Will it even happen?
Yesterday, I wrote about Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who came out publicly in her accusation against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. She claims that he sexually assaulted her at a party 35 years ago while they were both in high school. Kavanaugh vehemently and categorically denies it.
As I suggested yesterday, we’re stuck in a he said/she said dilemma with the only way out being a full hearing of each of their stories and then making a decision on which one is more believable.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has decided to do just that and has announced a public hearing to be held next Monday where each of them will testify, under oath, to the committee.
This is the best we can do under these circumstances.
We may never get to the full truth on this, but we should be able to learn things through full, under oath, testimony. And if we learn beyond any doubt that either one of them tell a deliberate lie while under oath, that should end it. For example, if Kavanaugh states that he was never at such a party and/or never drank in high school and then photographs come out with him drinking at such a party…game over for Kavanaugh. Or if Ford states that she has no political motive involved with these accusations and then emails or texts are revealed showing her plotting to take down Kavanaugh…game over for Ford.
Any number of such bits of information can come out during something like this. None of it may even directly resolve whether the attack happened, yet may still help the Committee and the public decide on how to proceed.
If either of them are found to be blatantly lying under oath, they should be charged and punished to the fullest extent of the law. In such a case, we need to make it perfectly clear that playing games with the process will not be tolerated.
But here’s the thing…I don’t believe that the Republican committee leadership (or the White House) even intend for this hearing to actually happen, and my gut tells me that it won’t.
A week is a very long time for something like this. This story is still very new, especially about the woman actually coming forward. There will be a lot of developments in the coming days, and the Republicans know that and are counting on it.
The last thing they want to do right before the midterm elections where they are already significantly down with women is to be publicly grilling and trying to discredit a woman about her alleged sexual assault.
No, they do not want this hearing to happen.
They believe that this story will develop in such a way during the next few days, that the hearing will be deemed unnecessary. They wanted to appear fair and open to giving Ford a full hearing of her claims, but they scheduled it for a full week in the future in order to give it time for information to come out that will derail the hearing.
And they are probably right. During the next few days, we will either learn that there is nothing more to corroborate this story (or other information will be found to discredit it or her)…in which case, Ford is likely to drop it. Or, we will learn that others are willing to come forth and give credence and more details to her story (or other women will come out with similar stories)…in which case Kavanaugh is likely to withdraw from the nomination or Trump will remove him.
In either case, I don’t think the showdown will happen.
It is unlikely that the story will not be developed in either direction.
That said, in that unlikely event that nothing about the story changes from what we currently know and the hearing happens without either one found to be obviously lying, I believe we must give Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt. Ford’s version of events is missing critical information…such as exact dates and locations of the alleged attack. Without that basic information, there is no way that Kavanaugh can fairly defend himself.
But I believe more information will emerge. Which side it helps is yet to be determined. I have no prediction on that.
The only thing I’m predicting is that the hearing next Monday probably won’t happen. So, don’t change your schedules and don’t purchase your popcorn just yet.