UPDATE: Jonathan Chait at the Daily Intelligencer:
Kavanaugh’s friends gathered testimony attempting to refute Ramirez’s allegations weeks before The New Yorker’s story was published. Some of the witnesses were contacted by people working on Kavanaugh’s behalf as early as July, according to text messages one witness has shared with the FBI.
This demonstrates to a near-certainty that Kavanaugh knew about the incident weeks before the story came to light. It is possible he had somehow heard about false charges being circulated in advance, worked to refute them, and then misled the Senate about when he heard about them. An alternative, more direct explanation would be that he worked to refute the charge because he knew about it from having actually done what he was accused of.
There is no doubt, however, that Kavanaugh intentionally misled the Senate. [Pols emphasis]
NBC News’ Chuck Todd and the political team at the network report on new developments in the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Boulder Yale grad Deborah Ramirez–in particular, an assertion under oath from Kavanaugh about the allegations by Ramirez that may be demonstrably false:
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: When did you first hear of Ms. Ramirez’s allegations against you?
KAVANAUGH: In the last — in the period since then, the New Yorker story [published on Sept. 23]. [Pols emphasis]
But NBC News’s Heidi Przbyla and Leigh Ann Caldwell write that Kavanaugh and his team were trying to refute Ramirez’s allegations BEFORE they became public.
“The texts between Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, both friends of Kavanaugh, suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public. In one message, Yarasavage said Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record in his defense. Two other messages show communication between Kavanaugh’s team and former classmates in advance of the story.”
More: “In a series of texts before the publication of the New Yorker story, Yarasavage wrote that she had been in contact with ‘Brett’s guy,’ and also with ‘Brett,’ who wanted her to go on the record to refute Ramirez. According to Berchem, Yarasavage also told her friend that she turned over a copy of the wedding party photo to Kavanaugh, writing in a text: ‘I had to send it to Brett’s team too.’”
If this timeline of events is correct, it directly contradicts the statement Kavanaugh made in committee that he hadn’t heard about the allegations from Ramirez before they were published in the New Yorker. Needless to say, evidence of foreknowledge of those allegations by the accused after denying such knowledge lends them substantial credibility.
But the real problem is that Brett Kavanaugh appears to have lied under oath. Why would Kavanaugh lie under oath about an allegation from Ramirez he insisted had no credibility? There’s no good answer to that question. Irrespective of the result of the investigation into those allegations, committing perjury in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing is a disqualifying event–as Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona says, and if he’s true to his word will decide his vote.
This is a lifetime appointment to a position of great power. We can’t have rapists or liars on the Supreme Court.