Deny, Deny, Deny
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
It is Trump’s response to any allegation of misconduct, whether commercial, legal, political or sexual. Admitting it and apologizing would be a sign of weakness, and the president never shows weakness, except when he has to settle a hopeless case, like Trump University, or concede defeat, like to Stormy Daniels. Of course it also became the mantra for Brett Kavanaugh’s response to Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that he tried to rape her while in High School. Kavanaugh could have said “I don’t remember it, but I was sometimes as drunk as a skunk when I was a teenager and if it happened I’m very sorry,” and that might have saved his nomination, but he decided to deny without any qualification. It put the all male majority of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee in a pickle, because in the #MeToo era they have to give Dr. Blasey an opportunity to be heard, but the prospect of having sexist octogenarians like Grassley and Hatch mistreat her like they mistreated Anita Hill 25 years ago was not very appealing. So they made it as hard as possible for Dr. Blasey to testify, by refusing to let the FBI investigate her allegation and setting next Monday as the date for a hearing.
Trump needs Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court to protect him from being subpoenaed and/or indicted, but the White House also realizes that pushing the judge’s confirmation through by silencing his accuser will hurt the Republicans in the midterms and make the rest of Trump’s presidency a living hell. GOP senators who often pretend to have a conscience, like Collins, Corker and Flake, had no problem with committee chairman Grassley’s squeezing Dr. Blasey, and for a while there was a standoff, which gave the Republicans hope that she would not testify and let Kavanaugh off the hook. Grassley even lied that the FBI doesn’t do the kind of investigations Dr. Blasey asked for, which is verifiably untrue because the FBI did it in Anita Hill’s case. According to him Kavanaugh was eager to testify at a hearing, but observers doubted that the judge would want to talk to the FBI, because lying to senators is an offense that usually goes unpunished – as he has already proven on multiple occasions – but lying to the FBI could not only cost him his nomination but also his current job. The same observers wondered why Dr. Blasey would ask for an FBI investigation if she had been lying about the attempted rape.
Today Dr. Blasey’s lawyers made an offer with as the most important elements that she wants to testify next Thursday, she wants Kavanaugh to testify first, and she doesn’t want to be in the room with him. The counteroffer from Grassley is to have the hearing on Wednesday and to have Dr. Blasey go first. The order is important because if Kavanaugh goes second testifying is much easier for him, since he doesn’t have to tell his own story but Republicans will let him react to Dr. Blasey’s testimony. In addition he would benefit from what is called ‘the recency effect.’ At this point negotiations are still ongoing.
On Thursday Trump visited the Carolinas, and declared hurricane Florence ‘one of the wettest from the standpoint of water.’ The president was especially interested in the area of Lake Norman, where he owns a golf course, and happy to hear that there was minimal damage. Against the wishes of Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Ray he also decided to declassify documents from the Mueller probe that could reveal sources and methods, and hurt FBI investigations and international intelligence gathering for years.
Continuing his attacks on the justice system Trump declared that ‘we don’t have an Attorney General,’ meaning that Jeff Sessions doesn’t act like his private lawyer, and he called the FBI ‘a cancer.’ Adding to the growing library of Trump-inspired literature Stormy Daniels published a book with her memories of Trump’s barely mid-size penis, of which the mushroom shape may explain his obsession with the use of nuclear weaponry.
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