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WSJ columnist dismisses Kavanaugh sex assault accusation because no ‘sexual penetration occurred’

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Comparing the professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to one of the “hysterical” women in the Salem witch trials, a columnist for the conservative Wall Street Journal attempted to dismiss her claim of a high school sex assault since no “sexual penetration occurred.”

According to Lance Morrow, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations, detailed in a letter in the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reminded him of the “hysterical fantasies” that led to the hanging of five women in 1692 Salem.

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“Three hundred twenty-six years later, an anonymous woman—a spectral and possibly nonexistent woman, for all that one knew when the story emerged—accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago, when he was a high-school student,” Morrow wrote. “According to this phantom testimony, 17-year-old Brett held the girl down, pawed her and tried to force himself upon her, and held his hand over her mouth when she screamed until a second prep-school devil piled on top, they all tumbled to the floor, and the girl managed to slip away.”

“Thus the constitutional process takes on an aspect of the 21st-century medieval,” Morrow lamented before adding, “… there had been no police report, and there were no witnesses. The second boy allegedly in the room said he had no memory of such an incident and called the accusation ‘absolutely nuts.’ Judge Kavanaugh flatly denied it. Her therapist’s notes from 30 years later are not objective reporting, merely a transcription of what Ms. Ford herself said.”

According to Morrow, because the alleged incident happened years ago and Kavanaugh didn’t succeed with potential rape, what happened was “ugly” but not criminal.

“The thing happened—if it happened—an awfully long time ago, back in Ronald Reagan’s time, when the actors in the drama were minors and (the boys, anyway) under the blurring influence of alcohol and adolescent hormones,” Morrow attempted. “No clothes were removed, and no sexual penetration occurred. The sin, if there was one, was not one of those that Catholic theology calls peccata clamantia—sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.”

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“The offense alleged is not nothing, by any means,” he continued. “It is ugly, and stupid more than evil, one might think, but trauma is subjective and hard to parse legally. Common sense is a little hard put to know what to make of the episode if it happened.”

Morrow then accused Ford of embellishing her story.

“The passage of time sometimes causes people to forget; sometimes it causes them to invent or embellish” he wrote. “Invention takes on bright energies when its muse is politics, which is the Olympics of illusion. Inevitably, people will sort the matter out along mostly partisan lines. A lot will depend upon the testimony of Ms. Ford, who has volunteered to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

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Morrow then predicted that a public Seante hearing where Ford could tell her story would hurt Democrats, writing, “If the left expects a windfall from all this in November, it may find itself instead the victim of a terrific backlash.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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