Brett Kavanaugh’s seemingly tenuous relationship with the truth is still haunting those who watched him testify on Thursday.
At times, the prospective Supreme Court justice abandoned composure to shed tears and scream, but at his most jarring he straight-up refused to answer questions directly, was unwilling to request an FBI investigation, and, as further research revealed, apparently lied under oath.
In the days since the hearing, people have replayed his testimony in their minds and on their screens. They’ve turned Kavanaugh’s words around over and over again to really let them simmer. And it seems the more thought that’s given to his responses, the more discussions about his dishonesty rage on social media.
One of the major, most general causes of concern about Kavanaugh’s testimony is the simple fact that a federal judge, who quite literally navigates the law for a living, refused to answer so many key questions.
call your senators and tell them to vote no for Kavanaugh – the future of our country deserves more than a privileged white boy who’s Spent his whole life over-drinking and can’t answer a simple question without acting more immature about it than a 4 year old.
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) September 28, 2018
Following the hearing and testimonies of both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford — who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in an incident that occurred more than 30 years ago, when the two were in high school — Vox created a visually striking chart to compare the times Ford and Kavanaugh each answered or dodged a question.
Ford’s portion is covered in blue, which signifies she did her best to answer each question presented to her in her testimony, while Kavanaugh’s chart is sprinkled with pink lines, a representation of the numerous times he dodged questions.
When Kavanaugh did make an effort to answer basic questions, like those pertaining to his controversial senior yearbook writeup and personal calendar, it wasn’t satisfactory. Again and again he wholeheartedly failed to provide accurate explanations and definitions for terms like “Devil’s Triangle,” “boof,” “ralph,” and more — terms that any person with access to the internet could look up for themselves and fact check. And you’d better believe they did.
During the Whitehouse questions about the yearbook, he’s literally almost sneering with contempt while launching into a series of wildly implausible explanations on ralphing, devil’s triangle, Renate Dolphin, “boofed”, etc.https://t.co/lAowwKhkcz https://t.co/Hj6VmMbufS
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 29, 2018
Keep going back this morning to Kavanaugh lying to the committee about “Ralphing” and other yearbook items. With a straight face. Spicy food? Come on.
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) September 28, 2018
I need help understanding something. Why would Kavanaugh lie about such inconsequential things as the definition of ralphing, booting, devil’s triangle- things so easily disproved. Why risk it?
— Jill (@jhgurf) September 29, 2018
Kavanaugh also stated that 18-year-olds could legally drink in Maryland in 1982, which was true if you turned 18 before July 1. However, a simple search reveals Kavanaugh didn’t turn 18 until Feb. 12, 1983 which means he wasn’t legally allowed to drink until age 21 in Maryland. C’mon, dude.
And then, of course, beyond questions surrounding whether it was legal for him to drink at all, there’s his deep, deep love of beer itself.
Kavanaugh sounded like a broken record throughout his testimony, passionately declaring his love for beer whenever the opportunity presented itself. Yet, at the same time, the man giving beer such rave reviews also wanted the world to believe the following:
He never drank on weekdays, despite his beloved teenage calendar — an argued symbol of absolute truth — implying otherwise.
He never drank in excess to the point of blacking out, despite saying “sometimes I had too many beers,” in his opening statement; embarrassingly refusing to answer a question about drinking in excess; and that questionable section from his pal Mark Judge’s memoir, Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, that describes a character Bart O’Kavanaugh “vomiting on someone’s car during Beach Week and then passing out.”
He has a “weak stomach with beer or with spicy food or anything.”
With all the conflicting beer-related information presented that day, it’s no wonder people are still left with some serious questions and concerns. Some are even gathering evidence from trustworthy sources to create Twitter threads that prove Kavanaugh was far more than a light drinker in the past.
For a guy who has never been blackout drunk in his life, man he loves his beer and drinking stories.
— Bryan Wood (@itsWoodrow) September 27, 2018
Kavanaugh says being president of the Ralph Club is cause he had a weak stomach — why he likes ketchup on spaghetti — Whitehouse says: so the vomiting had to do with alcohol? K refuses to answer reciting his sports and academic record.
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) September 27, 2018
For those of you who haven’t listened to Kavanaugh’s testamony I’m going to sum it up:
“Man I love beer. I drink it all the time. Never got black out drunk though. I keep a diary of all of my movements all the time and it says I wasn’t there, don’t get the FBI involved. Bye.”
— Danny Muir (@DannyDocileASMR) September 28, 2018
Lastly, because I’m tired…Kavanaugh was asked by Corey Booker if he:
A) drank beer on the weekdays
B) If skis meant brewskis
What stands out is that Kavanaugh cause this “rare” to drink on the weekday but he literally had it scheduled… pic.twitter.com/vvdVqpnuvT
— Kava-hell-f*ck-naugh (@julian_moffit) September 28, 2018
One of the most widely called out points Kavanaugh used to strengthen his own argument was that the possible witnesses Ford mentioned in her testimony — including Mark Judge, Patrick “P.J.” Smyth, Leland Ingraham Keyser, and another unnamed boy — all denied the sexual assault ever took place.
Kavanaugh leaned on the argument several times on Thursday, prompting many — including Senator Richard Blumenthal — to note that the claim was completely inaccurate. Blumenthal even took the time to publicly state that a person having “no recollection” of the event or not knowing the answer to a question is not the same as denying the event took place.
Blumenthal, like Booker, is pointing out that Kavanaugh yesterday had said that four witnesses had denied Dr. Ford’s account, where what they actually have said is that they do not remember / do not know.
— Nicky Woolf (@NickyWoolf) September 28, 2018
On Friday, after pleas from Democratic senators and support from outside parties like the American Bar Association and Dean of Yale Law School, Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation vote was delayed to accommodate a requested week-long FBI investigation.
President Trump granted a short investigation that will remain limited in scope, and while it’s unclear exactly how the FBI will approach Ford’s accusations or examine the claims of other Kavanaugh accusers Julie Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez, here’s hoping the country gains some additional sense of clarity on Ford’s accusations and Kavanaugh’s high school years beyond the vague, often confusing statements he made to the Senate Judiciary Committee.