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Brett Kavanaugh Continues Testimony Before Senate. Aired 3:30- 4p ET
Aired September 27, 2018 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRETT KAVANAUGH: Importantly her friend, Ms. Keyser, has not only denied knowledge of the party, Ms. Keyser said under penalty of felony she does not know me, does not recall ever being at a party with me ever.
And my two male friends who were allegedly there, who knew me well, have told this committee under penalty of felony that they do not recall any such party and that I never did or would do anything like this.
Dr. Ford's allegation is not merely uncorroborated, it is refuted by the very people she says were there, including by a long-time friend of hers. Refuted.
Third, Dr. Ford has said that this event occurred at a house near Columbia Country Club, which is at the corner of Connecticut Avenue in the East-West Highway in Chevy Chase, Maryland. In her letter to Senator Feinstein, she said that there were four other people at the house but none of those people, nor I, lived near Columbia Country Club.
As of the summer of 1982, Dr. Ford was 15 and could not drive yet and she did not live near Columbia Country Club. She says confidently that she had one beer at the party, but she does not say how she got to the house in question or how she got home or whose house it was.
Fourth, I have submitted to this committee detailed calendars recording my activities in the summer of 1982. Why did I keep calendars? My dad started keeping detailed calendars of his life in 1978. He did so as both a calendar and a diary. He was a very organized guy, to put it mildly. Christmas time, we'd sit around and he regales us with old stories, old milestones, old weddings, old events from his calendars.
In ninth grade -- in ninth grade, in 1980, I started keeping calendars of my own. For me, also, it's both a calendar and a diary. I've kept such calendar as diaries for the last 38 years; mine are not as good as my dad's in some years. And when I was a kid, the calendars are about what you would expect from a kid; some goofy parts, some embarrassing parts.
But I did have the summer of 1982 documented pretty well. The event described by Dr. Ford, presumably happened on a weekend because I believed everyone worked and had jobs in the summers. And in any event, a drunken early evening event of the kind she describes, presumably happened on a weekend.
If it was a weekend, my calendars show that I was out of town almost every weekend night before football training camp started in late August. The only weekend nights that I was in D.C. were Friday, June 4, when I was with my dad at a pro golf tournament and had my high school achievement test at 8:30 the next morning.
I also was in D.C. on Saturday night, August 7th. But I was at a small gathering at Becky's house in Rockville with Matt, Denise, Laurie and Jenny. Their names are all listed on my calendar. I won't use their last names here.
And then on the weekend of August 20 to 22nd, I was staying at the Garrets' (ph) with Pat (ph) and Chris (ph) as we did final preparations for football training camp that began on Sunday, the 22nd. As the calendars' confirm, the -- that weekend before a brutal training camp schedule was no time for parities.
So let me emphasize this point. If the party described by Dr. Ford happened in the summer of 1982 on a weekend night, my calendar shows all but definitively that I was not there.
During the weekdays in the summer of 1982, as you can see, I was out of town for two weeks of the summer for a trip to the beach with friends and at the legendary Five-Star Basketball Camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. When I was in town, I spent much of my time working, working out, lifting weights, playing basketball, or hanging out and having some beers with friends as we talked about life, and football, and school and girls.
Some have noticed that I didn't have church on Sundays on my calendars. I also didn't list brushing my teeth. And for me, going to church on Sundays was like brushing my teeth, automatic. It still is.
In the summer of 1981, I had worked construction. In the summer of 1982, my job was cutting lawns. I had my own business of sorts. You see some specifics about the lawn cutting listed on the August calendar page, when I had to time the last lawn cuttings of the summer of various lawns before football training camp.
I played in a lot of summer league basketball games for the Georgetown Prep team at night at Blair High School in Silver Spring. Many nights, I worked out with other guys at Tobin's house. He was the great quarterback on our football team and his dad ran workouts -- or lifted weights at Georgetown Prep in preparation for the football season. I attended and watched many sporting events, as is my habit to this day.
The calendars show a few weekday gatherings at friends' houses after a workout or just to meet up and have some beers. But none of those gatherings included the group of people that Dr. Ford has identified. And as my calendars show, I was very precise about listing who was there; very precise. And keeping -- keep in mind, my calendars also were diaries of sorts, forward-looking and backward-looking, just like my dad's. You can see, for example, that I crossed out missed workouts and the canceled doctor's appointments, and that I listed the precise people who had shown up for certain events. The calendars are obviously not dispositive on their own, but they are another piece of evidence for you to consider.
Fifth, Dr. Ford's allegation is radically inconsistent with my record and my character from my youth to the present day. As students at an all-boys catholic Jesuit school, many of us became friends and remain friends to this day with students at local catholic all-girls schools.
One feature of my life that has remained true to the present day is that I have always had a lot of close female friends. I'm not talking about girlfriends; I'm talking about friends who are women. That started in high school. Maybe it was because I'm an only child and had no sisters.
But anyway, we had no social media, or texts, or e-mail and we talked on the phone. I remember talking almost every night it seemed, to my friends Amy, or Julie, or Kristin, or Karen, or Suzanne, or Moira, or Megan, or Nikki (ph). The list goes on -- friends for a lifetime, built on a foundation of talking through school and life, starting at age 14. Several of those great women are in the seats right behind me today.
My friends and I sometimes got together and had parties on weekends. The drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my time in high school, and was 18 in D.C. for all of my time in high school.
I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone.
There is a bright line between drinking beer, which I gladly do, and which I fully embrace, and sexually assaulting someone, which is a violent crime. If every American who drinks beer or every American who drank beer in high school is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, will be an ugly, new place in this country. I never committed sexual assault.
As high school students, we sometimes did goofy or stupid things. I doubt we are alone in looking back in high school and cringing at some things.
For one thing, our yearbook was a disaster. I think some editors and students wanted the yearbook to be some combination of Animal House, Caddy Shack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which were all recent movies at that time. Many of us went along in the yearbook to the point of absurdity. This past week, my friends and I have cringed when we read about it and talked to each other. One thing in particular we're sad about: one of our good -- one of our good female friends who we would admire and went to dances with had her names used on the yearbook page with the term "alumnus." That yearbook reference was clumsily intended to show affection, and that she was one of us. But in this circus, the media's interpreted the term is related to sex. It was not related to sex. As the woman herself noted to the media on the record, she and I never had any six -- sexual interaction of -- at all. I'm so sorry to her for that yearbook reference. This may sound a bit trivial, given all that we are here for, but one thing I want to try to make sure -- sure of in the future is my friendship with her. She was and is a great person.
As to sex, this is not a topic I ever imagined would come up at a judicial confirmation hearing, but I want to give you a full picture of who I was. I never had sexual intercourse, or anything close to it, during high school, or for many years after that. In some crowds, I was probably a little outwardly shy about my inexperience; tried to hide that. At the same time, I was also inwardly proud of it. For me and the girls who I was friends with, that lack of major rampant sexual activity in high school was a matter of faith and respect and caution.
The committee has a letter from 65 women who knew me in high school. They said that I always treated them with dignity and respect. That letter came together in one night, 35 years after graduation, while a sexual assault allegation was pending against me in a very fraught (ph) and public situation where they knew -- they knew they'd be vilified if they defended me.
Think about that. They put theirselves (sic) on the line for me. Those are some awesome women, and I love all of them.
You also have a letter from women who knew me in college. Most were varsity athletes, and they described that I treated them as friends and equals, and supported them in their sports at a time when women's sports was emerging in the wake of Title IX. I thank all of them for all of their texts, and their emails, and their support. One of those women friends from college, a self-described liberal and feminist, sent me a text last night that said, quote, "Deep breaths. You're a good man, a good man, a good man."
A text yesterday from another of those women friends from college said, quote, "Brett, be strong. Pulling for you to my core." A third text yesterday from yet another of those women I'm friends with from college said, "I'm holding you in the light of God."
As I said in my opening statement the last time I was with you, cherish your friends, look out for your friends, lift up your friends, love your friends. I've felt that love more over the last two weeks than I ever have in my life. I thank all my friends. I love all my friends.
Throughout my life, I've devoted huge efforts to encouraging and promoting the careers of women. I will put my record up against anyone's, male or female. I am proud of the letter from 84 women -- 84 women -- who worked with me at the Bush White House from 2001 to 2006, and described me as, quote, "a man of the highest integrity."
Read the op-ed from Sarah Day (ph) from Yarmouth, Maine. She worked in Oval Office operations, outside of President Bush's office. Here's what she recently wrote in centralmaine.com, and today she stands by her comments.
Quote, "Brett was an advocate for young women like me. He encouraged me to take on more responsibility and to feel confident in my role. In fact, during the 2004 Republican National Convention, Brett gave me the opportunity to help with the preparation and review of the president's remarks, something I never (ph)...
... "something I never would have had the chance to do if he had not included me. And he didn't just include me in the work. He made sure I was at Madison Square Garden to watch the president's speech, instead of back at the hotel, watching it on TV." End quote.
As a judge since 2006, I've had the privilege of hiring four recent law school graduates to serve as my law clerks each year. The law clerks for federal judges are the best and brightest graduates of American law schools. They work for one-year terms for judges after law school, and then they move on in their careers.
For judges, training these young lawyers is an important responsibility. The clerks will become the next generation of American lawyers and leaders, judges and senators.
Just after I took the bench in 2006, there was a major New York Times story about the low numbers of women law clerks at the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts.
I took notice, and I took action. A majority of my 48 law clerks over the last 12 years have been women.
In a letter to this committee, my women law clerks said I was one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers. And they wrote that the legal profession is fairer and more equal because of me.
In my time on the bench, no federal judge -- not a single one in the country -- has sent more women law clerks to clerk on the Supreme Court than I have.
Before this allegation arose two weeks ago, I was required to start making certain administrative preparations for my possible transfer to the Supreme Court, just in case I was confirmed.
As part of that, I had to, in essence, contingently hire a first group of four law clerks who could be available to clerk at the Supreme Court for me on a moment's notice.
I did so, and contingently hired four law clerks. All four are women. If confirmed, I'll be the first justice in the history of the Supreme Court to have a group of all-women law clerks.
That is who I am. That is who I was. Over the past 12 years, I've taught constitutional law to hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School, where (ph) I was hired by then-dean and now- Justice Elena Kagan.
One of my former women students, a Democrat, testified to this committee that I was an even-handed professor who treats people fairly and with respect.
In a letter to this committee, my former students -- male and female alike -- wrote that I displayed "a character that impressed us all." I loved teaching law. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.
For the past seven years, I've coached my two daughters' basketball teams. You saw many of those girls when they came to my hearing for a couple of hours. You have a letter from the parents of the girls I coach, that describe my dedication, commitment and character.
I coach because I know that a girl's confidence on the basketball court translates into confidence in other aspects of life. I love coaching more than anything I've ever done in my whole life. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.
I've been a judge for 12 years. I have a long record of service to America and to the Constitution. I revere the Constitution. I am deeply grateful to President Trump for nominating me. He was so gracious to my family and me on the July night he announced my nomination at the White House. I thank him for his steadfast support.
When I accepted the president's nomination, Ashley and I knew this process would be challenging. We never expected that it would devolve into this. Explaining this to our daughters has been about the worst experience of our lives.
Ashley has been a rock. I thank God every day for Ashley and my family. We live in a country devoted to due process and the rule of law. That means taking allegations seriously.
But if the mere allegation -- the mere assertion of an allegation -- a refuted allegation from 36 years ago is enough to destroy a person's life and career, we will have abandoned the basic principles of fairness and due process that define our legal system and our country.
I ask you to judge me by the standard that you would want applied to your father, your husband, your brother or your son. My family and I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford or her family.
But I swear today -- under oath, before the Senate and the nation; before my family and God -- I am innocent of this charge.
GRASSLEY: Thank you, Judge Kavanaugh. Before we start questions, I won't repeat what I said this morning but we'll do it the same way as we did for Dr. Ford. And five-minute rounds. And so we will start with Ms. Mitchell.
MITCHELL: Good afternoon, Judge Kavanaugh. We have not met. My name is Rachel Mitchell.
I'd like to go over a couple of guidelines for our question-and-answer session today. If I ask a question...
KAVANAUGH: Yes, I'm ready.
MITCHELL: OK. If I ask a question...
KAVANAUGH: Thank you.
MITCHELL: If I ask a question that you do not understand, please ask me to clarify it, or ask it in a different way. I may ask a question where I incorporate some information you've already provided. If I get it wrong, please correct me. I'm not going to ask you to guess. If you do estimate, please let me know you're estimating.
Now, I want to make sure that all of the committee members have gotten a copy of the definition of sexual behavior.
GRASSLEY: Yes, at least I have one.
MITCHELL: And you have that, as well, Judge Kavanaugh?
MITCHELL: OK. First of all, have you been given or reviewed a copy of the questions that I will be asking you?
MITCHELL: Has anyone told you the questions that I will be asking you?
MITCHELL: I want you to take a moment to review the definition that's before you of sexual behavior.
Have you had a chance to review it?
KAVANAUGH: I have. I may refer back to it, if I can?
MITCHELL: Yes, please.
I'd like to point out two specific parts. Among the examples of sexual behavior, it includes rubbing or grinding your genitals against somebody, clothed or unclothed. And I would also point out that the definition applies whether or not the acts were sexually motivated or, for example, horseplay. Do you understand the definition I have given you?
KAVANAUGH: I do.
MITCHELL: And again, if at any time you need to review that, please -- please let me know.
Dr. Ford has stated that somewhere between five or six people were present at the gathering on this date: you, Mark Judge, Leland Ingham -- at the time, or Leland Keyser now, Patrick P.J. Smyth, Dr. Ford and -- and an unnamed boy. Do you know Mark Judge?
KAVANAUGH: I do.
MITCHELL: How do you know him?
KAVANAUGH: He was a friend at Georgetown Prep, starting in ninth grade. He's a -- someone we would -- in our, you know, group of friends. We're a very friendly group in class. He saw the letter that's been sent by my friends from Georgetown Prep. Funny guy, great writer, popular, developed a serious addiction problem that lasted decades. Near death a couple times from his addiction. Suffered tremendously from.
MITCHELL: What is your relationship with him like now?
KAVANAUGH: I haven't talked to him in a couple years. We've probably been on, you know, mass e-mails that -- or, group e-mails that go around among my high school friends.
MITCHELL: And how did you know Patrick Smyth?
KAVANAUGH: Also ninth grade, Georgetown Prep. Went by P.J. then. He and I lived close to one another. Played football together, he was defensive tackle, I was the quarterback and wide receiver.