– Hearing Set for Monday to Hear Kavanaugh and His Accuser
– Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school classmate, details high school parties in past writings
– Video Appears to Show a South Korean ‘Cult Leader’ Physically Abusing Her Followers
Hearing Set for Monday to Hear Kavanaugh and His Accuser
President Trump defended the qualifications of his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, after a woman accused him of sexual assault.
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Julie Hirschfeld Davis
Sept. 17, 2018
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, under mounting pressure from senators of his own party, will call President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault before the committee on Monday for extraordinary public hearings only weeks before the midterm elections.
In setting the hearing, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, backed down from a committee vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, planned for this Thursday, and pushed a confirmation once seen as inevitable into limbo.
The hearing with Judge Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist in Northern California, sets up a potentially explosive public showdown that carries unmistakable echoes of the 1991 testimony of Anita Hill, who accused the future Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in an episode that riveted the nation and ushered a slew of women into public office. It will play out against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, which has energized Democratic women across the United States, in an institution, the Senate, that is more than three-quarters male.
Mr. Trump vigorously defended his nominee on Monday, calling him an “outstanding” judge with an unblemished record, and dismissing as “ridiculous” the prospect that Judge Kavanaugh might withdraw his nomination….
On Monday evening, The Mercury News in California published the accounts of two friends of Dr. Blasey’s who said that she told them in July that she was going forward with her accusations.
It will be up to Judge Kavanaugh to convince wavering senators of his innocence. Both Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said Monday that if true, Dr. Blasey’s accusations would disqualify the nominee from the Supreme Court….
Both in the letter to Ms. Feinstein and in an interview published Sunday by The Washington Post, Dr. Blasey said that during a gathering of teenagers at a private home in suburban Montgomery County, Md., the future Judge Kavanaugh, along with a friend, pushed her into a bedroom as she was making her way to a bathroom. She said the young Mr. Kavanaugh jumped on top of her, grinding his body against hers as he tried to remove her clothing. When she tried to scream, she said, he clapped his hand over her mouth to muffle the cries….
“They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state,” she wrote in the letter, made public Monday by CNN. “With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.”
Her lawyer, Debra Katz, said in an interview that Dr. Blasey was ready to go before the committee. “We hope that this hearing is fair and not another weaponized attack on a woman who has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against a powerful man,” Ms. Katz said….
Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school classmate, details high school parties in past writings
By Sophie Tatum, CNN Mon September 17, 2018
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is being accused of sexually and physically assaulting a 15-year-old girl at a party during his high school years.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations, but his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, says there was one other person in the room when the alleged incident took place: Kavanaugh’s then-classmate, Mark Judge.
The fate of Kavanaugh’s nomination is hanging in the balance as Republicans and Democrats debate allowing a full investigation to take place.
Judge, a journalist and filmmaker, has also denied that the incident took place.
“It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,” Judge told The Weekly Standard in an interview on Friday. CNN has been unable to reach Judge for comment despite repeated attempts.
Now that Judge’s recollection of the alleged event could become a focal point for all those looking into the accusation, flags have been raised regarding his own past writings.
Judge wrote the book “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” where he details his experiences of extensive drinking while attending Georgetown Preparatory School.
Judge writes that he is “shocked” about what he got away with in high school — recalling beach parties that hundreds of people would attend.
At another point he describes his high school as “positively swimming in alcohol.”
Judge also references a “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who he writes vomited in someone’s car. It has not been confirmed whether this is a reference to Kavanaugh….
Georgetown Preparatory School yearbook
Attorney Seth Berenzweig, a Virginia-based lawyer who otherwise has no connection to Kavanaugh or the allegations, was given a copy of the high school’s 1983 yearbook by an individual who requested anonymity. The yearbook features captions such as “Do these guys beat their wives?” and “Prep parties raise question of legality.”
In the yearbook, Judge’s page included the quote: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs,” citing Sir Noel Coward….
Video Appears to Show a South Korean ‘Cult Leader’ Physically Abusing Her Followers
By Eli Meixler September 17, 2018
A video clip appears to show a South Korean pastor physically abusing church members and coercing them to beat each other, footage that emerged amid an investigation into claims that the woman was the leader of a religious cult in Fiji, the Guardian reports.
Footage reviewed by the Guardian and South Korean police reportedly shows Shin Ok-ju, pastor of the messianic South Korean Grace Road Church, subjecting her followers to abuse such as hair pulling and cutting during her sermons in South Korea.
The footage was originally aired as part of a documentary program by a South Korean broadcaster, the Guardian reports.
Some followers were reportedly forced to endure “ritual beatings” at designated areas called “threshing floors” at the religious group’s compound in Fiji. Approximately 400 members of the church relocated to Fiji in 2014 after Shin predicted a famine on the Korean peninsula.
While in Fiji, members of the Grace Road group reportedly suffered regular physical abuse and had their passports confiscated to prevent them from leaving.
Witnesses said a man in his 70s was beaten hundreds of times while in Fiji. When he returned to South Korea, he visited a doctor who said he has suffered a severe brain injury that killed him about a year later.