The Slatest

Brett Kavanaugh Publishes Closing Statement Op-Ed Trying to Mend Reputational Damage Done by His Jarringly Bitter Testimony

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh angrily testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 27, 2018.
Last week, Brett Kavanaugh was throwing down a very, very different vibe.
ANDREW HARNIK/Getty Images

With a confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination looming over the weekend, the judge took to the conservative-friendly opinion page of the Wall Street Journal to make his closing argument after a damaging round of jarringly bitter testimony in response to Christine Blasey Ford’s public airing of allegations of sexual assault. After a cursory FBI investigation of recently surfaced allegations, and with Republicans limbering up to ram the toxic nomination through, Kavanaugh looked to repair some of the self-inflicted reputational damage from his openly hostile testimony. “I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said,” Kavanaugh wrote.

From Kavanaugh’s Wall Street Journal piece:

I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations. My time in high school and college, more than 30 years ago, has been ridiculously distorted. My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats.

Against that backdrop, I testified before the Judiciary Committee last Thursday to defend my family, my good name and my lifetime of public service. My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony—both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character. My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled.

I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.

Kavanaugh also tried to calm the temperamental concerns that arose from his biting testimony. “Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good,” he wrote. “And I will continue to contribute to our country as a coach, volunteer, and teacher. Every day I will try to be the best husband, dad, and friend I can be. I will remain optimistic, on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will continue to see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone.”