Kavanaugh accuser asks Senate to limit press access for hearing

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/sep/25/accuser-senate-limit-press-kavanaugh-hearing/

Kavanaugh accuser asks Senate to limit press access for hearing

September 25, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers have asked senators to limit the press who will be allowed in the room to cover Thursday’s hearing with her and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and sought to dictate at least some of the outlets.

Coverage is one of a number of issues Ms. Blasey Ford’s lawyers are negotiating with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Michael Bromwich said in emails sent Tuesday afternoon that he was requesting access for three “robocams,” three specific wire services, photographers from the Associated Press, Reuters and one unspecified service, and a pool reporter for newspapers and magazines. In a follow-up email he specified that the robocams should be operated by “the CSPAN TV pool,” and said he also wanted space for a radio reporter.

Those emails were among several seen by The Washington Times detailing the tense negotiations between Ms. Blasey Ford’s team and committee staff.

While committees sometimes limit press based on space at hearings, and some witnesses have arranged to have their identities shielded, longtime Capitol Hill watchers struggled to think of precedent for a witness dictating terms of press coverage.

In Ms. Blasey Ford’s case she has received threats since she went public with her story, and her team has insisted the committee guarantee her safety as she testifies, as well as limited access to the hearing.

Ms. Blasey Ford has accused Judge Kavanaugh of an attempted sexual assault at a party when they were both high school students in the early 1980s. He has vehemently denied the accusation, and as yet no contemporaneous witness has come forward to verify her allegations.

She has agreed to testify but has laid out a number of parameters and is objecting to some of Republicans’ plans.

One major sticking point is the GOP’s plans to use a female lawyer hired specifically for this hearing to ask questions on behalf of the Republican senators. That lawyer will question both Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Blasey Ford, according to one email from Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations to Chairman Chuck Grassley.

Debra Katz, another of Ms. Blasey Ford’s lawyers, said in a Tuesday morning message they still haven’t been told who that outside lawyer will be.

“Please let us know if you have similarly withheld the name of this person from Mr. Kavanaugh and his counsel. If you have not, which we assume to be the case, can you please explain the disparate treatment?” she wrote. “Please also advise whether Mr. Kavanaugh and his counsel have been given an opportunity to meet with this individual. We would similarly like the opportunity to meet with her at her soonest availability.”

She said in the email that Mr. Davis was refusing to talk by phone, so Ms. Blasey Ford’s team was asking for an in-person meeting.

A spokesman for Mr. Grassley didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

September 27, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Sexism, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

10 Red Flags About Sexual Assault Claims, From An Employment Lawyer

http://thefederalist.com/2018/09/25/10-red-flags-sexual-assault-claims-employment-lawyer/

10 Red Flags About Sexual Assault Claims, From An Employment Lawyer

It’s not nice or politically correct to say, but people do sometimes lie to get money, revenge, power, attention, or political advantage. False allegations of assault have been documented.

By Adam Mill

September 25, 2018

I stand athwart the streamroller of sexual misconduct complaints that crush the innocent, end marriages, and destroy careers. In the Me Too era, I am an employment attorney in the politically incorrect vocation of defending who must pay if misconduct is found.

My skin is thick, and I do not melt when asked, “How dare you!” I dare because I do not want the innocent to be wrongly punished. I know it’s a very unfashionable to advocate on behalf of the presumption of innocence, and I am often reminded of how insensitive and outdated the principle is in today’s climate.

Of course, courtesy to the alleged victim is absolutely essential to be effective. To do otherwise is completely counterproductive and quickly turns the focus from the facts to the conduct within the inquiry. So I go to great pains to make my questions respectful.

I don’t interrupt. I don’t impugn. I just ask the accuser to walk me through what he or she is saying entitles him or her to damages. We know from cases like the Duke lacrosse team that mob justice can trample defense of the falsely accused.

It’s not nice or politically correct to say, but people do sometimes lie to get money, revenge, power, attention, or political advantage. False allegations of sexual assault have been documented. Even the most pro-accuser advocates acknowledge that 5 percent of the claims are simply false.

When the complaint is “he said/she said,” we should not helplessly acquiesce to coin-flip justice that picks winners and losers based upon the identity politics profile of the accused and accuser. Experience with a career’s worth of complaints in hearings, depositions, and negotiations has taught me some tells, red flags that warn that an innocent person stands accused.

Without naming any particular accusation, I offer these factors for consideration to the fair-minded who remain open to the possibility that guilt or innocence is not simply a question of politics. I also remind the reader that politicizing these accusations have allowed men like Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Matt Lauer, Les Moonves, Bill Clinton, and Keith Ellison to escape accountability. Nobody seems to care if they walk the walk so long as they talk the talk.

1. The accuser uses the press instead of the process.

Every company has a slightly different process for harassment and assault complaints. Often it begins with a neutral investigator being assigned to interview the accuser first, then potential corroborating witnesses. When an accuser is eager to share with the media but reluctant to meet with an investigator, it’s a flag.

2. The accuser times releasing the accusation for an advantage.

For example, when the accuser holds the allegation until an adverse performance rating of the accuser is imminent, or serious misconduct by the accuser is suddenly discovered, or the accused is a rival for a promotion or a raise, or the accused’s success will block an accuser’s political objective. It’s a flag when the accusation is held like a trump card until an opportunity arises to leverage the accusation.

3. The accuser attacks the process instead of participating.

The few times I’ve been attacked for “harassing” the victim, it has always followed an otherwise innocuous question about the accusation, such as: Where, when, how, why, what happened? I don’t argue with accusers, I just ask them to explain the allegation. If I’m attacked for otherwise neutral questions, it’s a red flag.

4. When the accused’s opportunity to mount a defense is delegitimized.

The Duke Lacrosse coach was fired just for saying his players were innocent. When the players dared to protest their innocence, the prosecutor painted their stories in the press as “uncooperative.” If either the accused or the accused’s supporters are attacked for just for failing to agree with the accusation, it’s a red flag.

5. The accuser seeks to force the accused to defend himself or herself before committing to a final version.

Unfortunately, this has become the preferred approach of the kangaroo courts on college campuses. It’s completely unfair because it deprives the accused of the opportunity to mount an effective defense. When the accuser demands the accused speak first, it is a strong indication that the accuser wants the opportunity to fill in the details of the accusation to counter any defense or alibi the accused might offer. It’s a red flag.

6. The accused makes a strong and unequivocal denial.

In most cases, there’s some kernel of truth to even the most exaggerated claims. When the accused reacts with a dissembling explanation full of alternatives and rationalizations, I tend to find the accuser more credible. Rarely, however, the accused reacts with a full-throated and adamant denial. When it happens, it’s a red flag that the accusation might have problems.

7. The accuser makes unusual demands to modify or control the process.

It’s a flag when the accuser demands a new investigator or judge without having a substantial basis for challenging the impartiality of the process that’s already in place.

8. When the accuser’s ability to identify the accused has not been properly explained.

In the Duke lacrosse case, the accuser was shown a lineup of photos of potential attackers. Every photo was of a member of the team. None were of people known to be innocent. It’s a red flag when an identification is made only after the accused appears in media and the accuser has not seen the accused for a number of years or was otherwise in regular contact with the accused.

9. When witnesses don’t corroborate.

10. When corroborating witnesses simply repeat the accusation of the accuser but don’t have fresh information.

It is now clear that accusations of sexual misconduct will forever be a tool to change results in elections and Supreme Court nominations. It’s disappointing to see so many abandon the accused to join the stampede of a mob that punishes any who ask legitimate questions about accusations.

These accusations destroy the lives of the accused, often men, and bring devastation to the women who love and support them. Some of the falsely accused commit suicide. When the mob attacks legitimate inquiry into the accusation, it’s a sure sign that the mob isn’t confident about the truth of the allegation. Rather than shrink in fear when attacked, we should take it as a sign that there is a risk that the accused is innocent, and the questions need to keep coming.

Adam Mill works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He frequently posts to millstreetgazette.blogspot.com. Adam graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri.

September 27, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Sexism, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Alan Dershowitz: Six rules for conducting the Christine Blasey Ford-Brett Kavanaugh hearings

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/09/22/six-rules-for-conducting-ford-kavanaugh-hearings/ceJUeP97WOmIcKquyMIhzO/story.html

Six rules for conducting the Christine Blasey Ford-Brett Kavanaugh hearings

By Alan M. Dershowitz

September 22, 2018

It’s not surprising that each side of the Ford/Kavanaugh he said/she said dispute is seeking different procedures. This is an adversarial high-stakes confrontation between a male Supreme Court justice nominee and his female accuser. Reasonable people could disagree about the appropriate procedural steps, but there are basic rules that must be followed for hearings of this kind to be fair.

Rule 1: No one should presume that either party is lying or telling the truth. There is no gender-based gene for truth telling. Some women tell the truth; some women lie. Some men tell the truth; some men lie. Without hearing any evidence under oath, and subject to cross-examination, no reasonable person should declare psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford to be a victim or federal judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a perpetrator. Nor should anybody declare the opposite. The issue is an evidentiary one and evidence must be heard and subject to rigorous cross-examination, preferably by an experienced and sensitive female litigator.

Rule 2: The accuser must always testify first, and be subject to cross examination. The accused must then be allowed to respond to the accusation and also be subject to cross-examination. In the bad old days of the Inquisition, the accused was required to testify first without even knowing the grounds of the accusation. The rule of law in the United States had always been the opposite. The accuser accuses first and the accused then has an opportunity to respond to all accusations.

Rule 3: Political considerations should not enter into he said/she said decision making. Fact-finders and investigators must take as much time as necessary to get as close to the truth as possible, without regard to whether this helps the Democrats or the Republican or particular candidates. There should be no deadlines designed to influence the mid-term elections. Both sides should be given as much time as is reasonable to make their cases and no decision should be made until each side has had that opportunity.

Rule 4: Everybody must be willing to accept the “shoe on the other foot test.” The same rules that would apply if a liberal Democrat had been nominated by a liberal Democratic president must be applied to a conservative Republican candidate nominated by a Republican president. There can’t be one rule for the left and a different one for the right. The rule of law must apply equally in all situations.

Rule 5: The standard for proving a serious sexual allegation must be high. In a criminal case, the evidence must prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. “Better ten guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly convicted.” That standard must vary with the consequences to both sides. On university campuses, for example, the standard for proving a charge of sexual assault that could result in expulsion should be close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt, perhaps “clear and convincing evidence.”

But it should never be “a mere preponderance of the evidence,” because that means no more than a 51 percent likelihood that the sexual assault occurred. Under that low preponderance standard, 49 out of every 100 people convicted may well be innocent. That is far too high a percentage.

What about when the issue is suitability to serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court? The consequences of an erroneous decision are high on all sides. A nominee rejected for a false allegation of sexual assault will suffer grievous reputational and career consequences. But so will the woman whose accusations are deemed untruthful. There is also the consequence of having a Supreme Court justice serve for many years if he was a sexual assailant. On balance, the standard should be higher than proof by a mere preponderance. It should come close to clear and convincing evidence, especially if the allegation is decades old and the nominee has lived an exemplary life ever since.

Rule 6: No material information should be withheld from either side. Each side should have a full opportunity to examine inculpatory, exculpatory or otherwise relevant material that may have an impact on the truth-finding process. Specifically, the letter written to Senator Dianne Feinstein must be disclosed to Judge Kavanaugh and to the Senators. Ideally it should also be shared with the public as well, but if there is any highly embarrassing and personal information that is not relevant, it could be redacted.

Doubts should be resolved in favor of disclosure because Ford came forward voluntarily with her accusation, thus waiving any right to privacy. Kavanaugh too has waived his privacy rights by being a candidate for the Supreme Court, and any information relevant to his activities, even 36 years ago, should be disclosed.

If these neutral rules are followed, the process may end up being fair to both sides. All Americans have a stake in the fairness of this process and no one should compromise the basic rules of fairness and due process that have long been the hallmarks of the rule of law.

September 27, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Sexism, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Man Apologizes For Claiming Kavanaugh Sexually Assaulted His Friend, Says He ‘Made A Mistake’

https://dailycaller.com/2018/09/26/rhode-island-kavanaugh-made-a-mistake/

Man Apologizes For Claiming Kavanaugh Sexually Assaulted His Friend, Says He ‘Made A Mistake’

September 26, 2018

A Rhode Island man who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting his friend apologized on Wednesday and said he “made a mistake.”

The man called Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office and claimed that Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh, drunkenly sexually assaulted one of his friends, according to interview transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A committee investigator asked Kavanaugh about the allegation during an interview on Tuesday, which he denied.

The man’s name was redacted in the transcripts released to the public but the investigator quoted verbatim several outlandish anti-Trump tweets from the man’s Twitter account, allowing reporters to identify him on Twitter as “Jeffrey Catalan.”

“Dear Pentagon, please save my country from the parasite that occupies the White House,” Catalan wrote in one tweet. “Our [sic] you waiting until Russians parachute in like in Red Dawn? Please help!”

After Catalan started getting attention on Twitter, he publicly stated that he had recanted the accusation.

“Do [sic] everyone who is going crazy about what I had said I have recanted because I have made a mistake and apologize for such mistake,” he wrote.

The committee is set to hear testimony on Thursday in a separate and unrelated accusation against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly trying to force himself on her while the two were in high school, will both testify before the committee. Kavanaugh has adamantly denied Ford’s accusation.

September 27, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Sexism, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Two men say they, not Brett Kavanaugh, had alleged sexual encounter with Christine Ford

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/26/brett-kavanaugh-two-men-say-they-had-disputed-sexual-encounter-christine-ford/1439569002/

Two men say they, not Brett Kavanaugh, had alleged sexual encounter with Christine Ford

September 26, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee has questioned two men who say they, not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, had the disputed encounter with Christine Blasey Ford at a 1982 house party that led to sexual assault allegations.

The revelation was included in a late-night news release by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the committee. The release includes a day-by-day view of the committee’s investigative work over the last two weeks since allegations surfaced targeting Kavanaugh.

Ford was the first to step forward with allegations and claimed Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and attempted to pull off her clothes while both were high school students in 1982. Since then a number of accusations have piled on, including that of a physical assault and several other sexual encounters.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied all the allegations lodged against him.

The committee has interviewed two men who came forward about the disputed assault at a summer house party. Both told the committee they, not Kavanaugh, “had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982 that is the basis of his complaint,” the release states.

The previously unknown interviews could add a new layer to the evolving saga on the eve of a possible explosive hearing between Kavanaugh and Ford, though it’s unknown whether the men’s claims are being taken seriously.

One of the men was interviewed twice by committee staff. He also submitted two written statements, one on Monday and a second, more in-depth statement on Wednesday.

Committee staff spoke to a second man over the phone Wednesday who also said he believed he, not Kavanaugh, had the disputed encounter with Ford. “He explained his recollection of the details of the encounter” to staff, the release states.

Both men were not named. USA TODAY was not able to independently vet the claims.

The committee has said it is investigating all claims made in the Kavanaugh saga, attempting to “make sure no stone was left unturned.”

In this regard, the committee has also questioned Kavanaugh about a series of anonymous allegations, including a physical assault on a woman in the 1990s.

The release also outlines a number of others the committee has interviewed, including friends of Kavanaugh and those who know the women who have lodged accusations against him.

September 27, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Sexism, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Trump should withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination, and nominate Ann Coulter instead

President Trump should withdraw Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, and nominate Ann Coulter instead.

September 25, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Sexism. Leave a comment.