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Brett Kavanaugh: Republicans confident Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed

BRETT Kavanaugh’s chances of being confirmed to the Supreme Court have soared following reports the FBI failed to find any evidence against him.

Republicans have gained confidence Mr Kavanaugh will win Senate confirmation, saying investigators found “no hint of misconduct”.

But Democrats have accused the White House of protecting the judge and slapping constraints on the probe, accusing the FBI of failing to obtain all the facts.

Two key moderate Republicans, Senator Susan Collins and Senator Jeff Flake, said it “appears to be a very thorough investigation” and they’ve seen “no additional corroborating information”.

Following the FBI report, the Washington Post has published a story detailing Mr Kavanaugh’s life of advantage, and how his inner circle would set him on a path for success.

HOW KAVANAUGH WAS PROTECTED

Brett Kavanaugh had a privileged upbringing. According to the Post, he “grew up in an idyll of country clubs and beach retreats, private schools and public prominence”.

His parents were well-connected. Edward Kavanaugh, Brett’s father, was the president of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association — a job which saw him building connections with many powerful people in Washington.

His mother, Martha, was a prosecutor who went on to become a circuit judge in Montgomery County.

At the leafy Georgetown Preparatory School, one of the most selective schools in the United States, Mr Kavanaugh was described as popular and an academic standout. His classmates called him “The Genius” — he was smart, sociable and well-liked.

When Mr Kavanaugh faced allegations that he had sexually assaulted a classmate during his drunken university days, old friends, family members and co-workers came to defend him, making it their business to defend his reputation.

media_cameraBrett Kavanaugh in his high school yearbook.

As he left school and entered the real world, he had a tight circle of political and social elites who would help “protect him from his missteps”.

Even in 2006, when the American Bar Association first considered nominating him to judgeship, his tight network defended him.

Some had raised concerns that he wasn’t experienced enough for the role, warning that he was “immovable” and “very stubborn and frustrating to deal with”.

But his supporters would continue offering his name when positions opened up, praising him and pushing him forward for plum positions, the Post reported.

In 2003, it was then-US attorney-general Alberto Gonzales and his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, who recommended Mr Kavanaugh as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

“I thought — correctly! — that Brett would make a great judge, given his A+ level smarts, collegial demeanour, commitment to public service, compassion,” Mr Sampson said in an email to the Post. “I went and made the case to Judge Gonzales, and then Gonzales made the case to President Bush and he agreed.”

media_cameraBrett Kavanaugh’s chances of being confirmed to the Supreme Court have soared.

It was this role, on the bench, that saw Mr Kavanaugh expand his tight network even further.

Ever since Donald Trump nominated Mr Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, he’s had a support network tasked with fending off reporters and keeping ill rumours at bay.

Earlier this week, for example, reports emerged that he’d relied on this inner circle to silence Deborah Ramirez, who claimed he exposed himself to others at a party in the early 1980s while drunk.

NBC News reported text messages were sent between two of Mr Kavanaugh’s friends, Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, which suggested he may have reached out to his classmates to minimise claims.

In one message, Ms Yarasavage said Mr Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record to defend him. Another two messages show communication between Mr Kavanaugh’s team and former classmates before Ms Ramirez’s claims were published in The New Yorker, suggesting Mr Kavanaugh knew about Ms Ramirez’s allegations in advance.

PUSH TO CONFIRM KAVANAUGH THIS WEEKEND

President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans have gained confidence Mr Kavanaugh will win Senate confirmation.

Thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court and entered a Senate office building, holding signs such as “Believe Survivors” and “Kava-Nope”.

media_cameraProtesters occupy the Senate Hart building during a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington.
media_cameraActivists shout slogans during a protest, and hold up signs reading ‘Sexual violence is a crime’ and ‘Believe survivors’.
media_cameraDespite the protests, top Republicans voiced confidence on Thursday that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the US Supreme Court this weekend.

But Republicans are moving forward with plans for a key procedural vote on Friday and a final vote on Saturday on confirming the conservative federal appeals judge for a lifetime job on the top US court.

Mr Trump, himself accused by numerous women during the 2016 presidential race of sexual misconduct, wrote on Twitter the FBI report showed the allegations against Kavanaugh were “totally uncorroborated”.

No Republicans have said they will vote against Mr Kavanaugh.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein noted the FBI did not interview Mr Kavanaugh himself or Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who has accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault in 1982.

“It smacks of a whitewash,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters, saying the report should not give political cover for Republicans to vote for Mr Kavanaugh because “it is blatantly incomplete”.

Most Democrats opposed Mr Trump’s nomination of Mr Kavanaugh from the outset. If confirmed, he would deepen conservative control of the court.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said the Trump administration was “fully confident” Mr Kavanaugh had the necessary support.

— with Reuters

Originally published as Kavanaugh’s silver spoon life revealed

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