(AUDIO: 11:40 Sen. Dick Durbin questioning then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about whether he would accede to an FBI investigation probing whether Kavanaugh had engaged in sexual assault.)
THE WHITE HOUSE — That was Democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin asking then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last September whether he would accede to an FBI investigation probing whether Kavanaugh had engaged in sexual assault.
Kavanaugh and Durbin sparred during the judge’s Senate confirmation hearing:
(AUDIO: 11:56 Durbin: I want to know what you want to do. Kavanaugh: I want to do what the [Judiciary] committee wants, because I’m innocent.)
After the hearing and before confirmation, the FBI conducted a 10-day investigation that resulted in no conclusive evidence that Kavanaugh had assaulted anyone.
A year later, New York Times reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin released a book describing their own investigation of the claims. Released on Tuesday, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation” also examines whether the FBI review had been thorough.
The authors note: “We realize that our readers will evaluate the results of our investigation through their own perspectives.” They continue, “In the course of our reporting, we say how easy it was for observers to project onto the confirmation process whatever they wanted to believe. Even without a fuller sense of the facts, many had already made up their minds.”
On Sunday, the authors penned an accompanying op-ed in the New York Times excerpting a fragment of the book describing an alleged assault against Deborah Ramirez by Kavanaugh when they were students at Yale. The original version of the op-ed neglected to mention that Ramirez says she doesn’t remember the assault; only some of her friends do.
President Donald Trump leapt on the Times’ editorial error, tweeting on Tuesday:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2019
Compounding its mistake, the Times tweeted and then deleted a tweet saying that thrusting a male member in a woman’s face is “harmless fun.”
(Deleted tweet from the New York Times Opinion account: @nytopinion: “Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun. But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn’t belong at Yale in the first place.”)
The authors retreated again. Co-author Pogrebin told “The View” that “It was a misworded tweet.” TMN reached out to the authors, but neither responded to emailed requests for comment.
The Times retreated with this statement Monday:
“A tweet that went out from the @NYTOpinion account yesterday was clearly inappropriate and offensive. We apologize for it and are reviewing the decision-making with those involved.”
Doug Christian, The White House