- Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared uncomfortable when repeatedly questioned about his drinking habits during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday centering around allegations he sexually assaulted professor Christine Blasey Ford while they were in high school.
- Ford claims Kavanaugh was inebriated during the alleged assault.
- Multiple senators questioned Kavanaugh about his drinking on Thursday, prompting awkward exchanges at times.
- Kavanaugh repeatedly told the committee he likes beer.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made claims about his drinking habits during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday that do not match up with accounts from people who knew him in high school and college.
Kavanaugh was testifying about allegations that he assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, who provided testimony earlier in the day.
Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. She claims Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, was in the room at the time and didn’t do anything to stop the assault, during which Kavanaugh allegedly groped her and tried to remove her clothes.
Ford said both Kavanaugh and Judge were inebriated at the time.
Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. These allegations also involve Kavanaugh partying and drinking. He has also conceded in statements that he may have had ” target=”_blank”too many” beers on occasion as a younger person.
But he often stumbled when questioned about drinking on Thursday, at times even contradicting past public statements he’s made on the topic as well as claims from people who knew him many years ago.
What people who knew Kavanaugh when he was younger said about his drinking
Judge wrote a book, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” chronicling his struggles with alcoholism when he and Kavanaugh were both at Georgetown Prep, one of the most prestigious high schools in the Washington, DC, area.
The book includes a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who was described as a heavy drinker who at one point puked in someone’s car.
Kavanaugh also made references to drinking in his high school yearbook, including that he was the treasurer of the ” target=”_blank”100 Kegs or Bust” club.
James Roche, who was Kavanaugh’s roommate at Yale University during their freshman year, recently described him as someone who was ” target=”_blank”frequently unusually drunk” and sometimes “belligerent and mean” when inebriated, The New York Times reported.
Similarly, Elizabeth Swisher, who also knew Kavanaugh at Yale, said it would be a “lie” if someone claimed Kavanaugh never blacked out from drinking during his college days.
According to The Times, a group of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates also claim he once got so drunk he tried to break into the back of a friend’s pickup truck and subsequently refused to cover the cost of the damage.
What Kavanaugh told the Senate about his drinking
Kavanaugh faced a number of questions about his drinking habits on Thursday. The Supreme Court nominee often dodged such inquiries, sometimes answering by firing questions back at senators.
At one point, for example, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse questioned Kavanaugh about references to drinking and vomiting that appeared in his high school yearbook.
Kavanaugh said, “I’m known to have a weak stomach and always have. In fact, the last time I was here you asked me about having ketchup on spaghetti, I always have had a weak stomach.”
When pressed about whether this was due to the consumption of alcohol, Kavanaugh replied, “Senator, I was the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school, captain of the varsity basketball team, got into Yale college. When I get into Yale college, got into Yale law school. Worked my tail off.”
Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono questioned Kavanaugh about the allegations from his college roommate, and he again dodged the question.
“It was noted that James Roche said although Brett was notably reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker and he became aggressive and belligerent when he was drunk,” Hirono said. “So is your former college roommate lying?”
Kavanaugh replied, “I will say, senator, you’re asking about college. I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I have no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college.”
At another point, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Kavanaugh whether he was the inspiration for the character “Bart O’Kavanaugh” from Judge’s book.
Kavanaugh told Leahy he’d have to ask Judge, who has refused to testify on the allegations.
Kavanaugh at another point was asked by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar whether he’d ever blacked out from drinking, or consumed so much alcohol that he couldn’t remember a certain period of time.
Kavanaugh directed the question back to the senator, saying, “You are asking about a blackout. I don’t know. Have you?”
Klobuchar replied, “I don’t have a drinking problem.”
“Nor do I,” Kavanaugh then said.
Later, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal questioned Kavanaugh about a 2014 speech he gave in which he claimed to have fallen out of a bus “onto the front steps of Yale Law School at about 4:45 am” after a night of barhopping following a Red Sox game in Boston.
At the time, Kavanaugh said that the next morning he had to “piece things back together” to recall the night.
Kavanaugh told Blumenthal on Thursday that he knew “exactly what happened” that night.