Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Washington last week focused on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. The national news media drove many discussions among friends and work associates, leaving few that don’t have an opinion. Each of us brings our own prejudices and experiences to the discussions. The confirmation hearing Thursday reinforced what most already believed, both sides had compassion for both the accused and the accuser, but greater for the side of their own perspective. Thus, we should ignore compassion and stick with facts that make common sense. One side focused on an FBI investigation, so let’s begin there.
Three times the FBI has come to me for background checks. They asked non-threatening questions. In two cases, I had been listed as a credit reference, but their questions drifted in areas of their social life that had nothing to do with their credit status. There is no doubt in my mind that after other interviews, the FBI knew everything that had occurred in their lives. Likewise, the third interview covered that person’s entire life from school age forward. I have no doubt that with six such investigations of Judge Kavanaugh, if there was something, it would have disqualified him.
The next issue is one of memory. No one remembers everything in their life perfectly. Generally, things get hazier over a period of time, but with some prompting from others the memory can incorporate details that become part of our memory. This may or may not be the case in this issue. New details that the accuser has now made are different from some earlier details. Previously, Dr. Christine Ford had reported that four males were involved rather than two. Likewise, she could remember that there was no music playing downstairs and that she had consumed only one beer, however, she could not remember who had brought her to a party at a house that she could not identify nor what happened to her friend. In addition, she left the house and made it home by herself, a remarkable achievement given not knowing where the party was located.
Many fairly question how all the unprovable details can be remembered, while those which are provable cannot. Some may likely question why the accuser could remember selectively from 36 years ago but couldn’t remember details of the last month or so. The type of details that her attorneys didn’t coach her on without referring to notes.
Likewise, some would question her honesty when she said that her excuse for not being available for a Monday hearing was her fear of flying when records showed that she was a frequent flyer to many worldwide locations. They may also question the details of her statement with a straight face that she did not know that the Committee had volunteered to come to California to meet with her when all the national media was reporting that offer.
In fact, it easy for one’s memory to retain some details while not maintaining all, but maybe an FBI investigation will help her remember more facts that will help the nation get to the bottom of this. However, even though the Clarence Thomas confirmation occurred a generation ago, many still proclaim the unsubstantiated charges leveled against him by Anita Hill are true.
The greater sin is Senator Feinstein delayed releasing the facts presented to her by the accuser then throwing them out at the last minutes, damaging the lives of both the accuser and the accused.
If you wish to express your concerns on the confirmation, please contact your federal representatives and share with them. As a state senator I do not have a vote in this matter.
Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@ verizon.net.