As Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee do everything in their power to ensure the confirmation of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite the allegations of sexual assault and perjury against him, The Washington Post is reporting that Kavanaugh is refusing to answer some questions posed by the interlocutors conducting preparatory grillings of the nominee before the next committee hearing at which his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is tentatively scheduled to appear.
The newspaper describes a group of White House aides standing in for the Senators on the committee and conducting a practice questioning of Kavanaugh that probed the nominee with uncomfortable queries about “his sex life and other personal matters” in an effort to steel him for what will surely be a difficult appearance before the actual committee, at least when the Democratic members of the committee are allowed to speak.
According to the Post’s reporters:
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“In his answers during the practice runs, aides said, Kavanaugh condemned sexual assault and carefully avoided seeming to discredit Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor in Northern California who has accused the nominee of pinning her to a bed, groping her and putting his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes at a drunken high school party in the early 1980s.”
“But Kavanaugh grew frustrated when it came to questions that dug into his private life, particularly his drinking habits and his sexual proclivities, according to three people familiar with the preparations, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. He declined to answer some questions altogether, saying they were too personal, these people said.”
“‘I’m not going to answer that,’ Kavanaugh said at one point according to a senior White House official, who said that the questions were designed to go over the line and that he struck the right tone.”
The practice sessions were said to have run over two hours and are being overseen by outgoing White House counsel Donald McGahn in order to try to meet the Republicans’ biggest challenge in the nomination fight: satisfying their right-wing base with an extremist appointed to the court for a lifetime term while avoiding the alienation of female and independent voters in the upcoming midterm elections.
With Kavanaugh’s accuser now tentatively scheduled for an appearance on Thursday, the nominee has a few more days to prepare for his interrogation. The nation waits to see how all of this will play out exactly and whether any Republican Senators will be brave enough to buck Trump and their party leadership to reject this dubious nomination.
Original reporting by Seung Min Kim and Josh Dawsey in The Washington Post.
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