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Law & the Courts

Does Kavanaugh’s Accuser Actually Want to Testify?

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in by committee chairman Chuck Grassley at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, September 4, 2018. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

A lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee confirms that Judge Kavanaugh has been questioned at length in private, “under penalty of perjury and 5 years of imprisonment if he lies.” Two of the men named in the complaint have sent on-the-record letters refuting the accuser’s charges — letters that are subject to the same perjury laws as is testimony. Kavanaugh’s accuser, by contrast, has done none of these things. To date, she is the only figure within this drama who hasn’t given testimony under oath.

Does the accuser’s lawyer want to change that? Does the Democratic party? From the outside, it looks as if the answer may be “No.” Certainly, if I were trying to ensure that my client never testified, this is broadly how I would behave. Dianne Feinstein has not yet submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee the original letter she was sent by the accuser. The Democratic party is almost universally calling for an FBI investigation that it knows full well is not going to happen, and should not happen, and using its absence as a reason for the hearing to be delayed. And, right on cue, certain figures on the Left have begun to play this both ways: Originally, the lack of an invitation to testify was cast as a “silencing act.” Now, the Senate’s broad invitation to the accuser to testify in whatever way she sees fit is being cast as . . . yes, as a “silencing” act. Perhaps there is something else going on here, but sure looks to me as if the aim is to delay, delay, delay — and keep the accuser as far as is possible from being required to take an oath.

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