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Friday, December 13, 2019

Lawyers representing Kavanaugh accuser should face ethics investigation, Trump advocate says

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By Karen Kidd | Sep 24, 2019

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Article III Project President Mike Davis, left, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in November | twitter.com/mrddmia

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Possible misconduct by attorneys for the woman who made allegations during now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings last year should be investigated, says the head of a group that advocates for the judicial picks of President Trump.

Recent revelations about that representation suggest a substantial amount of attorney misconduct during the confirmation hearings, Article III Project President Mike Davis said.

"There is strong evidence of attorney misconduct here by Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys for potentially failing to communicate with a client or potentially revealing confidential attorney-client privileged communications and for putting their client in legal jeopardy for perjury," Davis said. 

"The Justice Department, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the relevant bar associations for the attorneys should all open an investigation into Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys' alleged misconduct during the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings."

Attorneys Debra Katz and Michael R. Bromwich represented Christine Blasey Ford during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Davis is founder of Article III Project and former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Davis was chief counsel for nominations to then-Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley and was among the staff leads for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Davis recently appeared on Fox News to defend Kavanaugh in the wake of a botched New York Times op-ed piece about a third allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. In its own editorial, USA Today said that the Times op-ed piece "never should have been published."

Kavanaugh also recently has faced renewed calls for impeachment, including from Democrat presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Julián Castro, but senior Democrats on the hill have tamped down those calls. NBC News opined that an impeachment of Kavanaugh "won't happen, but calling for it is still useful."

Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court last summer by President Donald Trump and his nomination process through the Senate appeared to be going smoothly until Ford's allegations against him surfaced. After the tumultuous proceedings that followed, Kavanaugh was subsequently confirmed and was sworn in the following October with Trump referring to Kavanaugh as a man who "understands that justice must be divorced from the passions of the day — tethered instead to the enduring foundation of our republic: the Constitution."

Speculation about Katz and Bromwich's representation of Ford heated up earlier this month with release of National Law Journal writer Ryan Lovelace's new book "Search and Destroy: Inside the Campaign Against Brett Kavanaugh." Among other things, Lovelace's book, which Davis referred to as "bombshell reporting," confirmed video footage exists of Katz admitting Ford was motivated by the landmark Supreme Court abortion decision Roe v. Wade to come forward with her allegations.

That admission is counter to Katz's assertions a year ago and Ford's testimony under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ford had not been politically motivated.

"So the cat's out of the bag," Davis said. "Either Debra Katz was lying a year ago when she said that Christine Blasey Ford did not have a political motivation to bring forward her claims against Justice Kavanaugh or Debra Katz is lying now when she says that Christine Blasey Ford did in fact have a political motivation, Roe v. Wade, in bringing her claims against Justice Kavanaugh."

The contradiction "is a huge problem" that could potentially open Ford to perjury charges, Davis said.

"It also creates a problem with Debra Katz publicly revealing confidential attorney-client privileged communications between Debra Katz and Christine Blasey Ford. That creates a serious ethical problem," Davis said.

Ford's motivations aren't the only contradiction revealed since the confirmation hearings, Davis said.

"Dr. Ford's attorneys were playing games with the Senate Judiciary Committee throughout the process," Davis said. "They represented to the committee that Christine Blasey Ford could not come to the hearing on a certain date because she essentially had a Kavanaugh-induced fear of flying."

However, Ford's CV submitted to the judiciary committee includes flights to Hawaii, French Polynesia and Costa Rica and that "Silicon Valley Democrat major donors" provided a private jet for Ford to fly to Washington for the hearings, Davis said.

"Yet, Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys represented to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she couldn't come to the hearings on a certain date because of her Kavanaugh-induced fear of flying," Davis said.

Ford also seemed at least confused about an offer the Judiciary Committee made regarding whether she had to come to Washington for the hearings.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee clearly, unequivocally and repeatedly stated to Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys that the committee would fly out female investigators to California or anywhere else that Christine Blasey Ford would like to meet them for a nonpublic interview to spare Christine Blasey Ford from having to come to D.C. for a public hearing," Davis said.

Ford testified during the hearings that she was not aware of that option, Davis said.

"So, either Christine Blasey Ford was lying at the hearing or Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys failed to relay that key piece of information to their client," Davis said.

Ford is not without blame in any misconduct her attorneys might have committee, Davis said.

"Attorneys represent clients," he said. "They are agents of their clients. And if Christine Blasey Ford knows that her attorneys are not telling the truth on her behalf, that creates a serious problem for Christine Blasey Ford."

Davis added that an investigation into Ford's attorneys' wrongdoing would not be about politics but justice.

"We do not have two systems of justice in this country, one for liberals and one for everyone else," he said.

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