The Jury Talks Back


What the NYT (Initially) Forgot to Mention About Their (Not) New Kavanaugh Allegation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Robby Soave at Reason:

Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh faces another accusation of sexual misconduct. Details of the previously unreported incident appeared in The New York Times on Sunday. The article is adapted from a forthcoming book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.

The essay concerns an allegation by Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, who previously told The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow that “after six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” she recalled Kavanaugh drunkenly exposing himself to her at a dorm room party 35 years ago.

To bolster this account, Pogrebin and Kelly have produced an additional, similar accusation. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service and an attorney with a history of defending the Clintons, allegedly told the FBI that at Yale he saw Kavanaugh “with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student,” according to the Times. In its original form, the article continued:

Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)

Mr. Kavanaugh did not speak to us because we could not agree on terms for an interview. But he has denied Dr. Ford’s and Ms. Ramirez’s allegations, and declined to answer our questions about Mr. Stier’s account.

The Times story was later amended to add a rather important missing detail: “the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode.”


Soave’s post relies to some degree on a book co-written by Mollie Hemingway, a shameless Trumpist hack who might accidentally tell the truth if the truth happened to coincide with the Trump agenda (as it does here), but who is not a reliable source for anything that is not otherwise obvious or well documented elsewhere. In short: if it is true and it doesn’t benefit Donald Trump, you’re not going to hear it from Mollie. Period. That said, although I disavow any part of Soave’s post that relies on Trumpy McTrumpingway, the initial omission by the NYT of the detail that Soave identifies is utterly hacky and shameless.

There are very few people or institutions you can trust in these hyperpartisan times. Keep a watchful and skeptical eye.

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