August politics are like holiday politics. No one's really paying much attention so the "silly season" takes over. Today, for example, we're talking about Omarosa's tapes and Donald Trump's worsening dementia. About the latter, apparently during an event for Vietnam veterans in the Roosevelt Room at the White House back in March 2017, Trump went around insisting that Robert Duvall's line in Apocalypse Now was, "I love the smell of Agent Orange in the morning." Wrong. Duvall says "napalm" not "Agent Orange." They're two different things and Trump refused to back down.
Again, it's August.
Lost in the mix, however, is some rather alarming news in the confirmation process for Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. According to a letter signed by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senate Republicans are refusing to hand over documents pertaining to Kavanaugh -- documents that could include damning evidence that'd surely kill the judge's confirmation process before it even begins.
The senators' letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley notes that the Republicans have only made available around three percent of documents covering Kavanaugh's record. A full 98.4 percent of Kavanaugh's record is being withheld. The senators noted that, by comparison, 99 percent of Elena Kagan's record was made available to the committee prior to her confirmation process. Stating the obvious here: it looks like they're hiding something. Duh.
And this might be the something. Kavanaugh might've lied under oath during his prior confirmation hearing in 2006. The senators wrote:
As you know, in 2006, Judge Kavanaugh told the Committee under oath that he was “not aware of any issues” regarding “the legal justifications or the policies relating to the treatment of detainees”; was “not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants”; had nothing to do with issues related to rendition; and was unaware of, and saw no documents related to, the warrantless wiretapping program conducted without congressional authorization.
It turns out, Kavanaugh appeared to be involved in discussions about the Bush administration's torture policy. The senators have in their possession a document acquired from the Bush Library about the administration's use of torture. This document was apparently sent by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Steven Hadley to Kavanaugh for his notes and/or approval. On top of that, there are other documents the Dems can't reveal due to national security.
Suffice to say, Kavanaugh appears to have been involved in policy discussions about torture, despite the fact that he denied being involved before the committee in 2006.
One thing you don't want to be accused of in advance of congressional testimony and a series of confirmation votes is lying to Congress, specifically a top-shelf Senate committee, no less. Keep an eye on this story because unless Leahy, Feinstein and Durbin are wrong, this could easily end Kavanaugh's hopes of being seated on the Court. Of course, we're talking about the Trump Republican Party where perjury is irrelevant unless it's Clinton perjury.