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Kavanaugh dodges repeated questions about his drinking habits

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Brett Kavanaugh drinking
Supreme
Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh was repeatedly asked about
his drinking habits during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
on Thursday.

Andrew Harnik/Getty
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  • Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared uncomfortable
    when repeatedly questioned about his drinking habits during

    a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
     Thursday
    centering around allegations he sexually assaulted professor
    Christine Blasey Ford while they were in high school. 
  • Ford claims Kavanaugh was inebriated during the alleged
    assault. 
  • Multiple senators questioned Kavanaugh about his drinking on
    Thursday, prompting awkward exchanges at times. 
  • Kavanaugh repeatedly told the committee he likes beer. 

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made claims about his
drinking habits during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on
Thursday that do not match up with accounts from people who knew
him in high school and college. 

Kavanaugh was testifying about allegations that he assaulted
Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, who provided
testimony earlier in the day. 

Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when
they were teenagers in the early 1980s. She claims Kavanaugh’s
friend, Mark Judge, was in the room at the time and didn’t do
anything to stop the assault, during which Kavanaugh allegedly
groped her and tried to remove her clothes. 

Ford said both Kavanaugh and Judge were inebriated at the time.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by two other
women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. These allegations also
involve Kavanaugh partying and drinking. He has also conceded in
statements that he may have had
“too many” beers
on occasion as a younger person. 

But he often stumbled when questioned about drinking on Thursday,
at times even contradicting past public statements he’s made on
the topic as well as claims from people who knew him many years
ago.

What people who knew Kavanaugh when he was younger said about his
drinking

Judge wrote a book, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,”
chronicling his struggles with alcoholism when he and Kavanaugh
were both at Georgetown Prep, one of the most prestigious high
schools in the Washington, DC, area. 

The book includes a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who was
described as a heavy drinker who at one point puked in someone’s
car. 

Kavanaugh also made references to drinking in his high school
yearbook, including that he was the treasurer of the
“100 Kegs or Bust”
club.

James Roche, who was Kavanaugh’s roommate at Yale
University during their freshman year, recently described him as
someone who was
“frequently unusually drunk”
and sometimes “belligerent and
mean” when inebriated, The New York Times reported. 

Similarly, Elizabeth Swisher, who also knew Kavanaugh at
Yale, said it would be a “lie” if someone claimed Kavanaugh never
blacked out from drinking during his college days.

According to The Times, a group of Kavanaugh’s Yale
classmates also claim he once got so drunk he tried to break into
the back of a friend’s pickup truck and subsequently refused to
cover the cost of the damage.

What Kavanaugh told the Senate about his drinking

Kavanaugh faced a number of questions about his drinking habits
on Thursday. The Supreme Court nominee often dodged such
inquiries, sometimes answering by firing questions back at
senators. 

At one point, for example, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
questioned Kavanaugh about references to drinking and vomiting
that appeared in his high school yearbook. 

Kavanaugh said, “I’m known to have a weak stomach and always
have. In fact, the last time I was here you asked me about having
ketchup on spaghetti, I always have had a weak stomach.”

When pressed about whether this was due to the consumption of
alcohol, Kavanaugh replied, “Senator, I was the top of my class
academically, busted my butt in school, captain of the varsity
basketball team, got into Yale college. When I get into Yale
college, got into Yale law school. Worked my tail off.”

Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono questioned Kavanaugh about the
allegations from his college roommate, and he again dodged the
question.

“It was noted that James Roche said although Brett was notably
reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker and he became aggressive
and belligerent when he was drunk,” Hirono said. “So is your
former college roommate lying?”

Kavanaugh replied, “I will say, senator, you’re asking about
college. I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law
school in the country. I have no connections there. I got there
by busting my tail in college.”

At another point, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Kavanaugh
whether he was the inspiration for the character “Bart
O’Kavanaugh” from Judge’s book.

Kavanaugh told Leahy he’d have to ask Judge, who has refused to
testify on the allegations. 

Kavanaugh at another point was asked by Democratic
Sen. Amy Klobuchar whether he’d ever blacked
out from drinking, or consumed so much alcohol that he couldn’t
remember a certain period of time. 

Kavanaugh directed the question back to the senator, saying, “You
are asking about a blackout. I don’t know. Have you?”

Klobuchar replied, “I don’t have a drinking problem.”

“Nor do I,” Kavanaugh then said.

Later, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal questioned Kavanaugh
about a 2014 speech he gave in which he claimed to have fallen
out of a bus “onto the front steps of Yale Law School at about
4:45 am” after a night of barhopping following a Red Sox game in
Boston.

At the time, Kavanaugh said that the next morning he had to
“piece things back together” to recall the night.

Kavanaugh told Blumenthal on Thursday that he knew “exactly
what happened” that night.

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