With Washington in a frenzy over the FBI’s probe of Judge Kavanaugh, which according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley would be no more than a week long and would be limited solely to “current credible allegations”, a new and potentially explosive allegation has emerged.
Late on Sunday, Charles Ludington, a former varsity basketball player and friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, told the Washington Post that he plans to deliver a statement to the FBI field office in Raleigh on Monday detailing violent drunken behavior by Kavanaugh in college.
Ludington, an associate professor at North Carolina State University, provided a copy of the statement to The Post.
In it, Ludington says in one instance, Kavanaugh initiated a fight that led to the arrest of a mutual friend: “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”
What prompted this latest last minute memory “recollection” by a peer of Kavanaugh’s? According to the report, Ludington was deeply troubled by Kavanaugh appearing to blatantly mischaracterize his drinking in Senate testimony.
“I do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18 or even 21 year old should condemn a person for the rest of his life,” Ludington wrote. “However … if he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences.”
The NYT also got an interview out of Ludington, and reported that Ludington said he frequently saw Judge Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption” during their student years. He said he planned to tell his story to the F.B.I. at its office in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday.
Kavanaugh told outside counsel Rachel Mitchell during the hearing that he has never “passed out” from drinking. “I’ve gone to sleep,” he said. “But I’ve never blacked out, that’s the allegation. And that’s, that’s wrong.”
During last Thursday’s hearing, Kavanaugh was agitated by questions from Democratic senators about his history with partying and drinking, at one point asking Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) if she has ever blacked out due to alcohol consumption.
“I like beer,” he said in response to one of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) questions. “Do you like beer, senator? What do you like to drink?”
While this latest statement to the FBI does not corroborate the testimony of Ford, or the sexual assault allegations of several other women, Democrats have called for the FBI to take a broader look at “whether Kavanaugh may have misled senators by minimizing his carousing behavior in high school and college or by mischaracterizing entries in his high school yearbook that could indicate a penchant for drunken and misogynistic behavior.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), speaking on CNN, said Kavanaugh’s claims that he had never blacked out or suffered any memory loss while drinking don’t “quite make sense to me” and said she hoped the FBI would interview friends to determine whether that was credible.
She added that the FBI could also interview high school friends of Kavanaugh’s to determine whether his innocent explanations for portions of his yearbook entry are accurate.
“I’ve never heard that the White House, either under this president or other presidents, is saying: ‘Well, you can’t interview this person; you can’t look at this time period; you can only look at these people from one side of the street,’” she said. “I mean, come on.”
It is unclear if his testimony will play a role in the weeklong FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, the Times reported.
Several other classmates in recent days have accused Kavanaugh of misleading Congress over his alcohol consumption. Former FBI Director James Comey in a Times op-ed published Sunday charged Kavanaugh with “lying” under oath.
And while it is too early to determine what, if any, impact this latest statement to the FBI will have on Kavanaugh’s candidacy, it would stand to reason that there is only so much opposition that the Supreme Court candidate can take before even he decides that the SCOTUS seat is just not worth the constant anguish and media spotlight. At least, that’s what democrats are hoping.