Kavanaugh Defensive: 'Sometimes I Had Too Many Beers'

By Susan Jones | September 28, 2018 | 7:09 AM EDT

Judge Brett Kavanaugh prepares to deliver his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27. (Photo: Screen capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Some of the weakest moments of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's testimony on Thursday involved his responses to Democrats who pressed him on his drinking and whether he had blackouts or memory lapses as a result.

His responses were sometimes evasive and defensive.

"Sometimes I had too many beers," Judge Brett Kavanaugh said in his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone.

 

"There is a bright line between drinking beer, which I gladly do, and which I fully embrace, and sexually assaulting someone, which is a violent crime. If every American who drinks beer or every American who drank beer in high school is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, will be an ugly, new place in this country. I never committed sexual assault."

Democrats, trying to back up Christine Blasey Ford's allegations of an attack by a drunken Kavanaugh, suggested that a blackout may explain Kavanaugh's inability to remember the incident that Ford said she recalls with certainty.

Rachel Mitchell, the special prosecutor hired to question the witnesses on behalf of Republicans, asked Kavanaugh, "What do you consider to be too many beers?"

"I don't know," he replied. "You know, we -- whatever the chart says, a blood-alcohol chart."

"Have you ever passed out from drinking?" Mitchell asked him.

"I -- passed out would be -- no, but I've gone to sleep, but -- but I've never blacked out. That's the -- that's the -- the allegation, and that -- that -- that's wrong."

In response to other questions from Mitchell, Kavanaugh said he never woke up in a different location from where he expected to be after drinking; he never woke up with fewer clothes on than "when you went to sleep or passed out;" and he said, "no," he didn't have memory lapses after drinking.

Yet Kavanaugh was evasive and apparently annoyed in response to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.):

"Drinking is one thing," Klobuchar said, "but the concern is about truthfulness, and in your written testimony, you said sometimes you had too many drinks. Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn't remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?"

"No, I -- no," Kavanaugh said. "I remember what happened, and I think you've probably had beers, Senator, and -- and so I--"

"So you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened?" Klobuchar asked.

"It's -- you're asking about, you know, blackout. I don't know. Have you?" Kavanaugh asked Klobuchar.

"Could you answer the question, Judge? I just -- so you -- that's not happened. Is that your answer?"

"Yeah, and I'm curious if you have," Kavanaugh said.

"I have no drinking problem, Judge."

"Yeah, nor do I," Kavanaugh said.

The hearing went into recess at that point, and when it resumed, Kavanaugh apologized to Klobuchar:

"I started my last colloquy by saying to Senator Klobuchar how much I respect her and respected what she did at the last hearing. And she asked me a question at the end that I responded by asking her a question and I didn't -- sorry, I did that. This is a tough process. I'm sorry about that."

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) asked Kavanaugh "about whether you've ever gotten aggressive while drinking."

Kavanaugh said, "I think the answer to that is basically no. I don't know really what you mean by that, like, what -- what are you talking about? I guess. I mean, I -- I don't mean it that way, but "no" is the basic answer, unless you're talking about something where -- that I -- I'm not aware that you're going to ask about."

And then there was an exchange with Sen. Patrick Leahy, who brought up a book authored by Mark Judge, titled, "Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk," in which Mark references a "Bart O'Kavanaugh' as vomiting in a car during Beach Week and then passing out."

"Is that you he's talking about?" Leahy asked.

"Mark Judge was a friend of ours in high school who developed a very serious drinking problem, an addiction problem that lasted decades and was very difficult for him to escape from," Kavanaugh said. "And he nearly died. And then he developed -- then he had leukemia as well, on top of it. Now, as part of his therapy -- or part of his coming to grips with sobriety, he wrote a book that is a fictionalized book and an account--

Leahy interrupted him, trying to get Kavanaugh to answer the question.

"I think he picked out names of friends of ours to throw them in as kind of close to what -- for characters in the book. So, you know, we can sit here--"

"So you don't know -- you don't know whether that's you or not?" Leahy interrupted.

"We can sit here and you like, make -- make fun of some guy who has an addiction," Kavanaugh said.

"I'm not making--" Leahy started to say.

"I don't think that really makes -- is really good," Kavanaugh shot back.

"Judge Kavanaugh, I'm trying to get a straight answer from you under oath. Are you Bart O'Kavanaugh that he's referring to, yes or no?"

"You'd have to ask him," Kavanaugh said.

"Well, I agree with  you there," Leahy said. "And that's why I wish that the chairman had him here under oath."

 

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