tv After Words Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino Justice on Trial CSPAN September 2, 2019 8:30pm-9:31pm EDT
c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> you are watching the tv on the. the top nonfiction books and authors. booktv television for serious readers. up next on bikinis -- they examined the confirmation of supreme court justice brett kavanaugh and the future of the court. they are interviewed by los angeles times supreme court correspondent david savage. "after words" is a weekly interview program with relevant gas host interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> last summer washington saw a particularly fierce political fight over president trumps nomination of judge brett kavanaugh to succeed justice anthony kennedy on the supreme
court. it is not always an edifying experience but a mean and ugly fight at times and we know how it turned out, judge kavanaugh now justice kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed on a largely partyline vote. it was a memorable site so why did you to choose to retell this story in book links for? >> guest: we were both involved in the kavanaugh confirmation battle. she was working on the confirmation and covering it as a journalist. we knew we had a good story here and knew that we had good access and we wanted to lay it down and get the record down and so we interviewed more than 100 people, including the president and various other people and several supreme court justices people in the senate and we are
so glad we did because this was something that gripped the nation last year and in the chaos of it and in the moment it is worth reflecting on after the dust settled about lessons to learn from it and what were the things that happened behind the scenes and were glad we got to do it. >> guest: absolutely. for me in particular having clerked for justice thomas i saw the replay of the events from the types of attacks we been going on before the confirmation got crazy to the allegations followed a similar pattern and i knew the next phase wasn't one where the losing side went home and said i cannot keep them off the court. what we've seen is the nation has gone from the time people who watched it and lived it in real time said they believed thomas over hill and that's men, women, black or white and there's been a constant drumbeat ever since then of trying to rewrite that narrative and reimagine that story.
i thought it was important to just make sure the facts are out there to get ahead of the revisionist history so we could learn from and probably learned from both sides of the ugliness of the battle. american people don't want to see this level of viciousness and vitriol in the future confirmations and i know we certainly don't. >> putting in context it's a horrific thing to go to on all sides and how it's part of the confirmation process that we have seen and been able to go through the history and going back hundreds of words but more particularly in recent decades is helpful. >> host: you to talk to a lot of people and there's a lot of reporting in this group but what would someone follow this news but did not delve into it what would you learn or what did you learn that was new and recounting this story? >> guest: so many of things but it's hard to pick out just a few. one of the exciting things to learn was to get to see the human side of the way that the
kavanaugh family was dealing with the process so it's everything from the fun and exciting things in the lead up to the nomination and some fun stories of how both he had tried to sneak into the white house and be careful that he did not even let his own wife or family know after the president had told he would get the nomination and cut that secret of how ashley kavanaugh and her girls had to escape their house and there was already a media stick out in front and the new people were at the other house with a slow-motion chase of thomas hardiman where there was to be followed and felt they needed to whatever the result was even before they would be nominated would leave the house and managed to seek out the backyard
so the media will not tell if they were there or not. it's fun stories like that but also seeing how these allegations affected them in real life and how you go through having to live in this community where a lot of the families involved in the people went to school with are still there and is a local story as well as a national one and you got the girls going to school and working through that a lot of support we saw from their friends on both sides of the aisle and neighbors. ashley kavanaugh is a town manager so as this is going before her husband is nominated she's hosting a july 4th party and right in the middle of the heat of these allegations she's hosting a neighborhood barbecue at their house. it's so amazing what this will cement the people as they went through and we sign the strength of character it took to survive this level of attack in opposition. >> host: you do tell a story of perseverance and survival and tough that no one would want to be in the position of the justices and in effect, your
whole life or whole career is right before and your under attack during that time. the confirmation process has become an ugly situation seems like the justices view it that way and republicans and democrats view it that way did you come away with any thoughts of what would be -- this was a bad process and you have thoughts about how the confirmation process could be made different or better? >> guest: yes, one interesting thing speaking with various supreme court justices and whether no one had a confirmation process like this or a few people did but whether you had one that was relatively mild or serious they all loathed the confirmation process and whether these people are appointed by democrats or republicans these are judges who now justice care about the
reputation and cared about how they live their lives and have their integrity questioned by people as senators don't show that same integrity is calling for a lot of these people but people say the senators were bad the senate process broke down and that's true. there was after the thomas hearings a procedure set in place precisely to avoid it like this and the way that if you have navigation to make a presidential nominee to be handled discreetly and for reasons not entirely clear senator dianne feinstein recommended that process and went through she chose to go through but process breakdown for the first round of hearings went with outbursts from various senators. i understand people being upset about that and there is frustration and how the media handled some of these allegations and whether they showed journalistic integrity and how they reported on the story but it's also a case of the court itself which is as the court has become more political in its decision-making whether it makes law rather than
interpreting the law as it is written that creates a political situation and is not altogether surprising that it becomes the process itself becomes more political. there is some role for the court itself to tamp down some of these actions just by behaving in a less political faction. >> host: do you what used to be the standard that everyone would say is if the president makes an nomination in that nominee is well-qualified the senate should basically confirm that nominee and that was 30, 35 years ago and i was always set to be the standard so should that be the standard now that bret cannot buy every standard was well-qualified for the job but most of the democrats were not going to vote to confirm him and if you asked them they would say so was mary garland so what is your view?
should it be the old standard or depends on the political makeup of the senate? >> guest: the old standard has been gone for a long time. by any realistic standards judge robert was absolutely and aggressively qualified for the job they were talking in the 80s. that standard has been abandoned for a one time with and it was abandoned first by the democrats and then we went back and we tell the story injustice on trial that i think it -- many times republicans were hoping they can return to that you saw clinton's nominees, breyer and ginsburg had almost unanimous confirmations and we have seen is it's taken a while for republicans to realize that standard has not been followed. there's frustration pumping from lindsey graham who was one of the people who absolutely ascribes to that -- >> host: and the obama's.
>> guest: but recall his outburst at the final confirmation where he said tell justice kagan so the mayor hello because i voted for them and you are not following that standard. he's frustrated because he would like that to be the standard but that simply is not the standard being followed. i think there should be a qualifications are clearly important but there is a consent role the role senate has to play looking at judicial philosophy as part of that but you take an oath as a senator to uphold the constitution so it's incumbent on senators to make sure that someone who will be in the role of a justice of the supreme court someone who will uphold the constitution. that clearly means someone who look at the text of the constitution as it is written in that believe they have not an entirely blakes late but a great degree of leeway to play with the constitution. that circumvents our constitutional process. this amendment process and it is not amended by five votes of the
justices on the supreme court. that is something that is fair game to debate and the politics of personal destruction is where it becomes a real problem that is off the table and i'm proud that for example during the merrick garland confirmation that that is absolutely we can talk about his record and whether the senate wants to proceed to a vote in the way two thirds of the senate support companies that have not been confirmed simply because they've not had a vote is totally a regular way of not having someone confirmed but having an attack like we saw with the camera confirmation and adding the hysteria and the smears that is something i think it should be taken off the table for both sides. >> guest: we have a story in a book of merrick garland being worried that when he was nominated he would be subject to some of these personal character attacks. people are definitely upset with how nomination was handled or
rather how it wasn't considered by the senate but he did not receive personal attacks of that nature and was told by friends that i don't thank you have to worry about that at all and they will not do that but there are consequences for how you fight. it's understandable these are hard-fought battles and consequences for how you fight it up in his face consequences, some good and bad for how they fought the merrick garland situation. by and large with a corset nomination there was a little bit of character assassination the mostly with democrats do was filibuster him but it did not go well for them and they ended up losing the filibuster for sipping court justices but it was still within the bounds of -- >> senate norms be what you would say keep the senate -- personal attacks out of the senate. but now army almost a place where almost entirely political. the president makes eight nomination and it's always been a he is majority control in the senate the nomination will be
confirmed but if not, the situation is where amateurs a new supreme court nominee can be confirmed if the other party controls the senate. in other words, president trump were reelected so we talk hypothetical here but if president trump is reelected and the democrats have control of the senate my guess is it would not confirm another trump nominee. >> guest: looking at the people on his list, i think that's true. fun fact on the court there's only one member who has been confirmed by the senate of the opposing party. clarence thomas. that will show you a little bit of the change because even at the level of controversy there is still a democrats who voted for him and rub against voted against but i think the challenges how do we get past that and justice scalia we quote him injustice on trial talk about it and he says judges are
acting like politicians. it makes sense to have this as a political thing. if the nation's top policy agents are being decided by the support how to be expect them not to be tweeted this way. this is why i think it would be a healthy approach for justices across the board should take because what you're doing is looking at the text of law and that's a law passed by democrats or republicans it doesn't matter the content of law will often have justices who embrace regionalism and were not like the results of the loss they are enforcing but feel like they are having to keep closely to the tax. those are our elected representatives and that the constitution plays. we all know it will be sausage but it has to happen in the political process. judges are supposed to be insulated from that and have a political check and that is because there's an idea that what they're doing is not
politics but law. keep the judges doing that and we don't have to fight as much about their personal beliefs on the controversial issues that should not be relevant but are you following the law closely and let congress passed the laws you want and you'll get the lot you want in your country. >> host: i like that in theory. it's a matter of great controversy and how it plays o out. congress passed the obamacare act and there was a moved over to overturn it in the courts with a big fight and the voting rights acts extension was almost passed unanimously in congress in 2006 and then essentially overturned by this report on a five-four vote. >> guest: this is because the constitution is one of the laws, it's still the supreme law of the land that they have to include but in general when you talk about interpreting a statute you have to keep closely to the text the statute and that's why i take issue with overturning obamacare because
you don't maintain it by rewriting the statute and you don't get to rewrite the words of thought even if it means rewriting so you can avoid the constitutional problem but that's the -- that's the second case was almost more of an explicit writing of the statute but reinterpreting it penalties is a similar [inaudible] but we digress from kavanaugh. >> host: let's talk about the mystery woman, christine ford. there were rumors about her in the middle of the hearings i believe and apparently as you said diane feinstein's office had gotten this complaint at some point her name came up and there was a long procedure about which he or would she not testify and came and testified and a lot of people who watched it on television said my goodness she's got a very vivid memory of a painful experience
in high school. she said she was about 15 and bret cannot was about 17 and she says she was grabbed or attacked in this room and roughed up in the last five or ten minutes but to this day she seems to have a particularly vivid memory and judge kavanaugh says it never happened. he did not know this but had heard of her name summers but did not know her and none of the other people who were in the room at any confirmation of it but what do you make of christine -- christine blasey ford and how do you understand what she said and what do you believe about her testimony? >> guest: this is one of the interesting things to report on but it's not such a cut and dry or black-and-white type of story. i would take issue with this idea she had a vivid memory.
i mean partly yes but partly one of the things that was festering for people trying to evaluate the memory was how there were no specifics to go along with it whether it was when it happened, where it happened, who was involved in some density does work changing and sometimes the details just weren't there but to go back to the nomination process one of the things we learned that we thought was interesting was about how once you get on the short list be a supreme court nominee go through was called and asked dr, interview where you are interrogated about sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. it's been built into the process since the nomination for smoking marijuana with his -- i'm sorry, when he got in trouble for smoking marijuana with his graduate students, i believe. this was spoken into the process because of something. it could cause problems. that interview was gone and had a pretty good idea of who they were dealing with and it was the white testing understood that something might come out. one of the things that made them
believe now justice kavanaugh when he flat out denied the allegation was how they had seen him be throughout the process. when they go through and saw him in the first round of hearings he was cautious about how to answer questions that he avoids the perjury trap so if someone was trying to suggest something is very careful in how he responds. with this allegation. he flat out denies it. it gave the white house team confidence that this was on a guy trying to avoid perjury but a federal judge sat on the bench for 12 years and was firm. cannot have been firmer in the denial. because it was the allegation is and what evidence is there in support of it and what evidence that kavanaugh has to support his claims and that was a very interesting part of the process but spoke with quite a few people who know and like christine blasey ford and who knew her from childhood and it was a compensated picture. yes she had no evidence to
support the allegations but people thought she was nice and definitely have memories of her in high school and of her being a party girl which i don't think came out in the media coverage of that but it was not like such a these are real people with real life whether christine -- christine blasey ford or bret kevin who she accused. >> host: how does her friends interpret her testimony? that she was telling true stories that you remembered or made this up or what was -- what did people think about -- why would you come on national television and tell some stories like this? from an outsiders point of view it's why would she do that? >> guest: i think that's a question that a lot of people asked and there were a lot of things that do not seem to line up but several of the stories. she did say early on she did not want to come public.
there are parallels with the anita hill allegations where she was told initially we can get him scuttled in to come public. >> host: who would be delighted to go on national television like this? >> guest: i think no one plans that but however it also seems that she said she did not want to go on television for the first call she made was to "the washington post" where she said she wants -- she says i want to keep this completely unwraps but is going to the press and when they did not respond to initial calls she says well, i can always go to the times with this and that's how she got a response. again, we don't know what's going on pacifically in her heart of hearts but try to put together the big evidence we have here. we definitely know her lawyers for example initially said she wanted a public hearing and so okay, they give her a hearing and backed off and let's move it later and later so it's a very completed picture we have of one of story were trying to keep
this quiet but a large public relations effort so whether that's her intent for the people around her whether the democrats or lawyers or friends that there's definitely an effort pushing her into the limelight. >> guest: people ask us about her veracity and motivation and i don't think we can speak to the motivation but it's interesting that people forget some of what happened during that second round of testimony where rachel mitchell, prosecutor brought in to question christine blasey ford goes through a series of questions. rachel mitchell, i found to be one of the more pressing characters in this book and have a good repetition for interviewing victims of sex crimes and she's good at what she does and is a nationwide expert. she even tells what she's
interviewing for the position she tells the senate judiciary republicans if you're looking for a bulldog that's not me. i have a career to go back to and i am very conscious of the need to protect sexual assault victims and so she comes in and is exactly that way and goes to the questioning. we were told leading up to the second reopening of the hearings that christine blasey ford cannot make it to dc because she was terrified of flying. that was the message conveyed through her attorney. rachel mitchell starts asking her about it and gently pursues whether that's a true statement or not. how did you get here? you flew but how did you get here earlier this summer when you're visiting your family? she flew. do you fly regularly? yes. she explores whether she's flown to australia and says that would be too difficult for me. it turns out on her resume she lists one of her interests is surf travel and she flies all over the pacific island hopping, not something that matches with the claims we were told she was so terrified of lines that they had to delay the hearing for
days and days. laying out these pieces of information is important and you say why would someone not tell something that's true? it's also true sometimes people leave themselves to be telling the truth or have a vivid memory as he put it that is not necessarily reliable and we speak with memory experts who said one of the problems with her testimony was when she said something was indelible in the hippocampus. memory experts say literally nothing about memory is indelible and can be manipulated. it's important for journalists and those outside the process to be critical and not just lean into a narrative without checking some of the facts that are underlining. >> host: you do suggest at one point this could be recovered memory situations perhaps where someone has a strong memory now but did not talk about this 30 years ago and now is a strong memory and unclear whether
it's -- remember that thing in the 1980s were people were talking about having their children being molested in daycare or whatever and it became pretty clear that these were manufactured memories. they career creative memories. i don't know whether you're suggesting this could be that or what. >> guest: there is a specific category, recovered memory, someone who has no memory seems to develop one in therapy. it's not clear she's claiming that but what we know is she doesn't tell anyone until therapy but this is a thing and rachel meskill brought this out on one side the used these therapist notes as evidence but as a lawyer if you use this as evidence you would expect the court as a legal situation the court would examine them but they wanted to simultaneously use those as cooperation of her
statement but refuse to produce them. it's significant. this is what the experts spoke to because there is no therapeutic techniques and it can suggest memories. or can manipulate the content of those memories so you could catch attached the wrong person to a dramatic event. this happens in therapy and can happen just through regular discussions with people and been known to happen to police interrogation and picking people out of lineups. we have to be careful and don't know enough facts about it because those records were not released in some of the other surrounding information was not given to be able to assess the validity of that. this is why it's so important and rachel mitchell working with people in these situations so often felt like she had to go back and do what had never been done unfortunately which is a more forensic interview where you try to get the facts out and that was never really done an important that in any investigation process to know
whether there is enough evidence to move forward but ended up concluding in her professional opinion it was not enough evidence to actually win a case at trial which would be beyond a reasonable doubt in a cruel case this was not enough evidence to get a search warrant. it was very uncorroborated. testimony and that was something very compelling and significant particularly to some of the undecided senators. that was testimony she gave initially after the hearings consented to a group of republican senators that night who had brought her on to do that and she told this group of the senators laid out systematically what she had uncovered in terms of the inconsistencies and at the end received a standing ovation. she stayed on two more days to write up a report which then was later published by the senate judiciary committee taking everyone through the allegations and how they had changed and there was some people were concerned about the delay before disclosure. she said that's not an issue. this is typical that you might
have a delay before disclosure but there were other things that did raise red flags. wasn't only disclosed after his name had been in the news so you might be concerned about memory being tampered with and there are changes in the way she presented the story. that was an interesting piece of analysis that happened that people do not see at the time it is not out there in public and we learned was very persuasive to the undecided senators who were the key votes in this process. >> host: the point you made is that she said a number of things that would cause the senator to question her credibility because some about all the business about flying and will not did not seem like she was thoroughly honest? >> guest: when you make an allegation of trying to lay out support she did not have the type of things you might expect from similar stories such as location or how she got somewhere or how she left so
were looking for ways to determine the ability or veracity. we did learn a lot about how republicans on the senate judiciary committee from the moment the allegation was made they take it extremely seriously. some people think you should not able to get a nationally televised hearing the way for making an allegation but some people on the senate judiciary committee thought absolutely you should. they strongly wanted to hear from her and hear what her story was. everything was handled through attorneys so it's hard to know where these attorneys telling stories that were at odds with reality. with the fine that's been an example where it was the attorneys and tremont made accusations that do not match up with the record but other issues as well. for instance, she said in her destiny that the allegation was revealed to her husband in part
as they went to therapy because she wanted a second door added to her house because she had such fear as a result of this incident that happened. one of the things that came out after the hearing was that the second door there was a second door added to the house as part of the renovation for a unit that can be rented out and that also make people wonder is it her story the real reason or not and other people wrote into the senate judiciary committee than on her for decades and never known her to have a need for a second door. she did not have a lot of information. ...
the difficulty to testify obviously incredibly difficult for him and his family to go through this process and they are in the system for dealing with these things and taking it seriously so you don't just take or any allegations that have a way of getting that protect all the party. so there is a process i know senator feinstein said she didn't reveal this because of the request for confidentiality but that is a confidential system and it is put in an fbi background file against very honored by the white house and the senate. so, why that was then followed i think that went against the interest of every single person involved. the only benefit from that for those who would have liked to see the media circuit and a national kind of fiasco created
in the interest. >> it hinders the investigation process as well because even when the fbi was back during its investigation process, the idea was to actually be able to talk to people separately and then you don't have to worry had the witness has been tainted by what they already read. that wasn't done and it made it much harder to get to the bottom of what was going on here and that is a shame. >> it was something like 40 or 50 young women who signed a letter sort of on his behalf. i went to high school like you went to high school. he would sort of assume if
somebody was a bad actor around women or in some other ways, some would say i remember so and so it was a littl was a little o and is endorsing this but it was quite on his side. we spoke with one individual that said there were maybe five men in her whole life she would come out and defend the integrity and honor and he was one of those people. the people who knew him and to speak in the same way about him that people that knew him well
it may or may not have even been there at the same time with her by a matter of decades. this is one of the things that was helpful to him throughout the process he actually addresses this in his final testimony at the reopening hearing how much friends have been to and and how those carefully cultivated friendships have developed from a young age and had been meaningful to him. >> as an observer, it would have been i think an entirely different situation had several women from his high school years come forward and say that sort of comports with what i saw during the period. >> it was interesting there were
women who dated him and his group and said he was incredibly respectful. there was one she said i remember we were dating and i was in his room and had to change for something and he turned his back to give me privacy and she thought he was a real gentleman at first. so i think it was very telling to see the women close to him stand up. >> host: is there a sort of low point for breat -- brett kah and the morning that she testified came across very well on television and then it was his turn. you vote and sent in a number of people, senators and whoever who thought this is not good that she comes across as a very compelling witness. >> guest: i don't think that was the low point. for him he was from the moment the first allegation comes out,
he is desperate to clear his name and be able to clear up his character and reputation so that they is finally getting to the point. >> host: when the allegations came out. >> guest: i would say midway through the process when the allegation out of this obviously a huge shock. and i think that we learn in our reporting that that was a very difficult day, difficult to have that allegation made it to other people and difficult to try to convince other people of their innocence. that was rough but then if you recall there were many days between the allegation and the eventually reopening testimony where the other allegations are coming out and they are absurd. cereal cartel leaders, and so that in one way the team was working to advance the nomination found to be hopeful in that everyone could see that it wasn't just necessarily make
a very serious thing tha that he to bhad tobe dealt with like and situation that needed to be dealt with decisively, but there was always concerned that the senators would lose their confidence, and that concern was legitimate we did talk to people who told us that republican senators were not necessarily stalwarts throughout this process and that the day of the reopened hearings she gets her testimony and many people in the media found it compelling in their homes but one republican senator on the judiciary committee goes to senator susan collins and says how about we go over to the white house and told him to drop his nomination this is a very narrow voting situation and people that you might even expect might not have
any worry to the team turned out not to necessarily be a necessat as we might have hoped >> host: argue a bush nominee or trump nominee very close to george w. bush, worked for him, put him on the appeals court that he's now donald trump on the knee. so what does that mean? >> guest: we were hearing as we were interviewing people involved people would talk about thithis isn't some idea they hae talking to people about how it was difficult because the people were telling us. they were really close and finally they realized they were talking more about the attitude and not so much about the specific person sometimes. and even at that final moment as he is going into his testimony, there were some people who were saying well, you need to just be a little more recognized where
she's coming from, did a lot of credit where it is hard to come forward and talk about playing the sympathy. then you had the white house counsel who bears an amazing story they loved sports analogies and there was a movie they both loved. judge brett kavanaugh loved this line and he just has a very patriotic person, but he said what we have right here is this moment where the coach comes to the locker room and they haven't been playing well. he's trying to get them fired up to go out and do their best and he is knocking over a table and really fired them up and said that as this moment. you are a trump nominee. it's interesting because in some walls we freed him. in talking to all these people,
we saw kind of a very different judge brett kavanaugh earlier that week when he did an interview. that was the person that he really had been early on. he were practicing if you think you have to practice answering these questions, but he was doing so well from th day number one they actually have very few they didn't want to start something over rehearsed which some people felt did end up happening despite their best efforts. but he was finally free to give that frustration that one feels. i lived my whole life in the public eye. careful to be respectful and encouraging of young women, people talk about how great he was and just the women in his life talking about how respectful he was and how you
are calling me a sexual assailant and rapist, this is horrible. so he let that passion show and i thought that that was powerful for the american people to see. >> host: do you think that it may be different as he came out fighting to fight for his honor and his good name, there were people on the left afterwards said he was so emotional and angry that it may have undercut his reputation as a judge. a lot of people thought that that is what made the difference and shore up his support and his confirmation. >> we do look at that issue of temperament because looking at this open hearing, everything is being talked about the sexual assault. he does such a good job refuting that the people they move to the different talking point which is that his temperament is in question but it's true.
he starts being very aggressive with them and i think it brought out a talking point and he ends up having to address it by writing an op-ed in "the wall street journal" which is one of the many things that have been in the confirmation battles and that is nothing that we haven't seen before. there were ways in which his behavior in both rounds of testimony were the same in the first round he wanted to be eager and open to any questions. sometimes people respond to this by saying as little as possible about their judicial philosophy. he takes a very different approach. he is giving people as much of an answer as he can. i think that carried through in the second round of hearings. but when they start come upon senator goes after him about wines in a yearbook and things that he finds to be absurd, he starts punching back. we write about how he does that
to amy klobuchar, senator amy klobuchar, that was a bridge too far and he ends up coming right back out of the break after that to apologize to her. so it depends on this issue. it has to be dealt with following that, but it's interesting to reflect after a full term on the court that this is a now justice that have a reputation for 12 years as having an excellent temperament. the american bar association had said as much when they recommended him and after a full term on the court it seems that when he isn't having to defend himself against allegations that he is a serial gang rapist and having to deal with the effect of that and the reputation of his young daughter come he is the brett kavanaugh people were familiar with. he was a congenial, very focused and a good part of the american public only remembers the
testimony angry and emotional defending his good name. and i don't know how, that is just the way that life is. the strange thing that the supreme court, you're confirmed and then you go behind closed door nobody sees that person again. they read about them in the papers and pictures of them and there is a still photograph but they don't see them. i see him in the court every day and he is a very exceedingly congenial civil and nice guy like the old brett kavanaugh, but i think millions of people have only seen him in a tv appearance and might have a different impression. >> when he is seated on the court, the others go out of their way to welcome him and make public displays of how he is one of them and he has a
formal swearing-in of the white house they are all there but we did learn that one supreme court justice thought that he was very similar to justice kennedy, the shakespeare references have been replaced with sports references. >> host: he does have a lot of sports references. >> guest: when you've had 12 years on the court already i think what you do is go back to the same approach and if you don't have to wonder are they going to suddenly go off a different direction, we know how he's going to be a judge because he has done so for over a decade. >> host: tell me who you think some of the heroes and villains are. you've got details on those. did the heroes are the villains write the story? >> guest: you talk about
several people like rachel michel. one that i think was really impressive is her close friend from high school and one of the other people who was named to have been at the party and the only other woman said to have been at the party. she is a lifelong liberal and couldn't want brett kavanaugh on the court. she stated that she did not know him. >> host: you report she didn't remember knowing him in high school. >> guest: correct and she remembered it was a very formative summer for her because she's a professional golfer and that's when she got started playing. when she heard about the allegations initially she was dismayed. i can't believe this is my close friend. i feel horrible i hadn't realized what happened and even if she didn't tell me, i didn't notice any change i would have picked up and was racking her brain trying to think of details
and she couldn't come up with any. we told the story of how she made that first statement saying i don't remember this, i can't verify it. that was interesting because it's something people working on the nominations sought that was their silver bullet. we already have all of the man she identified saying they didn't remember it happening and this is the final person you would have thought would be the witness that may be what remember because it was her friend and she said she didn't and the team offices at compass is going to be great if this is where things are turning around and the they learned they got vy little media coverage when it came out that is when they felt like now we are really in trouble because even this isn't breaking through. >> host: so let me clarify going on, she said i don't remember this, but i believe she's telling the truth? >> guest: right. and in fact some of the
modifications were even the results of the discussions with common friends who said and realized there were people including judge brett kavanaughh said this review through testimony. but then people tried to convince her to shade that more strongly than she felt comfortable with. i still don't remember even if i don't think so, i believe her but i don't remember. so that is the statement she gives and later on in the fbi investigation, that's when it gets interesting because she does speak to the fbi and twice in fact goes back and lets them know about some of the encouragement she was going to change her statement and she begins to feel not only that she cannot corroborate the martian s an opportunity to reflect that this doesn't actually line up with the kind of events that would have happened at all. she comes to actually lose confidence in the story as she
has time to reflect on it. she never remembers it from the beginning but i thought it took a lot of courage. someone who again on a political basis you want to be able to support your friend but she also felt a deep conviction she had to be 100% truthful and that took a lot of courage. >> guest: i was thinking of another hero real quick, susan collins, learning more about what she went through which begins before brett kavanaugh is even named as the nominee, she starts receiving threatening packages in the mail from people who want her to vote against whoever the nominee is and she shows an unbelievable amount of discipline hiring additional staff to help go through his record. she had a command of the record that went back to the footnotes and she's not even on the judiciary committee took the role very seriously with every nominee that has overcome before
her including meritt garland which is the one that is the most detailed and she is the most informed and then really starts to gereleasedit to the pm opposition groups and refuses to be bullied and considers the case very seriously and i thought that showed tremendous courage because it also involved ended up being a that her home is a victim of an alleged ricin attack. she has neighbors threatening her and to just show that courage when it would have been easy to succumb to it is worth noting. >> guest: not just her vote, but her speech where she lays out what the standards of evidence are and she shows a compassionate attitude towards
the accuser and also becomes a sort of moral conscience for the senate and house she dislikes certain things that are happening, certain tactics that are deployed by people in the anti-brett kavanaugh force. it's interesting. >> host: you mentioned dianne feinstein doesn't come across looking very good in your book or other accounts because it seems like she should have acted sooner on this report so that it could have been handled. >> guest: it's very discouraging. but we also uncovered a tension between her and her staff. in many cases they were pulling her further to the left than she would have been. i think someone who's been in the senate a long time and wants to be able to work well with others and knows other members of the committee and other senators while she was much more inclined to work with them and we saw even earlier where the document showed she had come to
an agreement with senator grassley the chairman of the committee that would have resulted in even more documents being released then there were already in the half million that were released but actually, her staff insisted on scuttling that and had to walk back this agreement because he had taken the position that basically we are going to accept nothing less than every piece of paper that went through the bush white house and that also harmed the democratic senators and senator feinstein in the eyes of some of the swing votes. swing votes. >> we detailed the scene on the justice on trial where the tension between feinstein and her staff, the democrats and the staff it just boils over into an almost comical situation in the room off of the senate judiciary room where they were so frustrated with some of the political games and these are some of the politicians who do political game playing for a living.
there was a limited pool of people that have access to the letter. one of the limited pool and it did get out and we do know when she received the letter she didn't put it through the normal procedure that protects people that are accusing or whistleblowing. she arranged an attorney who is known for high-profile cases so that is something they did for other democratic staffers. her lawyers also have access. there isn't a limited group that had access to it because only a
few potential. >> so we all sort of agree that the ideal processes and to go through all the confirmation hearings and then get ready to vote. and then a major new development. as you say, i never thought i would live long enough to see it twice in their lifetime. it's similar to the way the revelations came out after the first round and i cover those. for the time of the supreme court, good luck on the book and thank you very much. >> think you are.
recently, one american youth network spoke to the young america's foundation national student conference about the book on debating the left. here's a portion of the talk. on july 5 of this year the day after independence day after my show none other than everybody's favorite socialist aoc. [applause] i'm always respectful and civil and i've even defended aoc whose political policies are delusional and dangerous. dangerous. i've defended her against me in comments at her looks and age and comments about her past
history as a bartender. when i read the messages, i only present the facts, nothing personal. you know what that means, somebody is threatened by facts. spend millions on that parade days after he couldn't afford toothpaste and soap for caged children, then asked congress for the military money trump held them hostage to secure billions for their abusers and congress needs to see that. so, i responded and i said stop. you voted no on a $4.5 billion bill to give emergency humanitarian aid relief to these migrant children in the border detention centers. if you wanted to help the kids, you could have, but you didn't.
that is what made her block me because 25,000 people read tweeted and liked that tweet come in over a quarter million other people saw it. [cheering] so the truth stings if you are a socialist. but aoc is a public official. it is a critical part of our public dialogue and self-governance to hold elected officials accountable. by the way, i am also team never block on twitter. i've never blocked a single person on twitter. i was engaging with people who disagree with me, but i guess but aoc isn't confident enough in her principles to do the same thing.
so this is important and the only reason to block somebody is they are being civil and respectful as i was so your ideology isn't challenged. there is a fitting word for that somewhere. that's right. that word is cowardice. there were blue checkmarks and tried to blame me for getting blocked because if i did something inappropriate or wrong to deserve being blocked other than challenging congresswoman aoc's come voting record here's what i would say to them, don't even think about blaming me for violence. violence and threats are 100% wrong. it's a hideous false accusation to try to blame me for other peoples disgusting behavior. i challenge the congresswoman's voting record in congress for
goodness sakes. and let me remind those on the radical left who maliciously and falsely tried to conflate civil criticism of the government to violence. here is your daily reminder that the very same week a domestic terrorist attack a facility with a rifle and bombs into the left didn't care. in portland oregon last month from independent journalists was brutally beaten so badly that he suffered a brain hemorrhage. the mayor of portland refused on twitter to condemn him by name and i would know. i asked him to by name and you know how he responded, he said that he condemns all violence vaguely. he refused to condemn them by name. and again, the democrats didn't
care. they don't like my facts debunking their ideologies they try to define my speech as violent. this is a tactic they use to try to silence me because if my speech is violent, then they have to shut me down. i am here to tell you this morning do not fall for it. refuse to be silent in the face of bullying. next on booktv "after words," former virginia democratic governor recount events that led up to the tragedy in charlottesville following to unit the unite thet rally in 2017. he is interviewed by slate