Excerpt from Patriot: My Journey Through America’s Undeclared Civil War by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D.
Almost without warning, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July 2018 heated up and boiled over—a bitterly contested battle.
At first, probably like many people, I was not fully aware of the significance of his appointment. I was broadly aware that there was talk of “mass arrests” and “military tribunals” for members of “the Swamp” who had committed treason. However, not being a subject matter expert in politics, policy, or law, I really had no way of evaluating that claim objectively.
That changed during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, when Sen. Lindsey Graham questioned him about the law pertaining to military tribunals. Suddenly, this notion went from the realm of theory to the realm of actual possibility.
Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, in the last week of September, a woman came forward to say that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her as a teen. Her name is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and her allegations were vivid and disturbing.
As a victims’ advocate, my first impulse was to believe Dr. Ford. However, my rational side—which had become accustomed to decoding the daily propaganda flung at the American people—was not so sure.
Was this just another mainstream media narrative? Was this story just “fake news,” designed to torpedo his appointment, not to mention his career?
On a hunch, I looked closely at Dr. Ford’s letter, which had been posted online. As a media analyst, a student of propaganda, a branding expert, and someone who reviews correspondence to Congress full-time, it immediately struck me as being full of holes.
I shared that analysis on the Internet, and a firestorm immediately ensued. On closer inspection, Dr. Ford’s story fell further and further apart.
But this is not really a story about Dr. Ford, who I deeply believe is a truly a victim of sexual assault. And it is not about Justice Kavanaugh, either.
Rather, it is about the tragic abandonment of due process in an extraordinarily politicized national climate, one which led to a torrent of accusations and counter-accusations that quickly went over the top.
Here is a timeline of this unbelievable roller-coaster.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement. The Trump Administration releases a short list of potential replacements. Among the front-runners is former Kennedy law clerk Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Christine Blasey Ford, Ph.D., reaches out to her congresswoman, Anna Eshoo of California, and the Washington Post regarding her concerns about Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
President Trump nominates Judge Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy on the Court.
Dr. Ford sends Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California a letter detailing her alleged assault by Judge Kavanaugh. She claims he pinned her down, attempted to remove her clothing, held his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help and attempted to rape her.
Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing begins in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He undergoes days of grilling by Committee members who will vet the candidate before his nomination can head to a full vote in the U.S. Senate.
The New Yorker reports on a sexual misconduct complaint raised against Judge Kavanaugh by an unidentified woman.
The Washington Post publishes details of the sexual misconduct accusation and names the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, who speaks on the record.
Kavanaugh issues a statement denying Dr. Ford’s allegations. Meanwhile, Dr. Ford’s supporters (not her parents or siblings) send a letter to Congress on her behalf to “attest to her honesty, integrity, and intelligence.”
One of Dr. Ford’s lawyers, Debra Katz, emails the Senate Judiciary Committee that she has agreed to testify before them.
Sen. Grassley writes Sen. Feinstein asking for a copy of the Ford letter, which she received but refused to transmit to him despite “repeated requests.”
Sen. Grassley emails Dr. Ford’s lawyers to notify them that he has invited her to testify and “I have also offered her the choice of testifying in either a public or closed session of the hearing.” Sen. Grassley’s staff tells The Hill that they are even willing to go to California to talk to her.
Sen. Feinstein sends Dr. Ford’s letter to Sen. Grassley.
The date of September 27 is set for Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh to testify before the Committee.
A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, comes forward with new allegations against Judge Kavanaugh in The New Yorker. She says it is possible Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her at a dorm party.
Fox News anchor Martha McCallum interviews Judge Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley, where he denies all the allegations against him.
I write a Twitter thread detailing inconsistencies in the Ford letter.
The thread is picked up by The Gateway Pundit. Headline: “Document Expert: Multiple Discrepancies Discovered in Senator Feinstein’s Christine Ford Letter—Looks Like a Fraud.”
I share an “open letter” to Chairman Grassley on the subject through my blog (DannielleBlumenthal.com).
Judge Kavanaugh releases his personal calendar diaries from 1982.
A third woman, Julie Swetnick, though her attorney Michael Avenatti, alleges Kavanaugh spiked drinks and was present in a house where she was gang-raped at a party. As before, Kavanaugh denies everything.
Dr. Ford, followed by Judge Kavanaugh, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Committee votes to send Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Senate floor.
However, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona calls for a one-week limited FBI investigation into the new claims made against Judge Kavanaugh.
Saturday Night Live does a “cold open” skit, starring Matt Damon, mocking Judge Kavanaugh’s emotional defense of his reputation.
Dr. Ford’s legal team says they have yet to be contacted by the FBI. It is reported that Ms. Ramirez speaks with FBI investigators.
The White House directs the FBI to interview anyone deemed relevant to their investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, broadening the scope of the investigation beyond the allegations made by Dr. Ford.
President Trump holds a press conference during which he reiterates his support for Kavanaugh.
Bloomberg releases a report detailing a drunken bar fight involving Judge Kavanaugh and three other young men during his time at Yale.
During a televised interview with MSNBC, Ms. Swetnick changes some of her initial claims.
Dr. Ford’s legal team sends a letter for FBI Director Chris Wray addressed to FBI General Counsel Dana Boente. They explain that they learned through media reports that the FBI does not intend to interview Ford or Kavanaugh, but reiterate Ford’s willingness to cooperate with an investigation.
A summary of the FBI report is released to the public. They found no corroboration of the allegations made by either Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez. Judge Kavanaugh survives a crucial procedural vote of 51–49 in the Senate.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who was the last undecided Republican senator, said she would vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, after concluding there was not sufficient corroboration for Ford’s claims.
Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed as the 114th Justice of the Supreme Court by a vote of 50–48, as announced by Vice President Mike Pence from the Senate floor.
Justice Kavanaugh’s first day on the bench.
Sen. Grassley refers Julie Swetnick and Michael Avenatti to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation.
Sen. Grassley refers admitted false accuser Judy Munro to the FBI and the Justice Department for investigation.
Senate Judiciary Committee issues a report completely exonerating Justice Kavanaugh. It states (page 3):
“After an extensive investigation that included the thorough review of all potentially credible evidence submitted and interviews of more than 40 individuals with information relating to the allegations, including classmates and friends of all those involved, Committee investigators found no witness who could provide any verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations brought against Justice Kavanaugh.”
Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee states: “This was a serious and thorough investigation that left no stone unturned…. In the end, there was no credible evidence to support the allegations against the nominee.”
Nearly ten years ago, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata were murdered as a result of a botched government conspiracy to push gun control. At the time, I was a public affairs specialist at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol.
On October 5, 2017, The New York Times published an in-depth investigation of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, with a focus on his alleged sexual harassment of young women over a period of many years, and “at least” eight settlements reached, presumably at the cost of the victims’ silence.
The alt-right market is a rising force in the American publishing industry, a market that major publishing houses are just starting to tap. With the dawn of 2019 and America’s deep polarization showing no signs of abating, a powerful new memoir speaks to that market.
So I’m in the coffee shop as usual getting my coffee and it is warm-ish and I’m annoyed. The coffee shop is nearby the White House and two men in business suits are sitting and talking to each other. Each one has their own table and they’re talking across the tables, so loud.