Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is receiving dismal reviews from the usually-friendly liberal California media for her performance Thursday at the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Harris questioned Kavanaugh about whether he had ever had a conversation with someone at a law firm founded by President Donald Trump’s former lawyer about the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Kavanaugh seemed not to know what she was talking about, and Harris hinted that she may have had evidence to back up her line of questioning. But in the end, the former California Attorney General came up with absolutely nothing.
The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joe Garofoli and John Wildermuth were not impressedwith Harris’s antics:
The biggest cliff-hanger question of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing was answered Thursday in a most anticlimactic way.
Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney, zeroed in on the biggest witness of her career — a person nominated for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. “Be sure about your answer, sir,” she told Kavanaugh, a hint that perhaps she had something more to say, depending on his reply.
When her turn came Thursday, it turned out Harris didn’t have the goods after all. After another couple of courtroom-style go-rounds between veteran lawyers, Kavanaugh issued a flat-out “no” to Harris’ yes-or-no question.
And that was it. Harris said she was just asking a question based on what she termed “reliable” information that Kavanaugh had talked with someone at the Trump-linked law firm. She did not identify her source or give any details of the tip.
The Los Angeles Times‘ Michael McGough agreed, arguing that Harris had “failed miserably” in questioning Kavanaugh (original link in text):
In full prosecutorial mode, Harris asked Kavanaugh: “Have you discussed [Robert S.] Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer?” She added the portentous warning: “Be sure about your answer, sir.”
Like most people watching, I assumed Harris was about to confront Kavanaugh with evidence that there had been such a potentially problematic conversation, and name the lawyer with whom Kavanaugh supposedly communicated.
But there was no big reveal.
CNN quoted Harris as saying that “I have a good reason to believe there was a conversation” and that her question was based on “pretty reliable” evidence. Her grilling of Kavanaugh would have been more effective if she had provided it.
Harris’s failed gambit was a companion, perhaps, to the hoax that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) had pulled earlier in the day, when he claimed to have released confidential documents about Kavaunagh’s position on racial profiling. The documents, it turned out, had already been cleared for release — and they showed Kavanaugh opposing racial profile in airport security.
Booker and Harris are considered top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020.