way to impact the political debate is lawlessness.

"It looked like the text had been written by the (Newsom) campaign," Burt said. "I want parents to be aware this is coming, and I want them to go down and look at the curriculum for themselves." Next Thursday, October 11, is the next scheduled preview day for the curriculum. Let's hope moms and dads take the opportunity to speak up and capitalize on the wave of conservative opposition that's been sweeping through the state.

One of FRC Action's Values Buses is rolling through California right now, ready to help parents mobilize for November and beyond! Check out our schedule for a stop near you!

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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