Brett Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon to respond to multiple allegations of sexual assault, and after angrily yelling about his soiled good name, Democrats on the committee, and Hillary Clinton, he started talking about beer. Lots and lots of beer.
Kavanaugh’s fondness for hops was made abundantly clear in the first hour of his testimony, where he admitted to drinking beer while in high school but continued to vehemently deny sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or any other women.
But during a line of questioning — by Republicans, no less — in which he denied ever drinking to the point of blacking out, he admitted instead to “falling asleep” after imbibing too many beers.
The Republicans’ appointed prosecutor asked Kavanaugh about whether he ever drank during high school, and when he acknowledged as much, followed up about what he considered to be too much beer.
“I don’t know, whatever the chart says, blood alcohol chart,” Kavanaugh replied.
Mitchell then asked if Kavanaugh ever drank so much that he passed out, and that’s when Kavanaugh’s hemming and hawing began.
“Passed out would be, no,” he said. “But I’ve gone to sleep. But I’ve never blacked out, that’s the allegation. And that’s wrong.”
It’s unclear what distinction Kavanaugh seems to think exists between “passing out” and “falling asleep,” but he has a well-documented record of lying about his alcohol consumption. During his interview on Fox News earlier this week, Kavanaugh denied drinking while underage, telling host Martha McCallum that high school seniors were old enough to buy and consume alcohol in Maryland when the drinking age was 18 years old. Except as Vox pointed out, Kavanaugh didn’t turn 18 until after Maryland had raised the drinking age to 21. At no point during his high school career was he of legal drinking age in Maryland. And his self-portrayal as a responsible drinker is disputed not just by multiple people who knew him in his college years and recall incidents of him drinking to excess, but by his own yearbook entry in which he described himself as treasurer of the “Keg City Club.”
All of this is not to say underage drinking itself should be disqualifying; rare is the high school senior who hasn’t had at least a few alcoholic beverages by the time he or she graduates. But Kavanaugh has made it abundantly clear that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth — or, at the very least, accurately remember — his own record of intoxication.
When asked again minutes later by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) if he ever drank so much that he couldn’t remember what happened or parts of what happened, Kavanaugh again squirmed, offering a feeble denial before responding, “you’re asking about blackout. I don’t know, have you?”