We knew we’d take some heat when we published an article titled “Feels like Brett Kavanaugh is going to prison.” We also knew that we’d end up being vindicated for it. We just didn’t expect it to happen this quickly, or for this specific reason. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein just referred Kavanaugh to the FBI for criminal investigation, based on an apparent sexual assault accusation. And yes, this changes everything when it comes to Kavanaugh’s prospects of being confirmed.
The story here is a complex one, and it’s still unfolding. Feinstein is now confirming that she received a letter from a woman, whose identity she’s not revealing, and that she referred the letter to the FBI. In turn, the New York Times is reporting that this is about a sexual assault accusation from when Kavanaugh and the woman were in high school. We’ve explained here why we believe Feinstein is taking the approach she’s taking. The big question, politically speaking, is how it impacts the ongoing confirmation hearings.
Let’s say you’re Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski or one of a handful of other Senate Republicans who could lose reelection if they vote for Brett Kavanaugh. You were already under intense public pressure to vote “no” because he doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to abortion and birth control, because he keeps committing felony perjury, because he has an apparent gambling problem, and because he’s a corrupt lackey of Donald Trump. Take all that, and now throw in the fact that Kavanaugh is under FBI investigation for sexual assault. Suddenly, it becomes very, very dangerous for certain Republicans to vote for this guy – and they know it.
We suspect that Dianne Feinstein and Senate Democrats are giving Brett Kavanaugh a brief window of opportunity to walk away from the nomination, before they blow this wide open in public. Will he take it? Will the likes of Collins and Murkowski seize the opportunity to say that they can’t vote for this guy because he’s under federal investigation for a disgusting crime? If Kavanaugh and the GOP do decide to plow forward, you can bet the Democrats will use the full Senate hearings to bludgeon Kavanaugh with this until the most vulnerable Senate Republicans are forced to give up on him.
To be clear, Palmer Report did not have any advance knowledge of this sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s what we wrote last week when we predicted that he would likely end up in prison: “Brett Kavanaugh is dirty as hell – and he hasn’t been particularly skilled or careful about trying to cover his tracks. People this dirty, and this careless, tend to have an endless collection of skeletons in their closet.” We were basing this on his comfort level with committing perjury, the shady nature of his leaked emails, questions about his personal debt, and other evidence that was publicly available at the time.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report