News Releases

Kavanaugh “Can’t Be Trusted”

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[Former Senator Russ Feingold just wrote the piece “We Know Brett Kavanaugh Has Lied Already” for the Huffington Post.]

BOB SCHIFF, robertfschiff at gmail.com
JEFF BERMAN, jeffberman at gmail.com
KRISTINE LUCIUS, lucius at civilrights.org
LISA GRAVES, lisa at documentedinvestigations.org
Schiff served as chief counsel for Senator Russ Feingold; Lucius served as nominations counsel and staff director for Senator Patrick Leahy; Berman served as chief counsel for Senator Charles Schumer; Graves served as chief counsel for nominations for Sen. Leahy.

They just wrote the piece “Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted. We Know Because We Worked as Counsel to Senators When He Was in the Bush White House” for Time magazine.

They write: “We watched the testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee with dismay and disbelief. His many misleading and false statements cast serious doubt on whether he should be confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. …

“This is not about the dance many nominees attempt in order to avoid expressing an opinion on legal issues they might face on the court. It is about a pattern of deceptive answers on a range of questions about his past activities and agenda to change our laws through the courts. We believe this deception, both earlier this month and in his 2004 and 2006 nomination hearings for the D.C. Circuit, was intentional.”

They give several examples, including: “At his first confirmation hearing in April 2004, Kavanaugh said he had never received material stolen from Democrats. He repeated that testimony in May 2006 under questioning by both Democratic Senators and Chairman Hatch.

“But emails released earlier this month, after originally being deemed ‘committee confidential,’ show that Kavanaugh was in frequent contact with [Manuel] Miranda and received material that had been stolen from the Senate Judiciary Committee server. These emails contradict his testimony under oath. …”

Will Kavanaugh Take a Lie Detector Test?

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The Washington Post reports: “An attorney for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who alleged Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh assaulted her when the two were in high school, said Monday that Ford is willing to testify about the allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee.” The Post also reports “On the advice of [attorney Debra] Katz, who said she believed Ford would be attacked as a liar if she came forward, Ford took a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent in early August.”

Time magazine just published the piece “Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted. We Know Because We Worked as Counsel to Senators When He Was in the Bush White House.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and has taught criminal law. He said today: “Kavanaugh clearly has little compulsion against lying under oath. Prof. Christine Blasey Ford has taken and passed a lie detector test. So the question becomes: Will Kavanaugh take a lie detector test?” See Boyle’s analysis in The Guardian and the IPA news release “Kavanaugh and the Federalist Society” and “Will a Member of Congress Move to Impeach Kavanaugh?

See recent piece from The Daily Beast: “Newly Released Emails Show Brett Kavanaugh May Have Perjured Himself at Least Four Times,”

Also, see from FAIR: “Establishment Media Shy Away From Claims of Perjury by Kavanaugh.”

Kavanaugh’s Pattern of Lying Under Oath

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LISA GRAVES, Lisa at documentedinvestigations.org, @thelisagraves
Graves just co-wrote the piece “Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted. We Know Because We Worked as Counsel to Senators When He Was in the Bush White House” for Time magazine. She also recently wrote the piece “I Wrote Some of the Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About” for Slate.

She is the former chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice. Graves is the co-founder of Documented, which investigates corporate influence on democracy.

She writes that Kavanaugh should be removed from his current judgeship “because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from [GOP Senate aide Manuel] Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it.

“For example, in 2004, Sen. Orrin Hatch asked him directly if he received ‘any documents that appeared to you to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.’ Kavanaugh responded, unequivocally, ‘No.’

“In 2006, Sen. Ted Kennedy asked him if he had any regrets about how he treated documents he had received from Miranda that he later learned were stolen. Kavanaugh rejected the premise of the question, restating that he never even saw one of those documents.

“Back then the senators did not have the emails that they have now, showing that Miranda sent Kavanaugh numerous documents containing what was plainly research by Democrats. Some of those emails went so far as to warn Kavanaugh not to distribute the Democratic talking points he was being given. …

Graves writes: “He lied. Under oath. And he did so repeatedly.

“Significantly, he did so even though a few years earlier he had helped spearhead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for perjury in a private civil case. Back then Kavanaugh took lying under oath so seriously that he was determined to do everything he could to help remove a president from office.

“Now we know that he procured his own confirmation to the federal bench by committing the same offense. And he did so not in a private case but in the midst of public hearings for a position of trust, for a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary.” See recent New York Times piece “Brett Kavanaugh Urged Graphic Questions in Clinton Inquiry.”

Ten Years after Lehman: A Co-op Revival

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NATHAN SCHNEIDER, nathan.schneider at colorado.edu, @ntnsndr
Schneider is author of Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy, published this week by Nation Books.

Schneider said today: “The financial crisis that many are remembering this month with the 10-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on Sept. 15, was a crisis of accountability. In the service of its investor owners, the financial industry was willing to sacrifice millions of people’s homes and jobs for profits. In the years since, there’s been a revival in another kind of business, showing how it has already shaped our world and could provide a real alternative to Wall Street.

“Cooperatives are businesses owned by and accountable to their participants — ranging from small grocery stores to Cabot Creamery and Organic Valley, from Ace Hardware to the Associated Press. There’s a new generation bringing this legacy into the 21st century, building co-ops out of Bitcoin and low-wage care-work, challenging the likes of Uber and the coal industry, as electric co-ops are doing.

“The co-op tradition is also a trans-partisan consensus hiding in plain sight. Both Democrats and Republicans have sponsored recent legislation to support credit unions and expand employee ownership. Cooperative business is something that can bring us together and address the root causes of this major crisis.”

Schneider is also a professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Ecological Disasters: Causes and Remedies

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VICTOR WALLIS, zendive at aol.com
Wallis is the author of the new book Red-Green Revolution: The Politics and Technology of Ecosocialism.

He writes: “The disaster that ecological activists of the last half-century have sought to prevent is already vividly present. Its most dramatic expression, apart from the endlessly repeated scenes of fire, flood, parched earth, and emaciated polar bears, is the tens of millions of refugees, desperate for a place to live. Some are fleeing sea-level rise and flooded or storm-battered homes; others are fleeing wars precipitated by sustained, drought-induced collapses of the food supply (as in Syria, Central Africa, and Central America). Still others are fleeing wars and repression that reflect long-standing imperialist projects, but whose initiators have become ever more intransigent as they seek to ward off the prospect of a diminished resource-base.

“Increasing percentages of the refugees, if they survive their typically harrowing treks or dangerous sea voyages, come up against vast numbers of agents ‘trained, armed, and paid to stop them.’ This drive to ‘stop them’ is promoted by a ruling class which at the same time relentlessly stokes the economic engines of capital that gave rise to the climate crisis in the first place. While the top U.S. mouthpiece of this ruling class, along with his acolytes at the Environmental ‘Protection’ Agency, mocks the reality of climate change, the military leaders who command the system’s armed enforcers have had no hesitation (for at least the last fifteen years) in publicly situating what they acknowledge to be the consequences of global warming — the droughts, floods, and hurricanes that directly or indirectly have pushed mass migration to its current extreme levels — at the center of their concerns.

“The alternatives are sharply etched. The currently dominant forces, rather than join the fight against climate change, erect walls to block out its victims. By militarizing the problem, they not only draw resources away from any possible remedial steps; they also accelerate the spread of devastation.”

“Climate Change Supercharging” Hurricanes

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KEVIN TRENBERTH, trenbert at ucar.edu
Available for a limited number of interviews, Trenberth is a distinguished senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

He said today: “Human-caused increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere produced an energy imbalance and its partitioning between atmospheric, ocean, cryosphere and land heat reservoirs govern how the global climate evolves. Most of the imbalance, over 90 percent, goes into the ocean and accordingly OHC [ocean heat content] provides a primary indicator of climate change, along with sea level rise.

“Last year [2017] was the warmest year on record for the global OHC down to 2000 meters depth and the latest quarter (April to June) is the hottest on record. The heat fuels storms of all sorts and contributes to very heavy rain events and flooding. Hurricanes are natural, but climate change is supercharging them!

“The observed increases of upper OHC support higher sea surface temperatures and atmospheric moisture, and fuels tropical storms to become more intense, bigger and longer lasting, thereby increasing their potential for damage. Sea level is also steadily rising, increasing risks from coastal storm surges. The damage and loss of life from such storms does not have to be disastrous, however, if there is adequate preparation. We have the options of stopping or slowing climate change from humans, and/or adapting to and planning for the consequences, but we are not doing enough of either!” See recent paper Trenberth co-wrote.

Major Attack on Syria Approaching?

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PETER FORD, peterford14 at yahoo.com
Ford was the U.K.’s ambassador in Syria and Bahrain before joining the United Nations to work on refugee issues. He is the co-chairman of the British Syrian Society. He recently wrote the piece “Is a Syrian Suez approaching?

Ford recalls the Suez crisis: “The plan was for France, soon joined by the U.K., to invade Egypt on the pretext of safeguarding the Suez Canal, in hopes of precipitating the overthrow of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Tripartite Aggression, as the Arabs call it, was duly triggered on 29 October 1956, when Israel invaded.”

He warns that a similar plan may be unfolding in Syria: “September 2018 is likely to witness another tripartite aggression based on pretexts and plotting, this time involving the U.S. alongside the U.K. and France. The victim now is Syria.

“The three governments in April staged a rehearsal for the upcoming performance, responding with bombing raids to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma. While Plan A for the raids involved heavy attacks on presidential offices and armed forces command and control centers, President Donald Trump was reportedly talked down from this by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, concerned by the prospect of possible clashes with Russia and risks to U.S. forces stationed in Syria.

“Aspects of the Douma operation conspired to make it likely that Plan A would be given a fresh run, which is now imminent. …

“It is not necessary to rehash the mountain of evidence pointing to the probability that Douma was fabricated. Suffice to say that OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] inspectors, in their interim report presented on 6 July, stated that they had found no evidence that chemical weapons such as nerve agents had been used, and that the evidence for the use of chlorine as a weapon was inconclusive. …

“Were there any doubt that skulduggery was afoot, it was removed by media reports, based on Russian statements and briefings, of the White Helmets being on maneuver in the vicinity of Jisr al-Shughur, and the transfer to a nearby village of canisters of chlorine, under the direction of English-speaking special forces or contractors.

“Simultaneously, reports appeared of the U.S. bolstering its naval presence in the Gulf and land forces in Iraq on the borders with Syria. Russia has moved more of its naval forces into Syrian territorial waters in response to the warning of imminent action, say reports.

“How could anybody be so credulous as to believe a conspiracy theory like this, and from such tainted sources? Was it for a moment believable that the British or the Americans could be so duplicitous as to create for themselves a pretext to bomb a weak country in the Middle East? No need to go back as far as Suez to answer that; a quick recap of events in Iraq (weapons of mass destruction again) and Libya (baselessly alleged imminent massacres in Benghazi) would suffice.”

Will a Member of Congress Move to Impeach Kavanaugh?

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LISA GRAVES, lisa at documentedinvestigations.org, @thelisagraves
Graves just wrote the piece “I Wrote Some of the Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About” for Slate.

She was on the program “Democracy Now!” this morning. She is the former chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice. Graves is the co-founder of Documented, which investigates corporate influence on democracy.

She writes that Kavanaugh should be removed from his current judgeship “because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from [GOP Senate aide Manuel] Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it.

“For example, in 2004, Sen. Orrin Hatch asked him directly if he received ‘any documents that appeared to you to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.’ Kavanaugh responded, unequivocally, ‘No.’

“In 2006, Sen. Ted Kennedy asked him if he had any regrets about how he treated documents he had received from Miranda that he later learned were stolen. Kavanaugh rejected the premise of the question, restating that he never even saw one of those documents.

“Back then the senators did not have the emails that they have now, showing that Miranda sent Kavanaugh numerous documents containing what was plainly research by Democrats. Some of those emails went so far as to warn Kavanaugh not to distribute the Democratic talking points he was being given. …

Graves writes: “He lied. Under oath. And he did so repeatedly.

“Significantly, he did so even though a few years earlier he had helped spearhead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for perjury in a private civil case. Back then Kavanaugh took lying under oath so seriously that he was determined to do everything he could to help remove a president from office.

“Now we know that he procured his own confirmation to the federal bench by committing the same offense. And he did so not in a private case but in the midst of public hearings for a position of trust, for a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary.” See recent New York Times piece “Brett Kavanaugh Urged Graphic Questions in Clinton Inquiry.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today: “What’s needed is a brave member of the House to introduce a Bill of Impeachment against Kavanaugh immediately for perjury to force this issue. That’s what we need. Machinations from the Democratic Party leadership are more Kabuki theater.” See recent comments from Boyle on The Real News, in The Guardian and the IPA news release “Kavanaugh and the Federalist Society.”

Boyle was was legal adviser to Rep. Henry B. González when he released classified material on the House floor in 1992 in an attempt to impeach George H. W. Bush following the Gulf War. Bush would later write in his memoirs that if the Gulf War “drags out, not only will I take the blame, but I will probably have impeachment proceedings filed against me.”

See recent piece from The Daily Beast: “Newly Released Emails Show Brett Kavanaugh May Have Perjured Himself at Least Four Times,” which notes the documentation of Kavanaugh’s past falsehoods is only due to recently released emails, but that “only 7 percent of Kavanaugh’s White House records have been released to the public. …

“The clearest contradiction between Judge Kavanaugh’s sworn testimony and the formerly confidential email record concerns the nomination of Judge William Pryor, a conservative firebrand. In 2006, Kavanaugh was asked, by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, whether Pryor’s extreme statements disturbed him. Kavanaugh replied that he was not involved in the selection or vetting of Judge Pryor.”

The Daily Beast notes that last week, Sen. Patrick Leahy entered “a formerly-confidential email into the record that states clearly that Kavanaugh actually did interview Pryor. ‘How did the Pryor interview go?’ he was asked in December, 2002. ‘Call me,’ he replied.”

The just-disclosed emails also show a leading voice defending Kavanaugh knew he was actually involved in the Pryor nomination. Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and editor-in-chief of Lawfare blog was himself communicating with Kavanaugh about the Pryor nomination at the time, writing to Kavanagh: “I take it back. I will write something about the decision to nominate Pryor promptly. … You should send over any exculpatory information you might have quickly.”

Wittes just responded to this revelation by writing: “I’m off Twitter until further notice.”

“Kavanaugh Lied Under Oath About Memos I Wrote”

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LISA GRAVES, lisa at documentedinvestigations.org, @thelisagraves

Graves just wrote the piece “I Wrote Some of the Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About” for Slate.

Graves is the co-founder of Documented, which investigates corporate influence on democracy. She is the former chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice.

Her just-published piece states: “Much of Washington has spent the week focusing on whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. After the revelations of his confirmation hearings, the better question is whether he should be impeached from the federal judiciary.

“I do not raise that question lightly, but I am certain it must be raised.

“Newly released emails show that while he was working to move through President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees in the early 2000s, Kavanaugh received confidential memos, letters, and talking points of Democratic staffers stolen by GOP Senate aide Manuel Miranda. That includes research and talking points Miranda stole from the Senate server after I had written them for the Senate Judiciary Committee as the chief counsel for nominations for the minority.

“Receiving those memos and letters alone is not an impeachable offense.

“No, Kavanaugh should be removed because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it.”

Will the Public See Incriminating Kavanaugh Documents?

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ): “I stand by the public’s right to have access to this document and know this nominee’s views on issues [that are] are profoundly important — like race and the law, torture and other issues.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle was legal adviser to Rep. Henry B. González when he released classified material on the House floor in 1992 in an attempt to impeach George H. W. Bush following the Gulf War. See New York Times piece at the time: “C.I.A. Chief Says Legislator Disclosed Secrets.”

Boyle, who is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, said today: “If Booker and the other Democratic senators are serious here, they should all start sequentially releasing all prejudicial and incriminating documents against [Supreme Court nominee Brett] Kavanaugh now during the course of the hearings when they will be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause [of the Constitution]. This would include documents relating to torture and war crimes.”

Boyle was featured in a recent Guardian overview piece on the Kavanaugh nomination. Also, see his comments on an IPA news release: “Kavanaugh and the Federalist Society.”

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