Kavanaugh provides details on National's tickets that led to debt

Kavanaugh provides details on National's tickets that led to debt

Brett M. Kavanaugh, a Candidate at the Supreme Court, described in detail how he regularly bought tickets to Washington Nationals and shared expenses with friends – shopping in the White House resulted in Kavanaugh receiving tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

The Washington Post reported in July that Kavanaugh had debited credit card debt that the White House attributed to its purchase of the most expensive season tickets for itself and a group of friends. The candidate's friends have honored Kavanaugh – an avid fan of the Nationals baseball team – according to the White House, and the problem did not crop up during his two days before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But the problem occurred in written follow-up questions submitted by members of the committee, and Kavanaugh submitted his answers in writing late Wednesday. The answers gave Kavanaugh the opportunity to clear some of the more controversial moments from the nearly week-long hearing, in particular comments he made on birth control and his apparent rejection of the parents of a student killed in a mass shooting.

Commenting on the debts of members of the committee, Kavanaugh said he was a "great sports fan" and said he bought four season tickets from the arrival of the Nationals in Washington in 2005 until 2017. He also bought playoff packages in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

He shared the tickets with a "group of old friends" through a "ticket design" in his house, Kavanaugh said.

"Everyone in the group paid me for their tickets, based on the cost of the tickets, for the dollar," Kavanaugh said in the written responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee released Wednesday. "No one paid me too much or paid too little, and no loans were made in either direction."

In 2016, Kavanaugh reported between $ 60,000 and $ 200,000 in debt, according to its financial disclosure, which was spread over three credit cards and one loan. The debts were either compensated or reduced below the reporting requirements the following year.

But Kavanaugh said his debts were well under $ 200,000 at the time and said in his written responses on Wednesday that his debts were "not high on the leaderboards," he said of the financial disclosure.

The new details came in written responses to 1,287 questions submitted to Kavanaugh by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, all but nine of whom came from Democrats who largely opposed his nomination.

Many questions involved issues that occurred during Kavanaugh's hearing last week. He reiterated his failure to "read" the intensified interrogation methods of the George W. Bush administration and declined to answer several follow-up questions on his involvement in controversial nomination struggles in the Bush era and to point out his answers during the hearing ,

But some answers released on Wednesday shed new light. Kavanaugh told Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) That President Trump called him twice to give "encouraging words," but added that he never demanded any pledge or representation at any point no time commitments. "

Responding to a question from Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kavanaugh responded by saying he had talks with Trump's transitional team – specifically with the then-senator. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) – on the position of Advocate General. The talks were previously reported in the post office in 2017.

"I finally decided that I wanted to stay a judge," Kavanaugh wrote in his response to Booker.

Kavanaugh also attempted to clarify questions about his use of the term "abortion-induced" drugs in the description of birth control, in response to questions from the Chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).

Democrats have said Kavanaugh refers to all birth control drugs. But Kavanaugh said he only described the plaintiffs position in this case.

He also denied that he had purposely snubbed Fred Guttenberg, the father of a shooting victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Video showed that Kavanaugh turned away from the man who approached him during a bargaining break.

Kavanaugh said he did not know Guttenberg's name and assumed that he was one of the demonstrators who interrupted the hearings.

"It was a chaotic morning with a large number of demonstrators in the lecture hall," Kavanaugh wrote. "When the break began, the room remained noisy and crowded, so when I turned around and did not recognize the man, I assumed he was a protester, and in a fraction of a second my security detail intervened and led me out of the listening room."

He added, "Mr. Guttenberg has suffered an incalculable loss, and if I had known who he was, I would have shaken his hand, spoken to him and expressed my sympathy, and I would have listened to him."

Several Democrats urged Kavanaugh on his finances. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who had already spoken out against Kavanaugh's nomination, asked questions about gambling, and Kavanaugh wrote in his replies that he had never reported a loss of gambling with the Internal Revenue Service or amassed gambling debts.

Kavanaugh's financial report, which was submitted to the Senate in July, has net assets of approximately $ 942,000, including $ 480,000 in state pension accounts and more than $ 400,000 in equity in its home. His mortgage amounts to approximately $ 815,000 and he holds $ 27,000 in cash accounts and owns a Jeep Grand Cherokee worth $ 25,000.

Kavanaugh wrote Wednesday that he and his wife have "dumped a decent amount of money" into their $ 1.25 million house for repair – a list of corrections that Kavanaugh said "sometimes never seems to end."

Responding to a Question by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) Whether he commented on the question of whether same-sex marriage is a constitutionally guaranteed right during his time in the Bush administration, Kavanaugh replied, "I remember Not me for details. He noted that at that time the Supreme Court had not ruled that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right.

And Kavanaugh, in response to questions from Harris, avoided the question of being gay as an "immutable property."

Still other questions revolved around Trump. Asked by Durbin whether he agrees with Trump's statement that the investigation by Special Adviser Robert S. Mueller III is "an illegal investigation," Kavanaugh declined to reply directly.

And at the insistence of Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Whether Kavanaugh personally believes Nazis, Nazi sympathizers or white nationalists are "good people" – a reference to Trump's comments after the racist incidents in Charlottesville last year – Kavanaugh replied "There is no place in American public life for vile ideologies of hatred."

Kavanaugh reiterated his testimony at the hearing that it was unreasonable to say whether a president should meet a grand jury summons. He also reiterated that it would be inappropriate to say whether he believes that a sitting president can be prosecuted while stating that the Ministry of Justice has held the position for the past 45 years that an incumbent president can not be charged.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) Asked a question: "Should a President be able to use his authority to force executive agencies or independent agencies to implement his policies for purely political purposes?" While the question did not mention Trump, Flake, was a frequent critic of the president. The question led to an unusually lengthy response, in which Kavanaugh cited numerous cases in which judges had ruled against presidents who had nominated them.

Kavanaugh wrote that "many of the greatest moments in the history of the Supreme Court have come when the independent judiciary has upheld the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law."

In response to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kavanaugh defended his role in leading the investigation into the death of Clinton White House associate counsel Vincent Foster. Kavanaugh said his then-chief, independent adviser Kenneth W. Starr, pointed out that the investigation was thorough, and said that the conclusion that Foster committed suicide "passed the test of time."

Kavanaugh denied reporters that information was being spread incorrectly and said he had spoken to the press "at the direction or approval of Judge Starr in accordance with the law."

And he also explained an e-mail from September 2001, which he sent to a group of friends after a reunion weekend, in which he asked his buddies to be "very, very vigilant" regarding confidentiality "including with spouses" first date with his current wife Ashley, which was scheduled for later that night.

"Over the previous weekend, I had discussed Ashley in detail with my longtime friends," Kavanaugh told the committee. "In the email, I asked my friends not to share my interest in Ashley and their upcoming date with their spouses."

Amy Brittain, Robert Barnes and Michael Kranish contributed to this report.

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