The Senate Judiciary Committee came together Thursday morning, presumably to hear from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 1982.
However, when it came time to question Kavanaugh about the alleged assault, which he denies, the Democratic members of the committee seemed to want to ask about everything else except what did or did not happen between Kavanaugh and Ford.
Their lack of interest in the specific allegation in question is reflected in the fact that Democratic senators asked Kavanaugh exactly zero questions about the allegation Ford made against him. Not one.
Wait, so what did they ask?
Well, they asked him about slang in his school's yearbook, including a baffling exchange between Kavanaugh and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in which the senator inquired about the meaning of the word "boofed" (you probably don't want to Google that one).
They asked him broadly about his drinking habits; whether he had ever had too many beers, whether he's ever passed out or blacked out while drinking, and whether he's ever had memory lapses caused by alcohol. Not on the night of the alleged sexual assault, just in general.
They asked if he believed Anita Hill's 1991 testimony that Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, for some reason.
But mostly, they asked him about the FBI.
All about the FBI
Senator after senator grilled Kavanaugh about the FBI. Would you submit to an FBI investigation? Why haven't you requested one? Are you scared of what the FBI might find? Why don't you turn to White House counsel Don McGahn right now and tell him to go to President Donald Trump to open an FBI investigation?
Indeed, the primary point that Democrats seemed to be driving at was that it should be Kavanaugh's responsibility to go to the president and request that the FBI investigate him for a crime he has sworn under oath that he did not commit. Even though, in his years of government and judicial service, Kavanaugh has been investigated by the FBI numerous times.
"Why don’t you just ask the president?" Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked. "Mrs. — Dr. Ford can’t do this. We clearly haven’t been able to do this. But just ask the president to reopen the FBI investigation."
The Democrats, while demanding that the confirmation vote be postponed to give more time for investigation, repeatedly dodged and overlooked the damning fact that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) held on to knowledge of Ford's allegation for more than a month without notifying the committee.
"I cannot let it go by what you’ve heard me say so many times, that between July 30th and September 13th, there were 45 days this committee could have been investigating this situation and her privacy would have been producted — protected," Sen. Grassley said.
Republicans, showing some awareness of the reason for the hearing in the first place, did repeatedly and directly ask Kavanaugh questions about the specific sexual assault allegation from Ford. Same goes for Rachel Mitchell, the outside prosecutor they hired to question Ford and Kavanaugh.
There may be more reasons for why senators would show up to a hearing about a sexual assault allegation and not ask about the sexual assault. But many times, people don't bother asking questions about subjects on which they've already made up their mind.