Opinion: Lying Republican Senators confirm lying Supreme Court nominee (Kavanaugh) nominated by lying president (Trump)

The statements which follow represent the opinions and impressions of the author, and do not necessarily involve statements of known and proven facts.

Unmoored from Truth, or even shame, the Republic, rudderless, founders on lies as it abandons its course toward the safe harbor of Truth.

Donald Trump’s assault on the Truth and his constant lying have borne poisonous fruit.  The lying Republican President has nominated lying Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and lying Republican Senators have manipulated the confirmation process to hide or ignore  perjury and possibly other misdeeds.  Then, ignoring the perjury and not having seriously examined the allegations of sexusal misconduct, they voted to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination.

In doing so, senators have ignored obvious perjury by Kavanaugh in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, while manipulating a supplemental FBI investigation to avoid the truth, in order to avoid the revelation of any inconvenient facts, and also misrepresenting the facts relating to sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh, and his perjury before the Committee on September 27, 1018.

One thing appears certain about Brett Kavanaugh. He appears to be a liar, a bald-faced liar. He seems to have lied in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week about his high school and early college drinking, about the meaning of words in his high school yearbook like “boof” and “Ralph” and “alumnius”, and quite possibly about whether he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in 1982, as she alleged in her compelling and highly credible testimony. It seems that he would have even lied if necessary had he been called to answer the charges of Debbie Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, which President Trump and the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee carefully and successfully maneuvered to avoid.

Senator Jeff Flake had the power in his hand to force a real FBI investigation, simply by withholding his vote to report Kavanaugh’s nomination out of the Judiciary Committee. It was a power that for him was too great to hold on to or to use. Instead, he came up with a complicated formula that in the event allowed the wielders of power to shamelessly orchestrate a cover-up, a whitewash of an investigation by the FBI.  The real story of America’s descent into the abyss is perhaps to be found in the story of why Flake was afraid to use the power in his hand. Why was he afraid, and of what?

Decent people harbored some but diminishing hope that Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) or Senator  Susan Collins (R-ME) might vote against Kavanaugh. One or more could have cast a negative vote, but the ambivalence they had shown up to then, in the face of apparent lies and outrageous behavior by their colleagues, did not auger well.

To her lasting credit, Murkowski did vote against Kavanaugh.  To her lasting discredit, augmented by a misleading and deceitful speech on the floor of the Senate justifying her vote, Susan Collins voted in favor of Kavanaught.  Jeff Flake, true to character, after raising doubts and orchestrating a delay to allow a manipulated FBI investigation, voted for the lying president’s lying nominee, without raising any objections to the abuse of process inherent in the FBI investigation which he had orchestrated but not overseen.

While many hoped against hope, they were hard-pressed to conclude that there is not a decent human being among the Republicans in the Senate, and that the same may be true in the House. The last decent Republican may have been John McCain. Many fervently hoped that this was not true, that there might have been several men or women of decency left among the Republican members of the Senate,  but this was  merely a hope–against overwhelming prior evidence, that somehow some synapse might occur in a few Republican brains to save the Republic.

Saving the Republic was indeed what was truly at stake. We have a president who lies big time every day and has built his career on lies, large and small, and by attacking the truth when it is reported in the media,  the so-called “fake news” published by “the enemy of the people”.

The Orwellian overtones are not subtle.  “The Truth is the enemy of the people.”

And this lying, would-be authoritarian president has nominated a judge to the Supreme Court who has extreme views on the reach of the president’s power and his immunity from law, and the ordinary mechanisms that seek to secure that every individual is equal before the law.. And accountable before the law.

Why should we be surprised that a lying president would nominate an apparently lying candidate to be placed on the Supreme Court, and that his lying Republican henchmen would do everything in their power, unconstrained by norms and traditions of decency and fairness, to put the lying president’s apparently lying Supreme Court nominee on the Court?

This battle is about raw power. Republicans seem willing to tell any lie, ignore any perjury, to do anything necessary to secure their power through gaining control of the Supreme Court. Even if their actions constitute a major break with the rule of law.

Would they kill to keep their power? That is one of the few factors that distinguish Trump from Hitler and Stalin.  Hopefully, that is a question the nation will never have to face.  Nonetheless, one must consider seriously what might happen should Trump call his supporters into the streets.

So, it appears that for now we will have  ”the Kavanaugh court”, controlled by the swing vote of the apparently lying nominee of a lying president.

The Supreme Court may not regain its authority and reputation for 50 years.

Kavanaugh’s apparent lies will not be forgotten.

Long a beacon to the world, the Supreme Court which ultimately sets the course for the United States, may now be a beacon that has gone out or is going out.  Certainly it will not retain its authority or legitimacy so long as a known perjurer sits among its justices.

The Supreme Court of Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, and Trump’s Republican lackeys will for all time stand as a monument to Trump’s assault upon the Truth, and the lesson he has sought to teach the Nation that Truth does not matter, not even if it is violated by a Supreme Court nominee who commits perjury before the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to achieve confirmation.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation is the product of the commission of the crime of perjury. It is a crime in which the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are fully complicit, as are the Republican senators (and one Democrat) who voted on the floor for his confirmation.

The Trenchant Observer

See in Part II (to follow)


  1. Text of the federal perjury law;
  2.  Known perjury by Brett Kavanaugh in Second Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing;
  3. The failure of the FBI to interview Kavanaugh, and other witnesses;
  4. Senator Collins’ disingenuous defense of Kavanaugh on the Senate floor;
  5. The complicity of the Senators who voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.