My Early Thoughts on Senate Judiciary Show

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RUSH: I know what the Republicans are trying to do. They’re trying to make it look like they are not bullying this woman at all. They are not bullying, they are not gonna treat her unfairly, and they are going to such great lengths to do this that they are not even questioning her. They’ve hired a prosecutor — a female prosecutor, sex-crimes prosecutor — to come in and conduct questions. But it is wholly ineffective if you’re looking for immediate points scored or immediate gain, because you cannot do what she’s doing in five-minute intervals.

It just isn’t possible. The way it’s going, she’s asking five-minutes worth of procedural questions that are designed to point out Blasey Ford’s questionable and curious memory and memory lapses. And right as she gets going, the five minutes ends, and then the Democrats take over. And the Democrats simply say, “You’re not making it up; right? You remember it enough to know that it happened to you? You’ve been deeply affected by it?”

“Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.”

And then it goes back to the Republicans and the lawyer — the prosecutor — picks up where she left off five or six minutes prior. In the midst of all this back-and-forth, the Democrats are getting their shots in on Grassley for his supposedly ineffective investigation, lack of taking it seriously. He then comes back and rebuts all of that and says they’re wrong, he did it, and starts reciting every bit of behavior on the part of the committee majority to do the investigation. The problem here is — and, look, I know what’s going on.

In addition to not trying to be appearing like a bully, or being unfair, they also know this thing’s gonna go on all day. And this prosecutor is laying a foundation and a case to eventually be able to say in a summation that, “We just can’t trust what the witness is saying ’cause she doesn’t remember enough. There are too many contradictory memories. There are too many things here. We couldn’t go to court with this case,” something of the sort. But, in terms of this being a television event, that is going to be lost on everybody watching this, and it’s a television event.

The fact is that it is going to determine the public reaction, which is gonna be highly determinant in whether or not there is a vote on Kavanaugh tomorrow. Also Kavanaugh has yet to appear. He will go last, and he will have a chance to refute all this, and there is talk that he is indignant and angry and will portray that in his appearance. But the way this is happening here — since they agreed to-five-minute questions, five-minute question period — there’s nothing…

I don’t think Grassley can change the rules in the middle of it because his five minutes are not effective, his five-minute intervals. But you see, there’s a different way that you question a hostile witness in a deposition, which is how the Republican prosecutor is treating this. She’s treating this as a deposition and not a hearing, and it isn’t a deposition. It is a hearing. And in a deposition, you ask open-ended questions because you’re looking for information.

In a hearing, you do the exact opposite. You ask leading questions because you’re trying to make a point. You’re trying to make points, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. In a deposition, nobody ever sees it. You’re preparing for trial. It’s recorded on video in an office somewhere, never in a courtroom or never in public like this. Depositions are rarely actually seen in toto, and it’s to prepare for trial. This is the trial! This is, even though it’s not, the moment of truth.

There is no preparation for down the road here, and yet that is how this is being conducted. At a hearing, you don’t ask, “Do you remember how you got home that day?” You don’t ask it that way. You ask, “Isn’t it a fact that somebody had to drive you home after you say you were assaulted? Isn’t it a fact that you can’t or won’t tell us who drove you home?” The witness has to be put on the spot. But I think maybe it’s entirely possible the Republicans have told the prosecutor, “Don’t do that. We can’t appear to be bullying her. We can’t appear to be unfair.”

Questions like, “So you’re saying this traumatic event happens and you can’t say what happened right afterwards? You’re saying this traumatic event happened, but you can’t say where? You’re saying this traumatic event happened, but you can’t say when for certain? You won’t tell us who drove you home and what you told that person right after this traumatic event?” Those are the questions that this prosecutor, if this were in court, would be asking.

But treating this as a deposition, i.e., the collection of witness evidence and testimony for later use? There isn’t gonna be any later use! Rachel Mitchell is the prosecutor’s name. It’s frustrating, folks. It’s maddening to watch this. She asks five minutes of questions, but nobody knows what she’s driving at unless you arrive at this with some information and knowledge beforehand. Well, we can’t rely…

I don’t know how many people across the country are watching this. I’d assume it’s a lot. It’s a big stretch to assume that most people in the public watching already has a baseline of information so that her questioning would be understood in context. You can’t do that this way. Despite how repulsive it might be or seem, this is theater. This is performance. All trials are. All hearings are. It’s just the extent that you want to go there or even admit it is an aspect here.

But with these little five-minute periods of questions, nobody knows what she’s driving at because she’s asking open-ended questions in a very polite and I-don’t-want-to-offend-you, schoolmarm kind of way. Right at the moment she starts to get someplace, bam! The five minutes are up and they gotta go to the Democrat whose turn it is next, and people forget where she was. We go back and it’s her turn again, and she picks up where she left off where nobody can remember where that was.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I don’t know whether this is studied and rehearsed or whether what we’re getting is the real deal. But Christine Blasey Ford comes across as very, very young and even her speech pattern. I don’t… She’s what is called an “up-talker.” You know what an up-talker is? Some call it “up-speak. ” People that speak this way end their sentences with an upward inflection. (impression) “I think, so sir. Uh, uh, well, I — I… No, but I was thinking about it when I did.”

It makes the speaker sound teenager-ish, very, very young. Uber-nice. “Vulnerable” is the key word. Vulnerable and sensitive. When you talk to somebody… Some people say it’s annoying. But as a speech pattern, that conveys innocence, youth, vulnerability, valley girl-type thing. “I don’t know, Senator, but I would hope soooo. Uh, I — I think I did, but I…” That’s why I don’t know if this is practiced or if it’s the way that she speaks.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I found it very strange that Dr. Ford did not know that the Senate committee had offered to come to her in California. She said that she didn’t understand that, that if she had known that, that she would have welcomed them to California. Of course, she was on vacation a bunch of places in August. She was in New Hampshire and where else? New Hampshire and one other place. But she had to fly there. I mean, it’s the East Coast. She lives up in the Left Coast.

How come she didn’t know that the committee had offered to fly out there? Did her lawyers not pass that on? She openly professed to being very confused by that, like she was hearing it for the first time that they had offered to fly out to see her since she didn’t like to fly. It seemed like she didn’t know it. Also, just her manner of speaking, folks, is gonna be a big obstacle. She’s coming across… With that up-talker, up-speak technique that she has, it comes across, she sounds like a very, very young girl, very innocent, very vulnerable, very sensitive.

(impression) “And wants to do the right thing, um, I — I — I think?” She felt like… One odd thing, too. She’s a doctor. Doctorate in psychology. She acts like she’s totally unfamiliar with polygraph, and she was reduced to crying during the polygraph and said she felt like it was just all over her body, which was similar to how she described what happened to her in the room. Anyway, people have been waiting patiently on the phones to get in. They’ve taken a recess here probably, luncheon recess. So we’ll start in Lewiston, Idaho. This is Phil. And I’m glad you called, sir. What’s your take on all this?

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: Yes, sir.

CALLER: Hey, I was struck when Dr. Ford mentioned run into Mark Judge at a grocery store several weeks after the incident and said that she said hello to him. That struck me as really odd, because I’ve talked to a lot of women in my life about bad encounters that they’ve had with men. Whether it was a bad date, whether it was a sexual type of a thing. Whatever it was, any time they saw that individual later, it was either anger or a frown or, “I’m getting out of here as fast as I can. I don’t want to be seen.” But she talked about how she said hi to him and almost kind of indicated the friendliness they’ve had in the past, like she expected a conversation or something. And then he, you know, looked pale and so forth. It just seemed really odd that if she was take advantage of in the way that she describes, that she would have reacted that way when she saw him.

RUSH: You know, that’s a good point. I was watching and listening when that happened, and I didn’t make that connection. But you’re right. You’re absolutely right. I mean, I’ve known people that didn’t have any kind of trauma with people. They just dated ’em and broke up with ’em and see ’em someplace and don’t want to go anywhere near ’em for some reason. It’s very common. I’ve seen that. You’re absolutely right. When you add trauma and abuse to it, yeah, that’s a good observation. I’m glad you called.

I realize many of you have been listening to the hearings wall-to-wall and many of your affiliates have been carrying the hearing from the beginning. I just want to share a couple observations with you that I’ve already shared with the audience that was listening to the program before we get back to the phones. That is to say that when we started a little bit after noon Eastern Time today, the hearings had been going on for an hour or so.

I was struck by the Republican strategy here of having a female prosecutor take over the questioning for Republican senators. It seemed to be not what was called for. It seemed like that prosecutor was questioning Dr. Ford as though it was a deposition here, in preparation for something later like a trial or a hearing before a judge, and that’s not what this is. This is not… There’s no time for a deposition here. You gotta get in, get it get it, and get out. It’s a different way… You question a hostile witness in a deposition as opposed to the a hearing.

In a deposition, which is what this looks like, you ask open-ended questions because you’re looking for information, and you might be trying to set up contradictions. You might be trying to, you know, spread or lay what are called perjury traps. There isn’t time for that here unless there’s a grand strategy that will only reveal itself later in the day. In a hearing, which this is, you do ask leading questions because you are trying to make a point, and you’ve gotta do it quick. You gotta get in there and get it.

So in a hearing like this, you do not say, “Do you remember how you got home that day?”

“Uh, well, I — I think it was in a car. I — I do.”

You say instead, “Isn’t it a fact that someone had to have driven you home after you say you were assaulted? Isn’t it a fact that you can’t or won’t tell us who it was that drove you home?” Because the point would be in a hearing, “So you’re saying this traumatic event happened, and you can’t say what happened right afterward to somebody? You can’t tell us who drove you home so we can go ask them what you said? You can’t tell us what you said?”

“No. I — I — I my memory.”

But she’s not being asked questions like that. She’s being asked open-ended questions. “So, do you remember how you got home?”

“You won’t tell us who drove you home and what you told that person right after the traumatic event?” should be the question.

So the Republican prosecutor’s name is Rachel Mitchell. She asked five minutes of questions but knows what she’s driving at because they’re open-ended. We don’t know what notes she’s taking. We don’t know what she’s balancing the answers against that she has as her baseline there. She’s asking these open-ended questions almost in a friendly schoolmarm kind of way, like Dr. Ford’s been called to the principal’s office. And by the time the prosecutor, Ms. Mitchell, gets going — by the time she starts to zero in on what may be some contradictions — her five minutes are up and we gotta shift over to the next Democrat senators who says, “I believe you! I believe you! Are you sure it was Kavanaugh?”

“Yeeeees.”

“How much?”

“One-hundred percent! A 100%. I remember I remember 100%.”

But she doesn’t remember anything else 100%.

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