Sputnik: What do you make of the fact that some Democrats have floated the idea of the possibility of impeaching Kavanaugh following his confirmation? Is that at all a feasible option? Have there been similar precedents in US history?
Jak Allen: I think they may try, and I suspect that they would ultimately fail. In fact I'm fairly confident in that…I did see it mentioned a few times by Democratic heads. [Congressman] Jerry Nadler talked about the possibility, or at least a more substantial investigation into the allegations. He would head the House Judiciary Committee, assuming that the Democrats win the House in the midterms.
The issue for the Democrats is that the FBI investigation [of Kavanaugh] has fallen far short of their expectations. The problem for them is that if we got to an impeachment proceeding, then you'd have the House Judiciary Committee conduct an investigation and recommend the charges; then it would approve it and put forward articles of impeachment for a vote; if the House votes for it, which is entirely possible given a Democratic majority after the midterms, then you'd have a trial in the Senate which requires a two-thirds majority vote to convict.
So in essence it's near impossible, and even if the Democrats won the Senate, they'd still need to convince a good number of Republicans, which is just so unlikely in this age of partisanship.
Jak Allen: I'm not completely sure; I don't know the specifics regarding that. Of course, there will always be strong injections of money by left wing groups to support these causes. But most people protesting, for example, would likely have some sort of legitimate cause, or personal cause, or ideology they believe in. We know Trump is an opportunist, and his message has always been that the system is rigged. People like Soros have been open in their opposition not only to Trumpism but populism in general.
So whether it's true or not I'm not sure. But I think the broader thing to look at here is that when a [Democratic president] eventually nominates someone to the Court, there will be the same calls of opposition by Republicans, and the same types of money packs being injected. It's just [a question of] whether it reaches as vicious [a state] as we've seen with regard to this nomination.
Sputnik: What is your opinion on this backward 'guilty until proven innocent' approach in this Kavanaugh controversy? What do you think that's about?
Jak Allen: With this type of topic, you have to tread a very fine line, as it heightens a lot of passion. We live in a day and age of social media, where there seem to be black and white answers to everything, but not much grey in between. I'm not an expert on sexual assault, but I think the Me Too movement is incredibly important in a world where we aspire to greater justice. The most important thing however is creating a fine balance between hearing those voices of accusers and victims and giving people their day in court.
So it's kind of like the notion of free speech, and there needs to be a discussion about how we go forward with such contentious problems. Surely we want to maintain the very foundations that keep a democracy healthy, including the presumption of innocence. If that right is corrupted, we're going to blur the line between innocent and guilty people, and allow people in power to manipulate that system.
Jak Allen is a PhD candidate at the school of history at the University of Kent. The views expressed by Mr. Allen are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.