As things stand, the road ahead for Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is unclear. Christine Blasey Ford, who this week went public with her sexual assault allegation against the judge, is prepared to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but she wants FBI to scrutinize her claims first -- following the model from Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.
The Republican majority has made some demonstrably false assertions about the FBI's purview, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has specifically argued that his committee's staff is capable of examining the controversy, and as he wrote on Twitter, "No other OUTSIDE investigation is necessary."
The first question is why Republicans would be so reluctant to have the FBI scrutinize Ford's allegation. The second question is whether the California professor can credibly expect a fair hearing in light of what we've seen from at least one member of Grassley's team. Roll Call reported today:
Mike Davis, the committee's chief staffer for nominations, tweeted twice overnight about his key role in the committee's review of Christine Blasey Ford's allegation, as well as criticism of Ford's attorneys and his desired outcome of the process."Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh. #ConfirmKavanaugh #SCOTUS," Davis tweeted at 11 p.m. Wednesday.Davis tweeted two hours later: "I personally questioned Judge Kavanaugh under penalty of felony and 5 years of imprisonment, if he lies. I'm still waiting to hear back from the accuser's attorneys, who can't find time between TV appearances to get back to me."
It hardly came as a surprise when some saw these missives and questioned his impartiality.
That said, when the tweets from Grassley's aide generated attention, he deleted them, and published a new message.
"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," Davis wrote. "I deleted the tweet to avoid any further misinterpretation by left wing media as so often happens on Twitter."
I found it hard to reconcile the deleted message with the clarification, but your mileage may vary.