Process crime trap for Kavanaugh?

The Intercept reports that the Democrats, led by Dianne Feinstein, are making a last-minute move against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  The brand-new and currently inchoate allegation against Kavanaugh is reported to have reached Feinstein third- and perhaps fourthhand, and to involve a woman whom Kavanaugh knew when they were both in high school.  Every conservative's first reaction to this news, one week before Kavanaugh's scheduled confirmation vote, has to be: "Shades of Anita Hill!"

As far as it goes, it's an apt reaction.  Obviously, the Democrats are revisiting their old playbook.  They are, after all, known to do such things.  The fact that this play failed to stop Clarence Thomas would not restrain them.  Would anything?

However, I wonder whether there might be another edge to this last-minute dagger.  Could it be that Democrats are hoping to catch Kavanaugh in a process crime?

This is a tactic that has worked pretty well for them since the 2016 presidential election.  If you get the FBI to question people repeatedly on a topic that's vague in their memory, you have a pretty good chance of catching them in the self-referential crime of lying to the FBI.  Swamplord Bob Mueller nailed Michael Flynn with this little trick, even though agents who questioned Flynn (including Peter Strzok) thought Flynn hadn't lied.  And Feinstein has referred the mysterious allegation against Kavanaugh to the FBI.  Feinstein must be pretty chummy at least with some in the bureau.  After all, she faced no consequences after having a spy for China on her staff for twenty years.

Moreover, we've already had a sort of dry run for the FBI interview of Kavanaugh that may follow from Feinstein's action.  During the scheduled Kavanaugh hearings, the junior senator from Feinstein's state, Willie Brown's former girlfriend Kamala Harris, grilled the nominee in deliberately vague terms about whether he'd ever discussed the Mueller probe with anyone at a certain law firm.  It was, of course, impossible for Kavanaugh to answer fully and truthfully – because he didn't have a full list of firm employees in front of him, and because Willie Brown's babe wouldn't be specific about the person intended.  That was the point.

The current allegation against Kavanaugh is said to date back to his high school years.  "Judge Kavanaugh, when you were in high school, did you ever offend a female classmate?"  "I don't remember every detail of my high school years.  Could you identify the person you're talking about?"  "We have to maintain her confidentiality, Judge.  Just answer the question."  Fish long enough in this fashion, and you just may hook a chance to charge the left's new Beast from 20,000 Fathoms on a process crime.  Way to go, guys!

Please note that making the charge stick isn't that important.  The charge can be completely bogus, as the one against Flynn was.  The swamp won't even have to pressure Kavanaugh the way it pressured Flynn.  What's paramount is derailing the nomination.  Anything else – such as forcing Kavanaugh to resign from his current seat – will be gravy.

Do I regard all this as a serious possibility?  Well, it's something I fear.  I was naïve enough to suppose, back in November of 2016, that Republicans would soon be in charge of the Department of Justice, and that some semblance of common sense and fairness would replace the bad craziness of James Comey's summer antics.  Boy, was I wrong!

So, in this context, I guess my question is simple: will Jeff Sessions recuse himself from oversight in this matter also?

Tom Riley is widely known as a poet of the formalist school and is the author of Translations from the Ogrish.

The Intercept reports that the Democrats, led by Dianne Feinstein, are making a last-minute move against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  The brand-new and currently inchoate allegation against Kavanaugh is reported to have reached Feinstein third- and perhaps fourthhand, and to involve a woman whom Kavanaugh knew when they were both in high school.  Every conservative's first reaction to this news, one week before Kavanaugh's scheduled confirmation vote, has to be: "Shades of Anita Hill!"

As far as it goes, it's an apt reaction.  Obviously, the Democrats are revisiting their old playbook.  They are, after all, known to do such things.  The fact that this play failed to stop Clarence Thomas would not restrain them.  Would anything?

However, I wonder whether there might be another edge to this last-minute dagger.  Could it be that Democrats are hoping to catch Kavanaugh in a process crime?

This is a tactic that has worked pretty well for them since the 2016 presidential election.  If you get the FBI to question people repeatedly on a topic that's vague in their memory, you have a pretty good chance of catching them in the self-referential crime of lying to the FBI.  Swamplord Bob Mueller nailed Michael Flynn with this little trick, even though agents who questioned Flynn (including Peter Strzok) thought Flynn hadn't lied.  And Feinstein has referred the mysterious allegation against Kavanaugh to the FBI.  Feinstein must be pretty chummy at least with some in the bureau.  After all, she faced no consequences after having a spy for China on her staff for twenty years.

Moreover, we've already had a sort of dry run for the FBI interview of Kavanaugh that may follow from Feinstein's action.  During the scheduled Kavanaugh hearings, the junior senator from Feinstein's state, Willie Brown's former girlfriend Kamala Harris, grilled the nominee in deliberately vague terms about whether he'd ever discussed the Mueller probe with anyone at a certain law firm.  It was, of course, impossible for Kavanaugh to answer fully and truthfully – because he didn't have a full list of firm employees in front of him, and because Willie Brown's babe wouldn't be specific about the person intended.  That was the point.

The current allegation against Kavanaugh is said to date back to his high school years.  "Judge Kavanaugh, when you were in high school, did you ever offend a female classmate?"  "I don't remember every detail of my high school years.  Could you identify the person you're talking about?"  "We have to maintain her confidentiality, Judge.  Just answer the question."  Fish long enough in this fashion, and you just may hook a chance to charge the left's new Beast from 20,000 Fathoms on a process crime.  Way to go, guys!

Please note that making the charge stick isn't that important.  The charge can be completely bogus, as the one against Flynn was.  The swamp won't even have to pressure Kavanaugh the way it pressured Flynn.  What's paramount is derailing the nomination.  Anything else – such as forcing Kavanaugh to resign from his current seat – will be gravy.

Do I regard all this as a serious possibility?  Well, it's something I fear.  I was naïve enough to suppose, back in November of 2016, that Republicans would soon be in charge of the Department of Justice, and that some semblance of common sense and fairness would replace the bad craziness of James Comey's summer antics.  Boy, was I wrong!

So, in this context, I guess my question is simple: will Jeff Sessions recuse himself from oversight in this matter also?

Tom Riley is widely known as a poet of the formalist school and is the author of Translations from the Ogrish.