Rachel Maddow had a feature last night in which the woman pictured, Barbara Ledeen, was mentioned. Ledeen (wife of neocon Michael Ledeen) was involved with the document that was improperly taken from Sen. Patrick Leahy, something which first came out in Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing for the federal appeals court years ago (this kind of winds a bit, so I’ll try to be careful in summarizing).
As noted here…
(The Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation) hearing was the latest effort by Leahy to suggest Kavanaugh knew he had received information improperly taken from Democrats. He questioned Kavanaugh about the matter in confirmation hearings in 2004, when Kavanaugh’s nomination for the federal appeals court was stalled, and in 2006, when Kavanaugh won confirmation. During both hearings, Kavanaugh said he learned about (the action of Manual Miranda, Republican counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee) only from news reports, and Leahy did not have access to Kavanaugh’s emails.No, I don’t suppose she would, would she?
That changed at this week’s hearings, when the committee released a number of previously undisclosed emails that Leahy said raised new questions about Kavanaugh’s knowledge that the documents were improperly taken. In a July 28, 2002, email, Miranda wrote Kavanaugh that Leahy’s staff has distributed a confidential letter to Democratic staffers, and then described the contents of the letter.
An email written by Miranda on March 18, 2003, and copied to Kavanaugh, had the subject line was “for use and not distribution.” Miranda wrote that “Dem staffers say that they have confidential information,” and he then listed “points they make.” Leahy said the points came from a draft of a letter written by his office. “We have every reason to believe that was taken,” Leahy said.
Separately, an email written to Kavanaugh by a then-staffer to the Republican leadership, Barbara Ledeen, had the subject line “spying.” Ledeen wrote that “I have a friend who is a mole for us on the left,” and described information she had learned about spending plans by liberal groups on judicial nominations. “It is important to note that IF we have a nominee, we need to ZIP THAT PERSON RIGHT THROUGH THE PROCESS….WE CANNOT BEAT 20 MILLION DOLLARS,” Ledeen wrote on June 5, 2003.
Kavanaugh forwarded the message to his boss, Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and others, writing, “interesting Ledeen email . . .”
Ledeen, who now serves as a Republican staffer on the committee, did not respond to a request for comment.
Oh, and did I mention that (as noted in the story) Ledeen is on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, working for Sen. Chuck Grassley, as noted here? She also circulates in all kinds of neocon circles and is pals with Michael Flynn (I realize that’s not legally actionable in and of itself, but I think it’s interesting all the same).
And by the way, when considering Kavanaugh’s response (something more likely to come from a political operative than someone charged with administering the law), I would ask that you recall what former Vice President Al Gore did in a similar circumstance when he received “oppo” information on then-presidential candidate George W. Bush here – namely, he turned it over without using it against his opponent.
At a minimum, Ledeen should be barred from serving in any kind of public capacity whatsoever given her subterfuge in obtaining the confidential Democratic Email and forwarding it to Kavanaugh (And please, Democrats, can we tighten up this sort of thing? I realize there’s only so much we can do about a “mole,” but we can damn sure not share ANYTHING on a server with a Republican!). I know the focus here is on the Supreme Court nominee, as it should be, but I don’t think Ledeen should be let off the hook in any way either.
And while we’re on the subject of Kavanaugh, Chris Kang of the Obama Administration (who vetted Obama’s Supreme Court picks) tells us more on the blocking of Kavanaugh’s records (a petition against Kavanaugh is here, and to contact your Senator and voice opposition, click here)…
Update 1: And by the way, in case anybody out there somehow doesn’t get how personal all of this is, I give you this.
Update 2: Man, is Dean Heller a piece of shit for this – to do something about it, click here.
Update 3: When somebody finds me the emoji of smacking the palm of a hand against a forehead, let me know, OK? (here and here).
…and while we’re also talking about The High Court of Hangin’ Judge JR, Cenk and Ana tell us about a ruling that’s actually GOOD for a change on campaign finance reform, affecting the Chamber of Commerce, the Kochs, and Karl Rove/Crossroads GPS, as well as other “big funders”…
…and Sam Seder of The Majority Report gives us the latest on the Beto O’Rourke/Ted Cruz contest, in particular on the Botham Jean case (and yeah, I know I touched on this story a bit yesterday, but kudos to O’Rourke – I see no demagoguery in O’Rourke’s words or actions whatsoever, by the way)…
…and it looks like, according to Trump econ guru and recovering cocaine addict Larry Kudlow, that cuts are indeed coming to Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, which should surprise absolutely no one (Farron Cousins explains – and the reference to the Florida congressman with the yacht was this guy, by the way.)…
..which is actually the perfect segue into this clip from 9/20/11, in which The Onion teeters dangerously close to reality once more (some bad words at the end – and yeah, you guessed it…time once more for “This Day in Doomsy History”)…
...and despite it all, I think we all need to hear this song - maybe especially now.