Ben Wikler Profile picture
Aug 17, 2018 17 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
So, uh, looks like Kavanaugh lied to the Senate during 2006 judicial confirmation hearings—even just going by the tiny fraction of documents that are publicly available. Said he knew nothing about Bush torture & rendition. But: was emailed talking points.…
Republican superlawyer Bill Burck, who simultaneously represents Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Don McGahn in their dealings with the Russia probe, is also brokering access to Kavanaugh documents for the Senate. He's keeping a *very* tight lid on them.…
Grassley & Burck made deal where, of the few Kavanaugh papers that the Senate does receive, tons are labeled "committee confidential"—meaning the 79 senators *not* on the Judiciary committee don't get to see them.

Collins & Murkowski aren't on committee.

The "committee confidential" documents contain more evidence that Kavanaugh, under oath, said things that weren't true when, after serving in W's White House, he went through confirmation hearings for a federal judgeship.

Perjury? Dunno. Profoundly concerning? For damn sure.
As Sens. Feinstein, Leahy, & Durbin wrote to Grassley today, "These are serious questions that could easily be addressed if we were given access to his records."

But the National Archives practice is only respond to Committee Chairs. Like... Grassley.…
Note: within even the subset of Kavanaugh records that Grassley has requested from the National Archives, many won't be ready until late October—potentially *after* the confirmation vote. The docs discussed in this thread are coming through Burck's separate process.
Dems have filed Freedom of Information Act requests to try to get at the mountain of unreleased Kavanaugh documents. If that doesn't work, they announced today, they'll file suit.

If that doesn't work, GOP lawyer Bill Burck gets to decide what comes out.…
So, to wrap up here: The GOP is going to elaborate lengths to hide Kavanaugh's papers. The few that *have* come out raise serious problems. If you follow Democratic senators on Twitter, you'll see the hashtags #WhatAreTheyHiding and #ReleaseTheRecords over and over. This is why.
Addendum: This video pretty much sums it up. #ReleaseTheRecords #WhatAreTheyHiding #ThisIsRidiculous

So, you want to help #stopKavanaugh? Here’s what to do. First, call your senators. *All* of them need more call volume. They think we’re not paying attention. 202-224-3121. Then DM “Court” to @resistbot. Then head to & find your nearest protest on Aug 26.
There’s a rolling wave of #StopKavanaugh protests happening week to week. Get involved. But definitely, definitely mark your calendar for 8/26. That’s the big bag; more than 100 demonstrations simultaneously nationwide. None near you? Register your own.
What’s the path to victory? Clearest one hasn’t changed since since the moment Kavanaugh was nominated. Here’s my speech from that night, outside the Supreme Court. It boils down to Collins and Murkowski. Mainers and Alaskans, your country needs you.

If you’re not a Mainer or an Alaskan, though, don’t think for a minute that your voice doesn’t matter. We need noise and energy *everywhere,* so Dems know to unite & fight (several are dangerously on the fence!) and Republicans get nervous. That creates room for Collins & Murk.
In the fight against Kavanaugh, we shouldn’t kid ourselves that victory is at hand, or even likely. But we also shouldn’t give in to the cop-out of despair. Things can change fast in these fights. If something explosive comes to light, we want it to be the final exploding straw.
In other words, pressure now sets the stage for new revelations or hearing fireworks to actually matter. If there’s no pressure beforehand, new stuff can’t tip the balance. It’s our job to push as far as possible given today’s conditions, so that tomorrow’s could prove decisive.
And as you work on all of this, don’t forget the stakes.
There’s a little sparkle of irony in the fact that it was Harriet Miers—the most recent failed SCOTUS nominee—who emailed the torture talking points to Kavanaugh, two years before he said under oath that he knew nothing about the policy.

(Thx to @Bayl3rat for catching this.)

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More from @benwikler

Oct 9, 2018
Tomorrow, Chuck Grassley is holding hearings for two Ohioan extremist Circuit Court nominees, Chad Readler and Eric Murphy. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) objects. For years, home-state senators had a courtesy veto over nominees from their states. But McConnell/Grassley eliminated that. 1/
Chad Readler leads the Civil Division in Trump's Department of Justice. He led DoJ's work to kill the Affordable Care Act, personally signing a brief so dishonest that the career attorneys wouldn't touch it. Now he's up for a lifetime appointment.…
Chad Readler defended family separation. He helped block millions of workers from overtime pay. He fought for 3d-printed guns, against DACA, for the military trans ban, for the Muslim Ban, and—in private practice—for Big Tobacco. He shouldn't be a judge.…
Read 6 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
In the Kavanaugh fight, nobody knows for sure what's going to happen. The conventional wisdom in DC is that the GOP will have Kavanaugh confirmed by Saturday afternoon, and he'll be on the bench by Monday. But you know what? That was the conventional wisdom a week ago, too. 1/
Politics is unpredictable. The one thing you can control is whether you try to do something about it. And people *are* doing something—they're doing everything they can think of. Right now, for example: there's a #PeoplesFilibuster protest @ the Capitol that will go *all night.*
If you're in the DC area, can't sleep, and wondering what to do, head out to the Capitol right now and look near the Senate steps on the NE corner. Or if you can't make it over there, here's the live video feed:…
Read 7 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Furious about Kavanaugh? Don’t just sit there. We need your power. The truth is, there’s a LOT you can do. We may only have four days until the final vote, and your voice is needed now. This is a thread about what’s coming, and how you can help. Please follow along and share. 1/
What's next with Kavanaugh? On Wednesday, McConnell sets wheels in motion by filing for cloture. Senate rules require an intervening day before cloture vote—so that vote will be Friday. Then 30 hours of debate & final confirmation vote as soon as Saturday night. Time is SHORT.
What about the FBI report? WSJ says it could end by Wed. Many potential corroborating witnesses won't be interviewed—nor Dr. Blasey Ford, nor Kavanaugh. Once background report is updated, only Senators will get to see it. Don't bet on it to end this fight.…
Read 31 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
Fri AM: committee vote. Sat: procedural vote. Mon: cloture. Tue: final vote. CALL: 202-224-3121. Gather @ Senate offices 12p Fri to tell say VOTE NO. Bring signs. Wear black. Tweet photos. Spread word. All hands on deck.
Near Phoenix, AZ? Tell Jeff Flake to vote NO on Kavanaugh: meet at noon Friday 9/28 at his office at 2200 E Camelback Rd, Suite 120. Bring signs and friends, wear black, share photos.…
Near Anchorage, Alaska? Tell Lisa Murkowski to announce her opposition to Kavanaugh! Meet at noon (Alaska time) at her office at 510 L St, Suite 600. Bring signs, friends, wear black, tweet your photos, tag your senator—spread the word on Facebook here:…
Read 10 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
"The Trump administration says global slavery and child labor are bad — for American businesses
They give an “unfair advantage” to US competitors, according to the US Labor Department."
>> I see this as an instance of something good-ish. Lemme explain. 1/…
What's happening with this report on global slavery & child labor is something that's happening throughout our government: mission-driven civil servants are figuring out how to keep pursuing their long-time goals by reframing them into language that resonates with Trump.
You'd think that Trump's government would simply stop working on stuff like forced labor. But the people actually doing the work? They care. So, like good bureaucrats everywhere, they figure out how to manage up.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 20, 2018
GOP seems to think that if Dr. Blasey Ford doesn't speak at their 2-witness hearing on Mon, she'll disappear. But per @JRubinBlogger, "Ford has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people."…
It is Dr. Blasey-Ford's right to decide how, whether, when, and where to share her story. It's unclear to me why Senate Republicans keep saying, and apparently believing, that they have the power to dictate terms to her. She doesn't have to play their game.
Media seem confused about this too. Axios quoted @JeffreyToobin on CNN saying "If she refuses to testify on Monday, Kavanaugh is getting confirmed." Why? If she chooses to make her case publicly on her own terms, it could be *more* powerful than in a GOP-controlled hearing.
Read 4 tweets

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