A look at Brett Kavanaugh's Yale years

CNN's Miguel Marquez looks at Brett Kavanaugh's time at Yale University as new allegations of inappropriate, sexually aggressive behavior emerge against the Supreme Court nominee.

Posted: Sep 27, 2018 1:53 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2018 1:53 PM

Brett Kavanaugh is now facing three accusers (and counting) and a very real possibility of seeing his nomination to the Supreme Court wither and die. His difficulties stem from an early, unwise decision to deny alleged involvement in a rowdy, alcohol-soaked culture of Georgetown Preparatory School and Yale University.

Imagine what would have happened if, when first confronted by the accusation of sexual abuse by Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh — who says it did not happen -- had instead simply said something like: "My high school and college years included a lot of irresponsible behavior, much of it involving alcohol abuse. While I do not remember the events or actions alleged by Dr. Ford, I deeply apologize for any actions I took that caused her to feel harmed, abused or unsafe in any way. Few things are more terrifying than to feel that one's personal safety is at risk, and I take Dr. Ford at her word that I caused those feelings in her. That was never my intention, and I am greatly distressed to learn that she has carried these feelings for many years. I sincerely apologize to Dr. Ford and her family, and would welcome a private dialogue with her to discuss any ways to repair the damage I caused."

Kavanaugh said no such thing, of course. In fact, he issued statements denying any bad behavior on his part at any time during his youth -- "immediately, unequivocally, and categorically," in the words of his statement prepared in advance of the next Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

"I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes," Kavanaugh says in the statement. "The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of my life. The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women."

The categorical denial creates a problem for Kavanaugh. Claiming such a high standard of conduct opened the door to public statements of college classmates who say his behavior was far from exemplary.

"He's trying to paint himself as some kind of choirboy," Lynne Brookes told the Washington Post. Brookes, a Republican, former pharmaceutical executive and former roommate of a woman Kavanaugh allegedly abused, claims she encountered the future judge drunk at a college fraternity event. "You can't lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out, he's gone too far. It's about the integrity of that institution."

Liz Swisher, a Democrat who was on the Yale campus at the same time as Kavanaugh, also went public with a damning take on his behavior. "Brett [Kavanaugh] was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. ...it's not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess."

The sticky politics of sorting truth from falsehood will be much tougher than it needed to be. Back in 1999, when asked about rumors that he abused alcohol and cocaine, candidate George W. Bush answered the allegations with the blunt, opaque admission: "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."

Bush's opponents found it hard to make much out of that. And no schoolmates popped up to challenge what was, after all, an acknowledgment that he misbehaved.

Kavanaugh won't get any kind of similar wiggle room. He may someday come to regret pretending to have been a paragon of virtue in an environment that clearly was governed by vice.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
More scattered rain & storms on Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events