Buckle up. According to the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, a common if indirect connection between all the different allegations flying around Brett Kavanaugh suddenly wants to talk with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Elizabeth Rasor’s attorney offered her client’s cooperation with a “reopened background investigation” into the Supreme Court nominee:
The onetime girlfriend of Mark Judge, who is alleged by Christine Blasey Ford to have been present while Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s, has emerged as a pivotal if hidden figure in this whole affair — and now she’s prepared to speak to the FBI and the Judiciary Committee about what she knows, according to a letter from her lawyer that I’ve obtained.
Judge’s college girlfriend, Elizabeth Rasor, is represented by lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee today. The letter, which was provided to me by a senior Senate Democratic aide on the committee, says that Rasor “would welcome the opportunity” to speak to “agents of the FBI as part of a reopened background investigation” into Kavanaugh’s conduct.
After seeing Judge’s denial, Elizabeth Rasor, who met Judge at Catholic University and was in a relationship with him for about three years, said that she felt morally obligated to challenge his account that “ ‘no horseplay’ took place at Georgetown Prep with women.” Rasor stressed that “under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t reveal information that was told in confidence,” but, she said, “I can’t stand by and watch him lie.” In an interview with The New Yorker, she said, “Mark told me a very different story.” Rasor recalled that Judge had told her ashamedly of an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with a drunk woman. Rasor said that Judge seemed to regard it as fully consensual. She said that Judge did not name others involved in the incident, and she has no knowledge that Kavanaugh participated. But Rasor was disturbed by the story and noted that it undercut Judge’s protestations about the sexual innocence of Georgetown Prep. (Barbara Van Gelder, an attorney for Judge, said that he “categorically denies” the account related by Rasor. Van Gelder said that Judge had no further comment.)
Another woman who attended high school in the nineteen-eighties in Montgomery County, Maryland, where Georgetown Prep is located, also refuted Judge’s account of the social scene at the time, sending a letter to Ford’s lawyers saying that she had witnessed boys at parties that included Georgetown Prep students engaging in sexual misconduct. In an interview, the woman, who asked to have her name withheld for fear of political retribution, recalled that male students “would get a female student blind drunk” on what they called “jungle juice”—grain alcohol mixed with Hawaiian Punch—then try to take advantage of her. “It was disgusting,” she said. “They treated women like meat.”
Was the second source Julie Swetnick? If not, that’s two other people who at least heard about drunken attempts at sex, although neither of these descriptions come close to the “gang bang ring” that Swetnick and her attorney Michael Avenatti allege. They also don’t include Brett Kavanaugh, and in fact there is no indication in either passage that Kavanaugh attended the parties described. However, it certainly paints a picture of wretched excess among the Georgetown Prep crowd in which very bad misunderstandings could easily transform into lifelong traumas.
That could be very well what Rasor wants to say to the FBI. The problem with her testimony, however, is that Rasor wasn’t present for any of it. She wants to talk about what Mark Judge told her later about the party atmosphere, which may well have some political ramifications but would have no legal weight whatsoever, at least when it comes to Kavanaugh. Judge, however, might find himself in some hot water if he lied about this in his brief statement to the Judiciary Committee. Or would he? Recall that Judge’s declaration was all about Kavanaugh:
The only legal liability for Kavanaugh would be if Judge lied in this statement: “I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.” If Brett was part of the group “taking turns” with a drunk woman, then it might explain why Judge has refused to cooperate any further. Or that might just be because Judge didn’t want that coming out about himself, rather than anything to do with Kavanaugh. Assuming, of course, that it’s true at all.
Meanwhile, Greg Sargent notes, Democrats are making Judge a central argument for postponement and reopening the background check:
“Ms. Rasor’s statement that Mark Judge told her about his participation in a gang rape when he was in high school is powerful corroborating evidence,” the senior Democratic aide to the Judiciary Committee told me. “She is wiling to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee and the FBI.” The aide added that this raises further question about why “Mark Judge is hiding out in Bethany Beach and Republicans refuse to call him as a witness.”
Presumably, Rasor’s attorney is letting the committee know the nature of Rasor’s potential testimony. If it directly reflects on Kavanaugh, it might throw a wrench in plans for tomorrow’s hearing, but only if it’s not hearsay — which the New Yorker’s report is, as well as not directly implicating Kavanaugh in anything. It sounds more like a question of whether the committee or the FBI need to ask a few questions of Judge. If Judge won’t talk, this doesn’t go anywhere except to set a scene that tends to at least hint at the potential for trainwrecks back in the day.
The White House isn’t exactly sitting back and letting Republicans on Capitol Hill handle this on their own. They assembled more than sixty friends of Kavanaugh who claim that they never met Julie Swetnick, let alone seen anything remotely resembling her allegations in the affidavit. “This process is a disgrace,” their letter to Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein states, “and is harming good people”:
JUST IN: White House releases letter it says is from more than 60 men and women who knew Judge Kavanaugh in HS, refuting Julie Swetnick’s new allegations:
“Nonsense. We never witnessed any behavior that even approaches what is described in this allegation. It is reprehensible.” pic.twitter.com/GyRIam2jQO
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 26, 2018
And not to be outdone, Georgetown Prep has issued a statement blasting media outlets for not reaching out to administrators before publishing assumptions about the school’s culture:
At this moment, because our community is being disparaged, we are challenged to stand up for this mission, our values, and the integrity with which we attempt to live them out.
The image that has been presented on social media and in various news outlets depicts recklessness, illegal conduct, and lack of respect for persons. Worse, many blame these faults on institutional indifference.
But the temptations, and the failings, presented in these stories are not unique to Georgetown Prep. The problems and abuses of alcohol and drugs, sexual assault and misconduct, emotional and physical violence toward others are real; educators at every institution of primary, secondary, or higher learning in our nation face these problems every day. Serious educators in public, private, religious, and secular schools as well as parents and families have been wrestling with the collateral damage of an out-of-control culture for many decades. Jesuit schools, Georgetown Prep among them, have been working together since the 1970s to address these issues. We are proud of such documents as the Profile of the Graduate at Graduation which have guided our efforts on behalf of our students, their families, and our larger community for over 40 years.
But it is demonstrably false that such behavior or culture is tolerated, still less encouraged, at Georgetown Prep. In fact, our curriculum is designed to guide students away from these malignant influences, and to guide them through reflection away from selfishness and towards a life of service for and with others. And we empower our faculty and staff to administer our rules and policies strictly but compassionately.
Certain individuals have recently presented themselves as representing the culture of Georgetown Prep authoritatively. They do not. The views they present may well represent their experience, but they do not represent our institutional or pedagogical goals, nor our efforts to implement those goals on behalf and out of a deep and abiding care for our students and their families, and for the larger culture in which they will work and live and raise their families.
The overall moral of the story that Georgetown Prep and every other high school should teach from this: Don’t drink to excess, especially at parties in high school and college. Nothing good comes out of it, and it can create a whole lotta bad that you’ll live with for the rest of your life.
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