Screengrab from https://youtu.be/Tsm1GPnlqmU
In yesterday’s confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, there was an almost surreal exchange between California senator, former adulterous bedmate of San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, and 2020 presidential hopeful Kamala Harris and the nominee.
During one tense exchange, Harris asked Kavanaugh if he had ever discussed the special counsel Robert Mueller or the Russia probe with anyone at the Kasowitz, Benson and Torres law firm. Marc Kasowitz, a partner at the firm, is one of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers.
Mueller is leading the inquiry into Russia’s influence in the 2016 US presidential election and the investigation of whether Trump obstructed justice in the matter.
Harris asked Kavanaugh: “Have you had any conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that firm? Yes or no?”
“Is there a person you’re talking about?” Kavanaugh asked.
“I’m asking you a very direct question — yes or no?” Harris said.
“I’m not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm,” Kavanaugh replied.
Harris’ question appeared to puzzle the Supreme Court nominee, who paused for long periods before asking the California senator if she wanted to know whether he spoke with a specific person at the firm about Mueller.
“I think you’re thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us,” Harris said, before rephrasing her question: “Did you speak with anyone at that law firm about Bob Mueller’s investigation?”
“I’m not remembering anything like that, but I want to know a roster of people, and I want to know more,” Kavanaugh said.
There are two points here to remember. First, Kasowitz Benson & Torres has a long association with Trump and is representing him a defamation lawsuit by a former “Apprentice” contestant. They briefly represented him in the Mueller investigation but are no longer doing so. Second, the firm, according to Politico, has over 250 attorneys so it is entirely possible Kavanaugh has been in a conversation with one or more of them concerning Mueller, though Harris’s question is McCarthy-esque bullsh**. There is literally no reason why such a conversation would be improper.
From AboveTheLaw comes this analysis:
Harris didn’t confront him with a document, so whatever this is, her sources for this conversation are outside of the paltry email dump the committee got. She continues to press him on whether or not he’s spoken with anyone at Kasowitz about the Mueller investigation and he keeps asking her to identify who she’s thinking of. She delivers a remarkably cold: “I think you’re thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us.”
What in the hell was all that?!? Was Kavanaugh covertly counseling Kasowitz on Trump’s defense? It would seem as though she could have dropped the hammer and gotten more specific. Not for nothing, but my immediate reaction was this may have had nothing to do with Mueller at all. Harris seemed less interested in building a case for recusal than making sure Kavanaugh knew that she knew that he knew someone at Kasowitz and that she could introduce that fact into the record at any given moment between now and the final vote on the floor.
At this point, it’s up to our imaginations what that could mean, but a seasoned prosecutor leaning on someone based on their acquaintances doesn’t generally bode well for the witness. Certainly felt like the prosecutorial equivalent of “nice little nomination you got here — shame if anything happened to it” that defendants hear all the time. Except instead of getting him to flip, she’s giving him a chance to walk away unscathed by whatever she thinks she has.
The killer is from longtime James Comey mouthpiece, Benjamin Wittes:
I would put this slightly differently: Either Kamala Harris has something significant to reveal about Kavanaugh’s having improper discussions about the Mueller probe with someone from the Kasowitz firm or she engaged in a shocking piece of demagoguery yesterday. https://t.co/x5unjlejdL
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) September 6, 2018
Let’s be serious. If Harris had any evidence of an improper meeting between Kavanaugh and anyone, we’d know it. In fact, we’d have known it weeks ago. All she’s doing is tossing a fake allegation against the wall to play to the cheap seats in the Democrat party…which would be most of the seats right now.