the kavanaugh hearings

A Running List of Excuses Team Kavanaugh Has Tried Out

Brett Kavanaugh. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It’s only been one week since the public about the letter Professor Christine Blasey Ford sent Senator Dianne Feinstein, in which she claimed that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, and she was around 15 years old. According to her account, Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge — who were both “stumbling drunk” — trapped her in a room at a party, where Kavanaugh held her down on the bed and tried to undress her.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told the . “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Kavanaugh has “unequivocally” denied the allegation, and in the days since it first came to light, he and his supporters have experimented with a number of different lines in an attempt to exonerate him, ranging from flat-out denying that Kavanaugh was at the party in question, to releasing a letter from two of his ex-girlfriends who insist he’s always been nice to them, to the classic evil twin theory.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve heard so far:

The Denials

On Friday, September 14, The published a report by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer which outlined the specific claims against Kavanaugh, but did not reveal the identity of his accuser. Kavanaugh denied these claims, telling The New Yorker, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

He issued another denial on Monday, after Ford came forward as the author of the letter, writing:

This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity. 

The “Some of My Best Friends Are Women”

Hours after The New Yorker report came out, Senator Chuck Grassley shared sent to him by 65 women who went to high school with Brett Kavanaugh, in which they said that in the 35 years they’ve known him, “he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”

When reached out to the women on Monday, a day after Ford came forward, only seven confirmed that they still stand by Kavanaugh.

The “I Wasn’t Even There”

On on Monday, Senator Orrin Hatch insisted that Ford is “mistaken,” adding, “I talked to [Kavanaugh] on the phone today … [he said] he didn’t do that, and he wasn’t at the party. So, you know, clearly, somebody’s mixed up.”

As the points out, it seems odd that Kavanaugh could make this claim, given that Ford didn’t specify when or where the alleged attack took place.

The Mauras

Later on Monday, two of Kavanaugh’s ex-girlfriends — Maura Kane, who dated him in high school, and Maura Fitzgerald, who dated him in college — issued statements vouching for Kavanaugh’s character.

“He always conducted himself honorably with me at all times when we were together,” said Maura Fitzgerald.

“In every situation where we were together he [was] always respectful, kind, and thoughtful,” wrote Maura Kane.

The “Rough Horseplay”

On Tuesday, Carrie Severino, spokesperson for the Judicial Crisis Network — the organization that runs the campaigns for Republican judicial nominees — said on that Ford’s allegations “cover a whole range of conduct, from boorishness, to rough horseplay, to actual attempted rape.”

She goes on to say, “[Ford] is certainly implying that it’s attempted rape […] I’m saying the behavior she describes could describe a whole range of things.”

The Evil Twin

Perhaps the most stunning theory in this case, and maybe ever, came on Tuesday, when Kathleen Parker wrote an op-ed for the titled “Is there a Kavanaugh doppelganger?” which posits that Ford was attacked by someone that night, but it wasn’t Kavanaugh, it was just someone who looked like him.

“As crazy as that sounds, it wouldn’t be unheard of. And, given the high regard in which Kavanaugh has been held throughout his life, including during high school, it would make the most sense,” Parker wrote.

Would it?

We will continue to update this post as more excuses get trotted out.

A Running List of Excuses Team Kavanaugh Has Tried Out