Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) has made an earnest spectacle of inviting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to testify.
“Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has made serious allegations against Judge Kavanaugh,” Grassley wrote Wednesday in an open letter to his committee colleagues. “She has a right to be heard,” he wrote, adding: “Holding a hearing is in the best interest of justice.” Rebuffing calls for an FBI investigation, Grassley held the Senate as a truth-driven investigating authority: “The job of assessing and investigating a nominee’s qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone.”
But the notion that the Republicans weighing Kavanaugh’s nomination are acting in good faith, or actually open to disqualifying information about the nominee, was undermined Wednesday night when Mike Davis, the judiciary committee’s Chief Counsel for Nominations, tweeted: “Unfazed and Determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”
On its face, the tweet combined indifference for the serious allegation of sexual assault brought by Ford with a hashtag commitment to #ConfirmKavanaugh. The tweet caught the notice of this reporter and others:
"unfazed" – not really even pretending https://t.co/4f1mZv6PRh
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 20, 2018
By Thursday morning, Davis was in full walk-back mode, claiming his clarion call to “confirm Judge Kavanaugh” had been subject to “misinterpretation.” He deleted the original tweet while blaming the “left-wing media” for its ability to read English.
To clear up any confusion, I was referring to Democrats’ partisan political attacks and their refusal to take part in the committee’s thorough and fair investigation. I deleted the tweet to avoid any further misinterpretation by left wing media as so often happens on Twitter.
— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) September 20, 2018
Who is Mike Davis?
According to his LinkedIn resume, Davis served in the George W. Bush White House as the Associate Director of Political Affairs in 2005 and 2006, overlapping with Kavanaugh who then served as the president’s Staff Secretary.
Kavanaugh and Davis certainly look chummy. In early September, Davis posted a photo of himself, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the nominee, vouching for him as ”a great judge, teacher, coach, mentor, and most importantly, husband and dad.”
Very proud of Judge Kavanaugh, who clearly demonstrated to the American people that he is a great judge, teacher, coach, mentor, and most importantly, husband and dad. #ConfirmKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/6HqUpQLeaj
— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) September 8, 2018
Rolling Stone called the Judiciary Committee seeking to speak to Davis. A staffer said he was unavailable, adding “he’s really busy right now.”
This much is clear: Davis has declared himself a Kavanaugh partisan. In the interest of the justice Sen. Grassley claims to seek, the Judiciary Committee Chairman must ask Mike Davis to step aside. Anything less will make plain Grassley’s contempt for whistleblowers and due process and threaten to tar a future Supreme Court justice as Kangaroo Kavanaugh.