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I Was Brett Kavanaugh's College Roommate: He Lied Under Oath
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49260"><span class="small">James Roche, Slate</span></a>   
Thursday, 04 October 2018 12:43

Roche writes: "In 1983, I was one of Brett Kavanaugh's freshman roommates at Yale University. About two weeks ago I came forward to lend my support to my friend Deborah Ramirez, who says Brett sexually assaulted her at a party in a dorm suite. I did this because I believe Debbie."

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 27 on Capitol Hill. (photo: Erin Schaff/Getty)
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 27 on Capitol Hill. (photo: Erin Schaff/Getty)

I Was Brett Kavanaugh's College Roommate: He Lied Under Oath

By James Roche, Slate

04 October 18

He lied under oath about his drinking and terms in his yearbook.

n 1983, I was one of Brett Kavanaugh’s freshman roommates at Yale University. About two weeks ago I came forward to lend my support to my friend Deborah Ramirez, who says Brett sexually assaulted her at a party in a dorm suite. I did this because I believe Debbie.

Now the FBI is investigating this incident. I am willing to speak with them about my experiences at Yale with both Debbie and Brett. I would tell them this: Brett Kavanaugh stood up under oath and lied about his drinking and about the meaning of words in his yearbook. He did so baldly, without hesitation or reservation. In his words and his behavior, Judge Kavanaugh has shown contempt for the truth, for the process, for the rule of law, and for accountability. His willingness to lie to avoid embarrassment throws doubt on his denials about the larger questions of sexual assault. In contrast, I cannot remember ever having a reason to distrust anything, large or small, that I have heard from Debbie.

I did not want to come forward. When the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow contacted me while researching a story about Debbie and Brett, I told him that I didn’t see the point. There is no way that Brett will face legal consequences after this much time. Either he will be confirmed or another conservative judge will be. There would be a high cost. I was raised in a Republican family. My mother, who has since passed away, was a Republican state representative in Connecticut. My father owns a MAGA hat. I have close friends who are very conservative. In recent years I have had disagreements over politics with some of these friends and family, but I care deeply about them. My involvement has and will come with personal, professional, and reputational damage.

Ultimately, I told Farrow that Debbie’s story was believable and that Brett was “frequently, incoherently drunk.” When asked about my comments in the New Yorker at his hearing last week, Judge Kavanaugh seemed to suggest that my account was not credible because “it was a contentious situation” where I “did not like” the third suitemate. He then referenced a prank I pulled on the third suitemate and some redacted portion of his closed-door questioning by Senate Judiciary Committee staff. It’s true that I played a prank on the third roommate. We were not close. But that relationship has no bearing on my ability to observe Kavanaugh’s behavior then and to describe it now.

As for the specifics of what happened to Debbie freshman year: When Farrow approached me, I had a vague memory of an event involving Debbie and Brett, but not enough to say “I am sure.” I told Farrow that I could participate off the record and only to support Debbie’s credibility and to describe Brett’s behavior when drinking, where I had meaningful, firsthand experience.

Right before publication, Farrow called me and asked if I would reconsider publicly sharing my own recollections. Debbie was going to be attacked. She had lived with the pain of this event for years. Brett’s friends who participated would deny that it happened. It would be a powerful Washington judge and his friends against Debbie.

Others would say: “Brett was background-checked many times. This must be made up.” As Brett’s college freshman roommate, I would have expected to be interviewed if a background check was looking for evidence of poor college behavior. I wasn’t called. I assume college behavior was not a topic of interest. The FBI didn’t find Debbie’s story because they were not looking for it.

As for this round of the investigation: I still haven’t been called, even though they are supposedly looking into Debbie’s case. How will they learn what happened if once again they are not allowed to truly and thoroughly investigate?

Debbie needed someone to help her be heard. When nobody else would do it, I agreed to be quoted in Farrow’s story on the record. “Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie? Yeah, definitely,” I said. “Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes.” I stand by this quote and I accept it is my opinion and not objective fact.

Since the New Yorker story came out, I have been asked for countless interviews by print publications, TV, and online media, the vast majority of which I have resisted. Ultimately I wrote and distributed a statement to minimize the distraction to my personal and business life. In the statement, I wrote that Brett “was a notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.”

I believe that many women have been mistreated and silenced. When they come forward, they are treated like they are liars or whiners or crazy. But I also believe that both accusers and the accused deserve a deep, unfettered investigation. In Brett’s cases, if he is innocent, he should be cleared. If he is not and he is being untruthful to the nation, that should disqualify him from sitting on the highest court in the land. This just seems fair.

The other night I reviewed the transcript of the hearings. People are asking for me to respond.

I do not know if Brett attacked Christine Blasey Ford in high school or if he sexually humiliated Debbie in front of a group of people she thought were her friends. But I can say that he lied under oath. He claimed that he occasionally drank too much but never enough to forget details of the night before, never enough to “black out.” He did, regularly. He said that “boofing” was farting and the “Devil’s Triangle” was a drinking game. “Boofing” and “Devil’s Triangle” are sexual references. I know this because I heard Brett and his friends using these terms on multiple occasions.

I can’t imagine that anyone in the Senate wants to confirm an individual to a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court who has demonstrated a willingness to be untruthful under oath about easily verified information.

I do not argue that Brett or anyone else should be persecuted for teenage drinking antics that are common to many, many Americans. My parents once visited Yale unexpectedly to find that I was unresponsive in my dorm room after a long session at Mory’s where friends and I sang and drank from trophy cups way past our limits. I was not a choirboy, but—unlike Brett—I’m not going on national television and testifying under oath that I was. This is not about drinking too much or even encouraging others to drink. It is not about using coarse language or even about the gray area between testing sexual boundaries with a date and sexual abuse. This is about denial. This is about not facing consequences. This is about lying.

In this case, the lies are not trivial: His lies about sexual terms and his drinking are directly relevant to the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez, which both involved sexual behavior and heavy drinking. The truth would make him look bad and would bolster the credibility of both of these women. In this climate, had he simply said “I don’t remember” or even “If I did these things in my youth I am sorry,” he might have sailed through the confirmation process. But he lied, under oath, like it was nothing.

During last week’s hearings, some committee members equated Brett’s frustration over his stalled ambitions and the challenges to his character to Ford’s pain from an attempted rape and challenges to hers. They had both “been through a lot.” Members of the committee ignored the obvious and easily checked inaccuracies in his story and instead chose to erupt with rage that one of the most powerful men in America might have to defend himself against credible allegations of sexual assault. There was no consideration given to the truth that even if he withdraws, Brett will return to his position for life as one of the most powerful forces in the U.S. justice system. The women who say that they have been traumatized by his actions, meanwhile, will know that their suffering and bravery did not even warrant a thorough investigation.

Debbie’s story and her pain have been lost in all of the yelling. Her accusation should be fully and properly investigated, as should any current and emerging allegations regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s behavior. Let real law enforcement professionals spend the time that it takes to figure out the truth. If this takes too long, find a less controversial, similarly conservative judge and start over.

To me it seems very simple. We are deciding if a man is suited to judge others. To hear with compassion and empathy the cases of the vulnerable. As a Supreme Court justice, he would be the last line of legal defense for people who need a champion with unimpeachable judgment. A man who lies effortlessly rather than taking responsibility for his own words and actions is not what we need.

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+18 # ER444 2018-10-04 13:35
How can we guarantee that all members of the Senate are reading this article?!!
+3 # mcafeetr 2018-10-04 23:51
Forward this to Booker and Harris.
+24 # indian weaving 2018-10-04 14:13
We have almost no credible figures in our government anymore. A few stand out like Bernie that are still fairly humane. But, the entire administration, most of the Supreme Court justices, and the entire GOP are simply greedy, arrogant, cruel and inhumane liars. I trust or believe almost nothing stated by the USA's government anymore. From constant false flag attacks to worldwide genocide, these are the bookends that contain the state of the nation's government anymore - with not much leftover to support the civilians of the USA, We the People.
-8 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-04 19:54
I think this guy is just confused. He seems to have forgotten how high school and college freshmen talk. Kavanaugh was not forthcoming and open but neither was Dr. Ford. She hid or misrepresented a lot of things.

This is just made up -- "Debbie’s story and her pain have been lost in all of the yelling." Debbie did not even know it happened or if it did who did it. She was coached by Farrow and Mayer and they were the ones who said what happened.

It is time for all this bullshit to end. We have an allegation of a real crime -- attempted rape. There was a half assed investigation by the FBI but it was coupled by more of Ford's friends casting doubt on her story. The point is to prove that allegation true or false. All the rest is just shaming other people from some bullshit moral high ground. Did this guy ever get drunk in college and talk about and talk about sex? Probably no. These neo-puritans never did that.

It is OK to be against Kavanaugh. His performance at the hearing in his own defense was disgusting. But character assassination only makes the assassin look bad.
+4 # ER444 2018-10-05 12:43
He is a liar. That is enough for me.
+11 # librarian1984 2018-10-04 21:20
GOP ex-SCOTUS John Paul Stevens, and hundreds of law professors, say Kavanaugh's performance one week ago should disqualify him.

McConnell does not care about the harm he does to SCOTUS, the Senate or the country.

If they seat Kavanaugh the stories will continue to come out.
+6 # librarian1984 2018-10-05 05:27
The picture on top! Kavanaugh is obviously angry. His mouth puckered, his hand fisted. His skin was blotchy. He couldn't sit still. He acted like he was on the verge of losing it. Like he might have an alcohol problem, And the GOP LOVED it. Ate. it. up.

But look at every other person in the picture. They're fairly flat. Not even mildly outraged. One guy's bored.

I can't believe I'm citing Clarence Thomas, but he did anger like a judge.

We know GOP nominees will be cold ruthless corporatists, but usually they're house trained. Kavanaugh does not meet the minimum.

Everyone except Trump true believers (and the craven opportunists who use them) can see Kavanaugh is unfit. They don't have to believe socialists to see he's a disaster. He's going to say preconditions aren't covered. He's antisocial when he's sober, a monster when he's not. Gee, I wonder what he drinks .. Could it be beer?

John Paul Stevens says that FOR THE GOOD OF THE COURT Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. Hundreds of law professors and historians say he's unfit.

Conservatives don't have to believe US. They can believe their lying eyes. They need to get woke and contact their 'representative s'. MAYBE they'll listen, with midterms just a month away.

Besides, there ARE other fascists available. There's a list.

This is the starkest example yet of conservative voters hurting themselves, herded by fear and hate.

Zero hour. All hands on deck.

Save Ginsburg!
+4 # ddd-rrr 2018-10-05 07:25
What an excellent, needed, timely, and truth-resoundin g article this is by James Roche!
Thanks to James Roche for writing it, and to Slate and RSN for publishing it.
Would that all who SHOULD read this, WOULD read this!