Presumed Innocent?

Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed and sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Republican PR machine has been generating wave after wave of propaganda about the Democratic “smear campaign” of Kavanaugh. There has been much said about the fact that he should have been presumed innocent until all reasonable doubt was removed.

All of this is designed to rev up the right-wing base to counter the feminist wave that opposed the GOP tactics of ramming through the Kavanaugh nomination.

There are more than a few problems about the GOP proclamations about Kavanaugh’s “innocence.” First, there was more than a little evidence about his lies under oath, from the stolen Miranda strategy memos to his denial of his heavy drinking. Neither the Senate Judiciary Committee nor the FBI fully investigated any of it. So, of course, the Republicans are claiming innocence. Avoidance of investigation is hardly proof of innocence.

Then there’s also the point that Kavanaugh wasn’t on trial for a crime. He was being considered for a promotion, and the issues brought up were certainly worth considering before promoting him to the Supreme Court… but the Republicans didn’t want them considered, and the FBI wouldn’t even listen to dozens of people who wanted to testify.

Second, and more important, there’s another aspect to the issue of reasonable doubt, or the shadow of a doubt. Don’t we, the American people, deserve the best justice possible, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Not a justice whose past the GOP managed to keep from being fully investigated. Not one who conveniently remembers what he wants and has no recollection of anything unpleasant, whether it was a sexual assault or black-out drinking. Not one whose mindset is based on expediency and self-interest, rather than on a solid judicial footing.

The Federalist Society had a long list of highly qualified very conservative candidates who all met any possible far right criteria, and contrary to GOP propaganda, it’s not unprecedented for the Senate to reject less qualified nominees. It’s happened more than a few times in the last fifty years. So why were the GOP and President so intent on ramming Kavanaugh through?

Might it just have been his expressed philosophy that a sitting president can’t be charged with crimes? Might it just be that his opinion on that trumped everything else, including the right of the people to have a justice who is above suspicion, rather than one whose backers thwarted any in-depth investigation?

Just keep that in mind as the GOP PR crew touts Kavanaugh’s “innocence.”

7 thoughts on “Presumed Innocent?”

  1. Curtis says:

    “Might it just have been his expressed philosophy that a sitting president can’t be charged with crimes? Might it just be that his opinion on that trumped everything else, including the right of the people to have a justice who is above suspicion, rather than one whose backers thwarted any in-depth investigation?”

    That is certainly what worries me about Kavanaugh. Not much we can do about him now but wait and vote in November.

  2. M. Kilian says:

    Having been one of the overseas observers who hadn’t heard of Kavanaugh before this debacle, I feel that a lot of the things that were brought up during should have been investigated a long time ago for the apparent severity that was implied during the process. In fact, a lot of the accusations ended up becoming chaff that detracted from a couple of things that could actually have been investigated and proven true or false.

    The sexual assault allegations are probably the worst, with the amount of time since the alleged action they seem opportunistic at best, and without concrete evidence they do indeed look like the smear they’re accused of being. I’m still far more interested in whether he was honestly mistaken or tacitly aware of being in receipt of leaked confidential correspondence, which because of the mess will likely not find further investigation.

    As for propaganda, in Australia, whether by internet or means of local news I have seen not a single flattering thing said about him that align with the supposed republican propaganda. By means of casual searching, it is not apparent that there is any impartial news reports on the subject available to me unless I go digging into specific platforms and circumvent searches by the internet, television or newspaper- everything at a glance is against him.

    This seems far more symptomatic of another attempt at manufactured outrage and consent by the Democratic party and sympathetic media sources, than any actual interest in assessing and delivering the best candidates to the Senate for the American people. They supported any and every attack on Kavanaugh, big and small- when they should have been denouncing things that could not be proven and had no legal relevance.

    1. In the confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh admitted he had used the hacked emails, by saying that he had and that everyone did it, and that it was “the coin of the realm.”

      1. M. Kilian says:

        It was Leahy who made the inquiry and asserted the allegations, which I was very interested in and followed. By the documents he used and has released on other platforms, I would deduce that Kavanaugh was in receipt of information Manny derived from confidential emails and correspondence taken directly from the Democrats.

        As to whether Kavanaugh was made aware that the information was gained through theft is what I’m still in the grey about. Kavanaugh swore under oath that he was not aware of receiving correspondence stolen in verbatim. From the documents I’ve read, when he was aware of information being derived from a mole via Ledeen, the information was in the mole’s own words, not in verbatim.

        So armed with that, I would deduce that Kavanaugh was receiving second hand information from Ledeen and from Manny- and first hand/in verbatim that were, at least assumed by Kavanaugh and supposedely other staffers, that were shared by the democratic staffers.

        Given that, lacking proof that Kavanaugh was aware that in verbatim content was stolen instead of shared, Kavanaugh’s assertion under oath that he was not in receipt of stolen emails would not be a lie by him. Now, whether he was honestly mistaken is another matter altogether, and even I would hazard to suppose that he was honestly mistaken.

        Without seeing more if not all of the correspondence between Manuel and Kavanaugh however, I can’t tell whether he was aware or not. For me, that’s the tipping point and the proof of whether he lied under oath or not.

        If I’m not mistaken, the “coin of the realm” comment was in respects to information shared amongst staffers, not hacked emails. If so, you’ve put a bit of a sensational twist on it.

        1. All of what you say still paints a picture of a man who’s perfectly happy with shading the truth. He didn’t say that he received the documents without realizing that they had been hacked. All the information I’ve seen indicates that he said that he hadn’t received those documents. Then, when the emails confirming that he’d received the documents surfaced, he came up with the “coin of the realm” statement. I don’t think there’s any doubt at all that he was a heavy and belligerent drinker when he was young, which he denied, as he denied Dr. Ford’s assertion. I expect that sort of pseudo-outraged denial and weasel-wording from a hack politician, not from a Supreme Court nominee.

          1. M. Kilian says:

            You might just be right, in the very least Leahy’s contention that even if Kavanaugh was unaware of the specific source or nature of the information he gained, his apparent indifference to the intimacy of information they were gathering does not speak well of his character.

            I’ll reserve my stance until something more concrete comes up, but I care not for the witch hunt that accompanied this- it took attention away from something that could have provided concrete evidence.

  3. Aging says:

    A problem with the proclamations of Kavanaugh innocence, that has not received a lot of attention is that this is not over. Ethics complaints were raised about Kavanaugh’s statements
    during his confirmation hearing. The complaints were filed with the DC court of appeals, which (with chief judge Meerick Garland recused) referred them to Chief Justice Roberts who assigned them to the Tenth Circuit for review.

    Of course even if he is found to have acted unethically he is still a Supreme Court Judge, however, it would certainly tarnish the innocent man narrative.

    Another problem with the narrative is that Kavanaugh could be found guilty of lying to congress and sentenced to jail. He would of course still be Supreme Court Judge.

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