Home / US / Reporters delve into the past of Justice Kavanaugh, allegations of misconduct against him: NPR

Reporters delve into the past of Justice Kavanaugh, allegations of misconduct against him: NPR

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on September 27, 201


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Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on September 27, 2018.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Several Democratic Presidential candidates call for the impeachment of Chief Justice Brett Kavanaugh after published the New York Times essay on September 14, describing alleged sexual misconduct while in Yale.

] New York Times Reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who wrote the essay, reported on Kavanaugh's controversial 2018 confirmatory hearings in which Christine Blasey claimed Ford had sexually assaulted her at a house party both teenagers were. The FBI conducted an investigation into Kavanaugh's behavior, which was limited in time and space. The Senate finally voted 50 to 48 for confirmation from Kavanaugh.

In their new book The Education of Brett Kavanaugh Pogrebin and Kelly describe what is already known about Kavanaugh – and expand the investigation to include parts of his story and events that should have taken place. (Editor's Note: Pogrebin's and Kelly's Report Contains a Graphic Description of Alleged Sexual Misconduct.)

Pogrebin and Kelly's research allegations of Deborah Ramirez, a Yale alumna, who claims Kavanaugh has her penis in her stuck face during a college party when they were both newcomers. They also allegations of a similar incident, which a male classmate of Yale describes in detail, although neither he nor the allegedly involved woman publicly speak about it.

In response to the latest news, President Trump tweeted, "Brett Kavanaugh should start slandering people, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue." The lies that are told about him are unbelievable. False allegations without reproach. When does it stop? You try to influence its opinion. Can not let that happen! "

Pogrebin, who was in Kavanaugh's class at Yale, says that Ramirez's account "never came due" during the confirmation hearings because "the Republicans who are responsible for the process". It was obviously not interested in adding another story and another potential victim to public dialogue and [Ramirez] legitimizing a public forum. "

" Although [Ramirez] was made available to the Senate Judge The Ice Committee and then its lawyers eventually gave the FBI a list of more than two dozen potential witnesses who could make their story more credible. Finally, the Judiciary Committee found that their allegations were irrelevant to the trial, "says Pogrebin.

Kelly grew up in Washington DC and attended a girls' college on the same social network as Kavanaugh's High School, noting that alcohol abuse occurred during her investigation

"Drinking was something of a transit line," says Kelly. "In general, [Kavanaugh] was considered a rather polite, responsible, good-natured young person. But when he drank a lot – and even at times when he was just trying to impress his friends like in the schoolyard – that was another side of him coming out.

Editor's note: The interview with Pogrebin and Kelly was recorded on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

Highlights of the Interview

On Deborah Ramirez's & # 39; claims about Kavanaugh

Robin Pogrebin: Their allegations were that they attend a drinking game with a rather small group at a freshman party on the Old Campus, the quad where most freshers live Men with drinks, presumably beer, drunk over and over, sort of "Drink, Drink, Debbie, Drink," which she did too much, and she had never drunk alcohol in any way before she came to Yale. And [she recalls] that someday there was some kind of artificial penis in her face, she knocked him off and then there was a real cock squeeze in her face and when she looked up, she saw Brett Kavanaugh his Ho he pulled up the laughter and all his friends, who also took part in the drinking game, laughed with what she thought was incredibly humiliating and an experience that remained with her.

Why Ramirez's Claims Are Relevant

Pogrebin: There are many people with whom you talk about the Ramirez allegations who, as far as they are aware, say, "What's the big deal?" And you can see from the outside how that perspective is conceivable. Basically, someone who turns out to be at a party in a drunken dorm that turns out to be so much fun for teenagers, guys as boys, if they were made of stronger stuff, maybe she just said, "Do that get out of my face! " and continue with your life.

What was important and what my coverage really revealed was that it's really important to look at the background of someone like Deborah Ramirez and indeed anyone who comes to a place like Yale. This has made me aware of the idea that not all are equally able to find their bearings in such situations. She grew up in the working class Shelton, Conn. Her father was a cable splicer. She [had a] strict Catholic education, did things according to the book, academically honored, not at all sexually or in terms of alcohol and also financially a little disadvantaged. Her family had to scrape together money for her to come through Yale. Not only did she get loans from college cafeterias, she also worked at cleaning up college gatherings and at Carvel this summer. It also has a Puerto Rican heritage and, as we now know, the sensitivity to experiencing people with color is much greater. But at the time, there were jokes on the campus she experienced, from people saying, "How are you getting in? Is it because you're a Puerto Rican?" … So she somehow felt behind the eighth ball in Yale, had a real sense of inadequacy that she might not belong there and would not be able to hack him. This experience with Kavanaugh has only confirmed these uncertainties in a way that was crucial.

Why Christine Blasey Ford Called In [19659009] Kate Kelly: I truly believe that she was motivated by a sense of civic duty. Her comment to me was, "Someone did something to me when I was the age of my child." At this time, she is the mother of two adolescent boys or teenage boys. "And I thought the key decision makers influencing the Supreme Court's appointment and ratification should hear about it, and saying nothing would be wrong in my book." That's a summary of what she said.

I think that moving forward has taken place under great personal stress and ultimately cost her and her family something. She lost her privacy. She lost her safety for some time. She still receives death threats. And later this year [she] had to stay in secret places because of death threats. So it was very difficult. I do not think she knew half of what would happen if she thought about it, but at least she knew her name would be in the public domain. And she was probably the subject of debate, and that alone was very stressful for her. I think it was a feeling of civic duty. And I think, even though she's a Democrat and probably does not share most of Brett Kavanaugh's ideology, it really had to do with that sense of ethics and civic commitment.

About the Similarities between Ramirez's Story and Blasey Ford's Testimony

Pogrebin: When I talked with [Ramirez]I noticed that they did not remember these events and retell 35 years ago without crying. I've had enough of these #MeToo stories to see that these experiences stay with these women and resonate with them, no matter how buried they are, no matter if they told people back then or not. They do not go away, and it is clear from this experience that the humiliation was almost as bad for them as the sexual experience itself; That she is only laughed at is what she remembers most. This is interesting because it is so much in line with what Blasey Ford said about laughing in the room when she was allegedly attacked.

How Kavanaugh's Relationship with Women Has Changed

Pogrebin: He grew up in this milieu that was largely male. He attended a purely male high school. He was very connected with athletes. There was a currency that made women witty and disparaging in a casual, perhaps verbal, ironic way that Brett Kavanaugh was not like a female man. He did not really have the moves; he did not get the girls. And that's why he seems to have relied on alcohol to feel a little more socially relaxed because he was not necessarily that skilled. …

That is to say, after a long dig, we have found out that he has basically grown up in the 36 years since these allegations. In our view, [he] became a better man, either because he wanted to deliberately reform those ways, or he simply matured into a person who actually promoted women in terms of his own practice and hired female employees for a notable man's graduation and advancement of women at work, as a family man and with their own daughters whose basketball team he trains. And indeed, being an individual that people on both sides of the aisle talk about in terms of character and professional behavior.

On the subject of memory and Kavanaugh's past

Kelly: It's an interesting prism by which to gauge these accounts, as well as Kavanaugh's denial. … We had a challenge to judge Kavanaugh's straightforwardness at the hearings because we are not in his head after all. We do not know what, if anything, he remembers and whether he gives us a complete picture of what's in his head. But without knowing it, it's very hard to say that he lied. He may be inaccurate about things because we have other eyewitnesses who remember differently, who are believable. He may say some kind of shaded truth, it is not a direct lie, but it is difficult to discern the memory if it is not your own.

About Various Attitudes Concerning Kavanaugh's Behavior in the Past

Kelly: There is a thought school that states whether this type of behavior, ie sexual assault or sexually motivated abuses by women, too only verbal, misogynist comments are, if this is part of your character, it's part of your character's character as an adult – and that a Justice of the Supreme Court might meet the highest standards of conduct of any civil servant in our country. So it's all relevant, no matter when it happened.

There is another school of thought that deals with our mentality in this country in relation to young people and our juvenile justice. And it's a bit different in all 50 states, but there are safeguards for teenagers who commit crimes, and lawsuits. Legal documents and settlements of any kind of legal action that could affect a juvenile crime are kept confidential and the reason given is to give young people a chance to reform themselves and learn from their ways rather than being haunted by the mistakes of their past become.

What could it have been if Kavanaugh had admitted wrongdoing in his confirmation hearings ]

Pogrebin: In the age of Trump – in which it is all about defending oneself and not making any concessions – … it would have doomed his nomination that there was no way for Brett Kavanaugh to be human. faulty person there who acknowledges the error of his ways and asks to be confirmed anyway. …

Kelly: I think the results here were very binary. I think he would either come to the Supreme Court or lose his job, as well as his teaching and responsibility as a coach, because unfortunately what we now see in our culture is sort of an accumulation of one Series of somewhat poisonous countercurrents: The fierce drive that Robin talked about, the advent of social media, and the kind of abuse that all kinds of people get into social media, the notion that your behavior must be able to cope at any given time Level – and what is faulty, is to cancel. I think there was an accumulation of factors that made it difficult for Kavanagh, if not impossible, to say something that said, "If I ever hurt anyone, I'm terribly sorry."

Sam Briger and Thea Chaloner stated and edited the tone of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Meghan Sullivan have adapted it for the web.

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