The Corner

Law & the Courts

Another Shoddy ‘Perjury’ Claim

NBC suggests that Judge Kavanaugh may have lied in his Senate testimony when he said that he had not “discussed or heard discussion about the incident matching the description given by Ms. Ramirez to the New Yorker” before it was published on September 23. As usual, this allegation seems to be the product of some choice sophistry. On Twitter, @AG_Conservative runs through what NBC has done here.

As AG notes, the accusation from NBC is as follows:

the texts show Kavanaugh may need to be questioned about how far back he anticipated that Ramirez would air allegations against him. Berchem says in her memo that Kavanaugh “and/or” his friends “may have initiated an anticipatory narrative” as early as July to “conceal or discredit” Ramirez. 

Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath that the first time he heard of Ramirez’s allegation was in the Sept. 23 article in The New Yorker.

But nothing Kavanaugh has said on the record contradicts that. On September 25th, Kavanaugh answered the following question under oath:

[Redacted Questioner]: All right. My last question on this subject is since you graduated from college, but before the New Yorker article publication on September 23rd, have you ever discussed or heard discussion about the incident matching the description given by Ms. Ramirez to the New Yorker?

Judge Kavanaugh: No.

If this were his only answer, it could at a stretch be cast as misleading — although it would be a big stretch, given that he was asked whether he’d heard about an “incident matching the description.” But — surprise! — this wasn’t his only answer. Indeed, just one page on in the transcript, Kavanaugh takes a break from protesting his innocence to tell the committee that he had heard that Ramirez was calling around before the specific accusation was made public:

[Redacted Questioner]: Well, actually, are you aware that the New York Times passed up on this story before the New Yorker ran the story? Judge Kavanaugh. That’s what I read in the New York  Times. What’s your reaction to that?

Judge Kavanaugh: They couldn’t — the New York Times couldn’t corroborate this story and found that she was calling around to classmates trying to see if they remembered it. And I, at least — and I, myself, heard about that, that she was doing that. And you know, that just strikes me as, you know, what is going on here? When someone is calling around to try to refresh other people, is that what’s going on? What’s going on with that? That doesn’t sound — that doesn’t sound good to me. It doesn’t sound fair. It doesn’t sound proper. It sounds like an orchestrated hit to take me out. That’s what it sounds like.

“And I, at least — and I, myself, heard about that, that she was doing that.”

Kavanaugh then goes on to assure the committee that he isn’t a gang rapist.



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