By Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Now that the Senate, with the aid of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has completed its confirmation process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the question is what, if anything, does it have to do next?
In light of the fact that a 36-year-old story was brought to the Senate for its serious consideration regarding a judicial nominee absent any corroborating information or evidence, the question that many ask is: Was this the result of a good faith presentation, or was it a concerted effort to disrupt the nomination process and derail the appointment of a qualified judicial nominee?
If the answer to this question is good faith, then there is no further action to be taken. But, after all the shenanigans, all the posturing, and all the insults, the reality is that absent an investigation, there is no way of knowing.
And the American people need to know. If the allegations were brought forth merely for political expediency or personal gain, then the nomination process will have been placed under great peril for no valid reason, something the Senate cannot allow.
The Senate may begin with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who allegedly came to learn of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations through a letter she received from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo in July. According to the Senate testimonies, by the time she met with Judge Kavanaugh, Feinstein was already in possession of this letter and had even assisted Ford in obtaining a lawyer. Amazingly, Feinstein did not bring up the allegation with Kavanaugh during their July 20 meeting.
Also of great interest is the comment Ford made during her testimony indicating that Feinstein and she had agreed to keep her letter confidential until the end of the hearing. It was a comment that Arizona Attorney Rachel Mitchell was in the process of developing when Ford’s attorneys hurriedly interjected.
If Feinstein withheld material information from the Senate Judiciary Committee for over a month with the specific intent of railroading the confirmation process, then Feinstein’s actions represent the most egregious of ethical breaches. For these reasons, her role in the presentation of Ford’s testimony must be brought to light.
The other question is the role of Monica McLean. McLean is a life-long friend of Dr. Ford’s and a 24-year FBI operative who quit the agency about six months prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
McLean’s role in the development of Ford’s story is certainly suspect. Bear in mind that McLean lives in Delaware, which is where Ford was when she wrote the letter to Eshoo. Additionally, McLean is the person who was identified by another friend of Ford’s, Leland Keyser, as the person who had tried to pressure her into changing her testimony.
Such a change in testimony would have been very important since, up to that point, Kelly, who had been identified as one of the four people to have witnessed Kavanaugh’s alleged assault on Ford, said she had no recollection of such a gathering nor did she know Judge Kavanagh.
It was McLean who allegedly received the coaching from Ford on taking polygraphs, a contention McLean denies. If true, the finding would make Ford’s testimony before the Senate even less credible since she told the Committee that she did not know anything about polygraph tests. If it was learned that Ford had so much familiarity with polygraph testing that she was able to coach others on how to take one, Ford’s credibility would seriously suffer as would the validity of the polygraph results.
Finally, it is worth noting that McLean was one of the few acquaintances of Ford who was present at the Senate hearing.
Undoubtedly, the Senate must find out the truth regarding the events surrounding the 11th hour accusations of Ford.
If indeed, the events of the last two weeks were the result of a concerted effort to derail the nomination process, then the Senate must punish those nefarious actors supporting it — sitting senators or others — and just as importantly, it must take steps to prevent such a destructive orchestration from ever happening again.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
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