The GOP Senate can’t seem to get its story straight today about how the FBI report on Brett Kavanaugh will be processed. Multiple major media outlets have reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to only allow one copy of the report to exist, forcing Senators to take turns reading it. This comes even as multiple Republican Senators have publicly called for the report to simply be released publicly. Even if McConnell does get his way, it won’t be difficult for Senate Democrats to outfox him on this.
For starters, there is only one possible reason why Mitch McConnell is trying to keep this FBI report a secret: he thinks (or knows) that the report is bad news for Brett Kavanaugh, and he’s afraid that if it becomes public before the vote, it could sink the nomination. That means it’s incumbent upon Senate Democrats to find a way to get this report to the public before the GOP can ram through a vote.
Let’s say that Mitch McConnell sets things up, via some secure viewing procedure, such that Senators can’t simply photograph the report with their iPhones and post it all to Twitter. Let’s further say that he’s able to set it up so each Senator doesn’t get to spend much time with the report, perhaps even just a few minutes.
In such case, the Senate Democrats – there are forty nine of them – can simply divide up the report by page numbers beforehand. One Senator is assigned a specific page or two, and quickly identifies the ugliest details on those pages, and commits them to memory. Combined, the Senate Democrats could quickly inform the public about all the secret dirt in the report. And if anyone is worried about a potential breach of decorum involved in leaking these details, we’re way past that. This may be why some GOP Senators are calling for the report to simply be released publicly. They know McConnell’s game won’t work.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report