No sooner had Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced that he planned to vote for the confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court than he declared, on September 28, that his support of President Donald Trump’s nominee was conditional: Flake requested a limited, one-week investigation of the sexual abuse allegations that Palo Alto University psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford had made against Kavanaugh at her September 27 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But truth be told, the FBI investigation being conducted this week is unlikely to change the outcome of the nomination. If anything, it is a public relations ploy designed to give the so-called “undecided” Republicans in the Senate—namely, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins—an excuse to vote for Kavanaugh. And more than likely, Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be rammed through the Senate despite all the sexual abuse allegations being made against him.
Here are five reasons why the FBI investigation of Kavanaugh being conducted this week is a joke and a sham.
1. The Investigation Is Brief and Superficial, Not Comprehensive
The FBI investigation of Kavanaugh taking place this week isn’t meant to be a criminal investigation like the Russia-related investigation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been conducting. It is meant to be more of a background check, and the standards that apply in the Supreme Court nomination/confirmation process are much different from the standards that apply in a criminal trial. But even as a background check, the FBI’s Kavanaugh-related investigation has been a joke. A week isn’t nearly enough time for the FBI to seriously investigate Kavanaugh’s history and all the allegations being made against him.
2. The Investigation Gives ‘Undecided’ Senators an Excuse to Vote for Kavanaugh
For supposedly “undecided” Republicans like Flake, Collins and Murkowski—and possibly, Blue Dog Senate Democrats such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp as well—the FBI’s investigation is the best of both worlds. An investigation this brief and superficial is unlikely to produce any startling new revelations, but it will still give Flake, Collins and Murkowski a chance to claim that Kavanaugh was subjected to FBI scrutiny and passed with flying colors. Manchin and Heitkamp, both of whom voted for the confirmation of Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, in 2017 and are seeking reelection in the 2018 midterms, will likely make the same claim and join Flake, Collins and Murkowski in a “yes” vote for Kavanaugh. But in reality, the FBI scrutiny being applied to Kavanaugh this week is cursory at best.
3. The FBI Should Have an In-Depth Conversation with Julie Swetnick
Christine Blasey Ford is not the only woman who has made sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh. Deborah Ramirez, his second accuser, alleges that when she became intoxicated at a Yale University dorm party in the early 1980s and was lying on the floor, Kavanaugh placed his penis in front of her face—and the allegations of Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, are even more disturbing. Swetnick, a client of attorney Michael Avenatti, alleges that Kavanaugh helped organize parties where women were drugged and gangraped, including herself in 1982. Given the severity of Swetnick’s allegations, the FBI should have a long, in-depth conversation with her. But on Tuesday, October 2, Avenatti complained that Swetnick had yet to hear from the FBI.
4. This Is an Investigation on Trump and Don McGahn’s Terms
Trump, on Twitter, has insisted that the White House isn’t imposing any limitations on the FBI’s Kavanaugh-related probe. But in reality, the terms of the investigation are being dictated by Kavanaugh’s allies—namely, Trump and White House Counsel Don McGahn. Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler has warned that if a real investigation doesn’t occur, Democrats will need to conduct a Kavanaugh-related probe of their own if they regain control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 6.
5. Potentially Valuable Tips Are Being Ignored
Tad Low is a 52-year-old New York City resident who attended Yale University during the same period of time as Kavanaugh and offered the FBI a potentially valuable tip—and when he spoke to the New York Daily News on October 1, Low asserted that the FBI had been giving him the runaround. Low alleges that during the 1987/1988 academic year, he witnessed something “shocking” at a party held by Kavanaugh’s fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. In a real investigation of Kavanaugh, the FBI would be taking a very close look at Low’s allegation—not giving him the runaround.
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Legal Expert Explains How Alex Jones’ Texts Could ‘Connect the Dots’ on Trump for the Jan. 6 Committee
Appearing on CNN early Saturday morning, former U.S. Attorney Michael Moore stated that the history of texts accidentally released by attorneys representing Alex Jones may fill in the gaps for the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Speaking with “New Day” host Phil Mattingly, the legal analyst was asked about reports that the texts may be headed to House investigators, with the CNN host stating, “We saw a dramatic moment in the courtroom, in the Alex Jones proceedings over the course of the last several days. He was informed that his defense team accidentally sent two years of his text records to him.”
“There are connections and overlap with what the January 6 committee is working on when it comes to that. There are discussions of the committee perhaps getting ahold of those,” he continued before asking, “What is the process? Do you see that as a potential thing that can occur?”
“The text messages and the phone records, at least in some part are now in a court record, they’ve been filed in court. That makes them a little bit easier to get,” Moore replied. “The concern I have is the issue of the phone was delivered in all accounts, it may have been delivered in error but they did nothing to correct that or fix that or file a protective order on the evidence. So that information may be subject to a challenge.”
“The problem for Jones is that information is now known and it’s out there,” he continued. “It’s clear there was deceptive testimony during the course of discovery and I think that makes them a little easier to get.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see these subpoenas come down for the information on the phones and ultimately at the end of the day they will get it,” he elaborated. “It will be used to see if this connects any of the dots that the committee has been trying to do for the last many months. Is there a direction from Trump, is there some direction from other people in Jones’ circle that we find in the text messages there.”
‘Performatively Protest’: Grassley Chastised for Tweeting Angry Complaint He Has to Stay in DC to ‘Fight’ Major Dem Bill
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Friday afternoon posted an angry tweet complaining he will be missing his annual family reunion this weekend after Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled a vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, major, historic legislation to combat inflation and climate change, lower Medicare prescription drug prices and the federal deficit, and increase the energy supply.
It’s not going well for the 88-year old Republican who is running for re-election this year.
Leader Schumer in the past two weeks has pulled out a series of delicately balanced yet absolutely massive wins, convincing both Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to support the bill which they previously poised to oppose in different forms. It is a huge win for President Joe Biden and his agenda, the Democrats, and the American people.
Senator Grassley apparently thinks otherwise.
First elected to Congress in 1974, Sen. Grassley has a well-known and unique style of tweeting.
“Each Dec Schumer puts out schedule for Senate I set Grassley family reunion based on schedule,” he wrote in his complaint. “For 2nd yr in row I won’t be at reunion I’m in DC to fight Dems irresponsible tax&spend bill. Need a Republican majority to hv schedule we can count on & A RESPONSIBLE FISCAL AGENDA.”
Not many were pleased with the Iowa Republican’s remarks.
“Sir, I could not care less about your vacation,” wrote Charlotte Clymer, a well-known writer, LGBTQ activist, and veteran. “Ask any service member who’s had leave approved for a family vacation and then had it cancelled at the last minute because of needs of the unit. If our military can be called on to do this, so can you. Stop whining and do your job.”
Attorney Luppe Luppen unleashed his own anger: “Sorry kids grandpa can’t be here this weekend. He loves you very much, but, even though he’s 88 years old, he has no other options in his life but to remain in Washington to performatively protest any action on climate change and oppose Medicare negotiating lower drug prices.”
Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief at Random House and the popular author of “Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style,” offered this suggestion: “So retire.”
“Sir, this highly coherent tweet will catch fire with middle America!” mocked Josh Marshall, the founder and editor of Talking Points Memo.
Brian Tyler Cohen, a popular political commentator and podcast host tweeted, “Nothing says ‘re-elect me’ quite like tweeting how your government position gets in the way of your vacations.”
“Oh no, you were inconvenienced,” mocked journalist Christopher Harress. “Welcome to the real world. It happens to regular people all the time.”
Award-winning journalist Steven Greenhouse offered the Senator no solace, mocking him to his grandchildren:
“Dear Grassley Grandchildren,” he wrote. “Sorry but Grandpa is missing the reunion so he can go to Washington to vote against the most important measures ever taken in the US to fight climate change. Sorry, grandkids, but Grandpa is battling to make the climate worse for your generation.”
Fox News Mocked for ‘Desperately’ Trying to Spin ‘Blockbuster’ Jobs Report Into Attack on Biden
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July jobs numbers Friday morning as scheduled.
Analysts overall expected the report to find about 258,000 new jobs created, but it was more than double that, with 528,000 new jobs. Unemployment dropped slightly to 3.5%, which is far below the 5% mark economists used to use as a marker of “full employment.”
Economists cheered the results, with even those often more pessimistic finding the jobs report excellent news. Overall, many made clear there is no recession, and predicted inflation will come under control as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, and as the price of gas has dropped tremendously, with some stations now selling at under $3.00 a gallon.
Meanwhile, Fox News decided to use the White House’s prediction that the jobs numbers would not be great against them.
The Daily Beast’s media reporter Justin Baragona posted a screenshot of Fox News’s chyron that blasts the White House for not getting the estimate right. A casual observer, say, in an airport, would likely assume the jobs report was bad and blame the Biden administration.
It reads: “WH Misses Forecast on Lower July Jobs Growth.”
here’s how Fox News is currently covering the latest blockbuster jobs report — that the White House “misses forecast” because they anticipated it being lower pic.twitter.com/sngFes3UgX
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 5, 2022
Media Matters’ Eric Kleefeld notes how Fox News Business’s Larry Kudlow, a former Trump top advisor, and former Trump advisor Kevin Hassett both predicted the jobs number would come in exactly the same as what the Biden White House predicted, and were preparing since Thursday for bad news:
This is from Fox Business yesterday: Former Trump economic advisers Larry Kudlow and Kevin Hassett dismissed Wall Street expectations of a 250K jobs report for July, insisting in this recession it would be “closer to 100 … way on the downside.”
Numbers just came out: 528K. pic.twitter.com/CH511twjYr
— Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld) August 5, 2022
Similarly, Public Notice’s Aaron Rupar says Fox News is suggesting the jobs report is too good:
Fox News: is the jobs report too good? pic.twitter.com/Z9cxa7AMLT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 5, 2022
Attorney Brad Moss, a frequent social media commenter, observed: “Fox News is desperately trying to spin this blockbuster jobs report against Biden. If Trump was in office, they’d be running celebration videos complete with champagne.”
Just after 8:30 AM ET when the report was released “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade immediately mocked President Joe Biden as they shared the numbers.
Fox News Business’ Charles Payne was on set to discuss the report. Looking for the negative spin he announced that the jobs number was the best since March, adding the numbers had “been trending lower since March sequentially.”
Fox News on the massive jobs report: What about people who left the workforce after the pandemic? pic.twitter.com/EK9a01otvj
— John Whitehouse+ (@existentialfish) August 5, 2022
Begrudgingly admitting “it’s a really good number,” he pivoted to “participation” in the workforce. he called it “amazing that we have not gotten back up to the same level of participation” since before COVID.
But as CNBC reported: “private sector payrolls are now higher than the February 2020 level, just before the pandemic declaration.”
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