Numerous legal experts, pundits and former classmates of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh believe he perjured himself during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
While answering allegations and questions regarding his drinking habits and yearbook entries, Kavanaugh made statements that some say were lies and others say were at the very least misleading.
> Questions about Kavanaugh’s alleged habitual blackout drunkenness were repeatedly raised by Democratic Party senators. Most infamously, during Kavanaugh’s questioning by Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI) and Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN). While dodging many of the senators’ questions, Kavanaugh retorted back with questions about both Klobuchar’s and Whitehouse’s own drinking habits.
> At least once, however, Kavanaugh categorically denied that his drinking ever reached such a level. He said:
> I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out.
However, several of Kavanaugh’s former classmates disagree that he did not drink to excess — including two who have said so publicly.
> I was appalled. He was clearly lying. And it was incredibly disturbing to see somebody perjuring them self who’s in line to be a Supreme Court justice…That’s what was surprising to me. Is that, I drank too much in college. I think a lot of kids drink too much in college. ‘But if you’re able to get your work done and you move on with your life and you don’t drink as much–but we all drank a fair amount and we made some stupid choices.’ That would have been totally fine. If he had said that, I wouldn’t be here today.
Swisher also told O’Donnell:
> “That was blurring the difference between truth and falsehood. And for somebody who’s a federal judge and in line potentially to be in the highest court in this country, there can be no alternative facts. We need somebody who stands by truth and justice.”
> Lynne Brooks, who also says she drank a lot with Kavanaugh during the Yale days concurred with Swisher’s estimation. She said, “I agree. The reason that I decided to speak out was when he gave the Fox News interview and, as I said in the Washington Post, tried to paint himself as a choir boy where all he did was study and play sports and every once in awhile he would have a beer–and that’s simply not consistent with the Brett Kavanaugh I knew in college.”
New York University Law Professor Ryan Goodman also noted that almost one dozen of Kavanaugh’s former classmates have described the nominee as someone who was a heavy drinker and often “very drunk”.
Kavanaugh’s explanation of his yearbook entries also drew denunciations from his former classmates, along with the public at large.
When asked for the meaning of the terms “boofed” and “Devil’s Triangle”, the nominee offered explanations that defied reason.
> The inscription in Kavanaugh’s yearbook reads, “Judge — Have You Boofed Yet?” A similar inscription appears in Mark Judge‘s yearbook and reads, “Bart, have you boofed yet?” The yearbook simply lists “Devil’s Triangle” as one of Kavanaugh’s achievements next to his senior photo.
> During his testimony, Kavanaugh claimed that “boofed” was a teenage word for “flatulence” and that Devil’s Triangle referred to “a drinking game…a quarters game.” (A quarters game is typically a game that involves trying to launch and land a quarter into a container of alcohol.)
What are the commonly understood meanings of those terms?
> In the 1980s and now, “boofing” was widely known as a term for anal sex, according to both the New York Times and Urban Dictionary. Nowadays, the term is also associated with the anal delivery of alcohol or drugs in order to achieve inebriation at a much faster clip, according to Urban Dictionary.
> According to Urban Dictionary and, well, pretty much anyone who’s previously heard the term, including the present author, “Devil’s Triangle” refers to a sexual encounter involving two men and one woman.
When two former Georgetown Prep students discussed this issue with The New York Times, it appeared they though Kavanaugh was distorting the truth:
> Bill Barbot, whose attendance at Georgetown Prep overlapped with Kavanaugh’s, discussed those disputed yearbook phrases with the Times He said, “Our senior yearbook pages were a place to have a little bit of fun with commemorating inside jokes. However, the spin that Brett was putting on it was a complete overstatement of the innocence with which they were intended.”
> William Fishburne managed the Georgetown Prep football during Kavanaugh’s senior year there. He also spoke with the the Times about Kavanaugh’s yearbook excuses. Fishburne said, “The explanation of Devil’s Triangle does not hold water for me.”
According to journalist David Enrich, Barbot and Fishburne are not the only former classmates to dispute Kavanaugh’s definitions.
He tweeted, “Based on extensive interviews by me and @katekelly with Kavanaugh's former Georgetown Prep classmates, what he just said about the meanings of "boofed" and "Devil's Triangle" is not true.”
The National Review’s Jamie Weinstein even called out Kavanaugh on what appeared to be a falsehood, wondering if it might end the nominee’s chance at sitting on the Supreme Court:
“If Kavanaugh lied about what "Devil's Triangle" meant -- even if it was a dumb line of questioning and even if he did it to spare his family further embarrassment by discussing what was probably a juvenile inside high school joke -- could that tank his nomination?”