What’s the difference between an alleged and vociferously denied assault at a high school party and an adult getting tanked and driving on the highway? Senate Democrats apparently consider the former a disqualifier for the judiciary, but the latter a youthful indiscretion that doesn’t disqualify someone from judging who should be on the federal bench. At least, that appears to be the takeaway from what’s increasingly looking like an eleventh-hour smear attempt against Brett Kavanaugh.
For several hours, Dianne Feinstein teased out that she had a secret allegation against Kavanaugh that might require a federal investigation. By the end of the day yesterday, it initially got reported as this, Allahpundit noted in an update:
“That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,” she said.
A source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter said it described an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that took place when both were 17 years old and at a party. According to the source, Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room. The Guardian has not verified the apparent claims in the letter. It is not yet clear who wrote it. …
While additional details about the letter were scarce, two media outlets have reported that the person who wrote the letter is being represented by an attorney, Debra Katz, who has been described in media reports as Washington’s #MeToo lawyer.
It did get a lot more serious later, as Allahpundit noted already, when it turned into an accusation of attempted rape. That allegation oddly had never been raised before despite Kavanaugh’s high profile over the last twenty years, not even when Senate Democrats tried to stall his appointment to the appellate bench for three years from 2003-6. Even now, the alleged victim won’t corroborate it and wanted to drop it, and the two men involved both deny it ever happened. There isn’t any other evidence to support it, which is why Feinstein likely wanted to sit on it until her colleagues forced it out into the open.
If an uncorroborated anonymous allegation of a crime from 1982 qualifies as a reason to prevent someone from public service, what about an actual crime on the record from 1998? When will Senate Democrats meet to discuss the danger Beto O’Rourke poses to the dignity of federal office?
State and local police reports obtained by the Chronicle and Express-News show that O’Rourke was driving drunk at what a witness called “a high rate of speed” in a 75 mph zone on Interstate 10 about a mile from the New Mexico border. He lost control and hit a truck, sending his car careening across the center median into oncoming lanes. The witness, who stopped at the scene, later told police that O’Rourke had tried to drive away from the scene.
O’Rourke recorded a 0.136 and 0.134 on police breathalyzers, above a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, the state legal limit at the time. He was arrested at the scene and charged with DWI, but completed a court-approved diversion program and had the charges dismissed.
This happened in 1998, not 1982. O’Rourke was 26 years old at the time, not 17, and drank so much to excess that he was nearly twice as drunk as today’s DWI limits. He could have killed someone, and it likely that he came close to doing so by going into oncoming traffic. Furthermore, he tried to flee from the scene as an adult rather than face the music, but didn’t manage to do so successfully. And that’s no smear, no anonymous allegation — it’s a matter of public record.
O’Rourke claims he’s atoned and matured since then. I’d certainly say that was a possibility or even a strong likelihood, especially since I believe in redemption and O’Rourke has managed to keep his record clean since. But those were choices O’Rourke made as an adult, and potentially fatal choices, not a failure of teenage judgment. If Democrats argue that an established 20-year-old crime is immaterial to the election because of the passage of time, and furthermore that Beto’s better qualified than Ted Cruz to judge who should get appointed to the bench even with that crime on the record, then a sudden unsubstantiated allegation about a 36-year-old incident that may never have happened at all has to have much less to say about the person getting appointed to the bench.
And if Senate Democrats want to keep pressing that allegation against Kavanaugh, then they need to answer for Beto O’Rourke. At this point, even a double standard would be an improvement over none at all.