Today we saw a rather surreal series of events involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the Montgomery County police department in Maryland. First came a credible news report that a woman had approached the police with yet another accusation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, and that the police were investigating the matter. Then came a statement from the police department itself that no one has come forward and there is no investigation. So what’s really going on here?
The news report came from respected White House briefing room reporter Brian Karem, who could not possibly have been making it up. If he says that people within the Montgomery County PD are investigating Brett Kavanaugh, then it’s because they’ve told him that they’re doing so. Yet at the same time, it’s extraordinarily difficult to believe that the MCPD would flat out lie about something this important in an official statement. But it’s possible that these things are both true.
Here’s the key sentence from the MCPD statement: “At this time, the Montgomery County Police Department has not received a request by any alleged victim nor a victim’s attorney to initiate a police report or a criminal investigation regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.” This means the MCPD hasn’t received a formal request to investigate, or an official police report. This does not preclude the possibility that a woman informally approached some investigators within the police department, and that they’re unofficially poking around.
This of course would raise the question of why the Montgomery County Police Department would bother with the official denial. It’s possible that the woman in question has asked the PD to do this, in an attempt at protecting her privacy and safety. There are a lot of “ifs” involved here. But when you’ve got a reliable report that the police are investigating Kavanaugh, and you’ve got the police saying they’re not investigating Kavanaugh, this is the best we can parse it.