A igh ranking GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee appeared to have known about a highly controversial allegation by a close friend of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a CNN guest explained on Saturday.
Vox's Zack Beauchamp joined CNN anchor Michael Smerconish to discuss the "second Kavanaugh scandal."
"The source was shocking," Smerconish explained. "Ed Whelen, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Whelen, who's been involved in helping advise Kavanugh, is close friends with both the judge and Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, who has been supplying the president with names with potential justices to nominate."
"I couldn't believe that he pointed a finger so specifically at a private citizen," Smerconish explained. "What might have he been thinking? And who else was in the loop."
"Whelin is a deeply connected DC political operative," Beauchamp explained. "He knows the game, he knows how to play it, and he knows all the players."
"It's very, very difficult to imagine that he didn't talk to anybody, and indeed, there's been reporting after his tweet storm came out that he'd spoken to at least one member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"The minute that I saw this series of tweets, I thought of Orrin Hatch, who told a CNN colleague of mine that maybe this was a case of mistaken identity, after he'd spoken to Judge Kavanaugh, makes me wonder, was this supposed to be some kind of ace in the hole by the pro-Kavanaugh forces?" Smerconish asked.
"It's not at all a crazy theory," Beauchamp explained. "And Orrin Hatch's spokesperson tweeted out earlier this week that people needed to watch Ed Whelin's tweets in the coming days."
"I don't want to sound like a conspiracy nut myself, I don't have the evidence, I don't want to make any allegations, I don't know know anything on the inside, I just know what's been publicly reported," he continued.
"But I can tell you, based on someone who knows the way things work in D.C., this stinks," he added.