Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking buddies from Yale University have spoken out against his nomination to the Supreme Court because they say he lied about never having blacked out.
Kavanaugh’s classmates who attended the Ivy League school with President Donald Trump’s nominee say that his recent comments on Fox News and before the Senate Judiciary Committee convinced them to speak out.
Charles Ludington, Lynne Brookes, and Elizabeth Swisher co-wrote an op-ed explaining their reasons for opposing their former classmate.
‘We each asserted that Brett lied to the Senate by stating, under oath, that he never drank to the point of forgetting what he was doing,’ they wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Thursday.
‘We said, unequivocally, that each of us, on numerous occasions, had seen Brett stumbling drunk to the point that it would be impossible for him to state with any degree of certainty that he remembered everything that he did when drunk.’
The three wrote that they believed it was their ‘civic duty’ to come forward – even though as a result they have been subjected to threats of violence, hacking, and intense media scrutiny.
‘By coming forward, each of us has disrupted our own lives and those of our families,’ they wrote.
‘As well as navigating the intense media interest, including having news vans and reporters set up in front of the home of one of us, we have received large amounts of hate mail, including threats of violence.
‘We have lost friendships.’
Kavanaugh’s classmates said that ‘none of us condemned’ him for ‘frequent drunkenness’ since ‘we drank too much in college as well.’
They wrote: ‘It is true that Brett acknowledged he sometimes drank “too many beers.”
‘But he also stated that he never drank to the point of blacking out.’
They continue: ‘None of this is what we wanted, but we felt it our civic duty to speak the truth and say that Brett lied under oath while seeking to become a Supreme Court justice…No one should be able to lie their way onto the Supreme Court.’
Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said on Sunday that he is ‘deeply troubled’ by what he claims is a blatant mischaracterization by Kavanaugh of his drinking.
Ludington, who said in a statement that he was Kavanaugh’s friend at Yale and used to drink with him, accused the Supreme Court nominee of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the extent of his drinking in college.
In addition to being a ‘frequent’ and ‘heavy drinker’, Ludington said Kavanaugh was often ‘belligerent and aggressive’ when drunk.
Kavanaugh’s drinking habits became the subject of an intense political debate that has roiled the country in light of allegations by Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford alleges that when she was 15, Kavanaugh, who was 17 years old at the time, tried to assault her during a high school party in which they were both intoxicated.
Two other women – Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick – have also alleged that Kavanaugh committed inappropriate sexual acts while alcohol was involved.
These alleged incidents took place in the early-to-mid 1980s.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations. While observers say he is entitled to a presumption of innocence, the judge’s combative style before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week has some questioning whether he has the proper temperament to serve on the bench.
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said on Thursday that Kavanaugh does not belong on the high court because of ‘potential bias’ he showed in his Senate confirmation hearing last Thursday.
Speaking to an audience of retirees in Boca Raton, Florida, Stevens, 98, said he started out believing that Kavanaugh deserved to be confirmed, ‘but his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind.’
Stevens cited commentary by Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe and others suggesting Kavanaugh had raised doubts about his political impartiality when he asserted that sexual misconduct accusations he faced stemmed from an ‘orchestrated political hit’ funded by left-wing groups seeking ‘revenge on behalf of the Clintons.’
Kavanaugh had spent more than three years working for Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Democratic President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
Kavanaugh also testified last week that allegations against him were being fueled by ‘pent-up anger’ over the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he ‘might have been too emotional at times’ in his testimony.
Kavanaugh wrote that his testimony ‘reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused.’
Some critics have argued that Kavanaugh’s highly partisan remarks so compromised his ability to appear politically fair-minded that he would be forced to recuse himself on many cases to preserve the court’s integrity.
After hearing from Ford and Kavanaugh last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the confirmation by sending it to the floor.
A procedural vote has been scheduled for Friday morning. On Saturday, all 100 Senators are expected to vote.
The key to Kavanaugh’s confirmation rests with undecided swing voters – Senator Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat; Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a moderate Republican; retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona; and Maine Senator Susan Collins, also a Republican.