Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he had no idea that the man who approached him in his confirmation last Tuesday was the father of a student who was murdered in Parkland, Florida.
He explained that if he had realized the identity of Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime Guttenberg was one of the 17 high school students killed in the shooting of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in February, he would have talked to him.
Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump for the supreme court, said he assumed the man who touched his arm was a protester.
Fred Guttenberg (L), father of Parkland, Florida, victim of the shooting Jaime Guttenberg, tries to talk to Judge Brett Kavanaugh while going to take a break during his confirmation hearing
Judge Brett Kavanaugh listens to Fred Guttenberg, father of a student who was killed in the shooting of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
Brett Kavanaugh moves away from Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter died in the Parkland shooting
The daughter of Fred Guttenberg, 14, Jaime Guttenberg, was one of the 17 high school students killed at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School
"When I left the courtroom for a recess last Tuesday, a man behind me shouted my name, came up behind me and touched my arm, it had been a chaotic morning with a lot of protesters in the room. When the recess began, the room remained noisy and crowded, "Kavanaugh wrote in response to the" written questions "from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"When I turned around and did not recognize the man, I assumed he was a protester." In a fraction of a second, my security intervened and took me out of the courtroom, in that fraction of a second, unfortunately I did not realize the man was the father of a victim of a shooting in Parkland, Florida Mr. Guttenberg has suffered an incalculable loss.If he had known who he was, he would have shaken his hand, talked to him and expressed my condolences. concluded.
When Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal asked him if he had asked the police to intervene, Kavanaugh wrote: "No".
He added: "No one acted on my request. If someone tried to act on my behalf, they did it without my knowledge and against my wishes. "
Kavanaugh answered 1,287 questions sent by committee senators, almost all from Democrats.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticized the excessive questioning of the Democrats as a way to "smear the process".
"Presenting these many written questions seems to be just one more effort to fatten up the process." It's unnecessary and dilatory, especially when many have already decided to vote against Judge Kavanaugh.What else do they need to know to vote & # 39; no & # 39; ? & # 39; Grassley said in a statement.
He also noted that this is the largest number of written questions that are made to a nominee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed a vote on Kavanaugh for a week until next Thursday, September 20. A full vote of the Senate is expected on its confirmation for the last week of September.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said Kavanaugh completed the most comprehensive, thorough and transparent review of any nomination for the Supreme Court in US history.
& # 39; Between four days of hearings and written responses, Judge Kavanaugh has publicly responded to more than 2,000 questions, in addition to questions from senators in a confidential session. This comes after President Grassley gave each senator access to more than 450,000 pages of service records from the executive branch of the judge, more than the five previous Supreme Court nominees combined. In addition, Judge Kavanaugh met personally with 65 different senators and submitted 17,000 pages of responses, writings and speeches in response to the Committee's bipartisan questionnaire, in addition to the more than 300 opinions he has written as sitting judge that are available for public review. & # 39; Shah said in a statement.
"Despite the innumerable complaints from critics, the Committee has received more material on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination than any candidate in history, by a wide margin, its members have more than enough information to consider their nomination, and we look forward to interest to advance to the full Senate, "he said.
Guttenberg, who was invited to the confirmation hearing of Kavanaugh when classifying the Democratic member of the judicial committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, approached the judge during a break in opening statements.
Photos of Kavanaugh away from Guttenberg turned viral and provoked a protest against the judge.
Guttenberg tweeted about the incident, writing: "He walked up to Judge Kavanaugh when the morning session ended. I put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's father. He withdrew his hand, turned his back on me and walked away. I guess I did not want to deal with the reality of armed violence.
At that time, the White House pushed back, saying that security had prevented Guttenberg from speaking with Kavanaugh.
"When Judge Kavanaugh went to lunch, an unidentified individual approached him," said White House press secretary Raj Shah, "before the judge could shake his hand, security had intervened." who is handling Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Then Guttenberg responded to Shah, saying that Feinstein introduced him.
& # 39; Wrong. I was here all day and presented by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned around and walked away, "he tweeted in response.
Guttenberg has become an advocate of gun control and a fierce critic of the National Rifle Association since his 14-year-old daughter was one of 17 students who died on Valentine's Day in the mass shooting.
Fred Guttenberg tweeted that Kavanaugh walked away from him when he showed up
Jamie Guttenberg was killed in the Parkland Massacre, Florida.
He became a national figure in February when he challenged Florida Sen. Marco Rubio about his gun rights position at a CNN town hall after the shooting.
Guttenberg told The Washington Post that he is sure Kavanaugh heard him and argued that the presence of security played a role in the lack of interaction.
"There was no security intervention," Guttenberg said. "When he turned around and started to move, they started to follow him, but he had all the skills to hire me."
Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing on Tuesday was interrupted on multiple occasions by the protesters, who expressed concern about the record of President Donald Trump's candidate on abortion rights.
By the end of that first day, 71 protesters had been arrested.
It was so chaotic that Kavanaugh's daughters were escorted out of the room.
Demonstrators dressed in The Handmaid's Tale costume protest in front of the courtroom where the Supreme Court's nominated judge, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The US Capitol Police UU Retired several protesters during the confirmation hearing of Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh addressed other sensitive issues in his answers to senators' questions, which are known as "questions for registration."
The questions follow two days of hearings in the judicial committee last week, where Kavanaugh answered more than 20 hours of questions from members of both political parties.
Under the committee's rules, senators on both sides of the aisle can follow their verbal questions in a hearing with written questions.
His questions ranged from inquiries about legal theory to how he bought his home and seasonal tickets for the Washington Nationals baseball team, to whether he was on a "sexually explicit" email list.
The Democratic senator asked about Kavanaugh's relationship with Judge Alex Kozinski, who retired in December 2017 after a growing number of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Kozinski served on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for more than 30 years and Kavanaugh was Kozinski's assistant in 1991.
More than fifteen women filed complaints against Kozinski, including that he showed them pornography, inappropriate touches and kisses and inappropriate sexual contact.
In his resignation statement, Kozinski said women must have misinterpreted his "broad sense of humor."
Coons asked Kavanaugh to answer 11 questions related to the retiring judge, even if Kavanaugh was a member of Kozinski's "sexually explicit email list," known as "the Easy Rider Gag list."
Judge Brett Kavanaugh with daughters Margaret and Liza in Game 5 of the National League Division Series 2017 between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals
Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee
Women's reproductive rights activists who oppose Kavanaugh's nomination protest with black veils and duct tape over their mouths outside their hearing room
Kavanaugh offered a flat, one-sentence denial: "I do not remember receiving inappropriate emails of a sexual nature from Judge Kozinski."
Kavanaugh, in response to other questions, said he did not see Judge Kozinski engage in sexually inappropriate behavior or harass anyone.
"I was unaware of any accusation that Judge Kozinski shared pornography with law enforcement until I read the story in the news at the end of 2017," he wrote. The Los Angeles Times broke the news of Kozinki's alleged behavior in 2008.
But, Kavanaugh pointed out, he has no reason to doubt women's claims.
He also pointed out that many other people who worked around Kozinski did not report anything.
"Judge Kozinski worked in a small court in Pasadena with ten other judges, numerous law clerks and court clerks, apparently none of them knew of any misconduct, or presumably they would have reported it," Kavanaugh wrote.
Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court also received numerous questions about his financial disclosures, including questions about how he bought his house, his purchase of season tickets for the Washington Nationals baseball team, his poker game and his membership in the tony-DC Chevy Chase Club area.
Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse asked if Kavanaugh has a problem with the game.
The judge responded with a firm & # 39; no & # 39 ;.
The claim that Kavanaugh might have a problem with the game comes from an email released in 2001, in which he apparently apologizes to his friends for losing their temper after losing a "dice game".
"The dice game referred to in that email was not a game with economic interests," wrote Kavanaugh.
He also noted that he occasionally plays and, in response to a specific question about whether he ever visited a casino in New Jersey, he said yes.
"Like many Americans, I occasionally played poker or other games with friends and colleagues," Kavanaugh wrote.
"I remember occasionally visiting casinos in New Jersey when I was in school or in my early 20s, I remember playing low-stakes blackjack, I have not accumulated gambling debts," he said.
He also wrote that "I did not have gambling debts or participated in 'fantasy' leagues".
Brett Kavanaugh sits with his wife, Ashley, their daughter Liza, and their daughter Margaret while being introduced to the Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee
Brett Kavanaugh greets the girls he has trained in basketball, including his daughter Liza, below left, during a break on the third day of the confirmation hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Brett Kavanaugh, center, poses for a photograph with his current and former members of the basketball team he trains
Relatives of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including his wife, Ashley, and their two daughters, Liza and Margaret, on their first day of confirmation hearings
Brett Kavanaugh, with his daughter Liza, withdrew from his confirmation hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Tuesday
In 2016, Kavanaugh reported debts of $ 60,000 to $ 200,000. The White House said that was the result of the baseball tickets it bought for its friends, who then returned the money and also measures to improve the home.
The debts were not in your 2017 financial disclosures because you had reimbursed them.
Kavanaugh detailed his financial information, noting that the only debt he and his wife owed was their home mortgage and borrowed from their 401K down payment, an option available to homeowners for the first time. That money has been paid, Kavanaugh said.
He also said that his income increased in recent years due to a "significant annual salary increase for federal judges; a significant retroactive payment as a result of class litigation over payment to the Federal Judicial Branch; and the return of my wife to the paid workforce after the many years that she left paid work to be able to stay with our daughters and take care of them. "
He noted that he and his wife Ashley, like many homeowners, have "invested a decent amount of money in our home for repairs and sometimes unexpected improvements." As many owners probably appreciate, the list sometimes seems to have no end.
Then he goes on to offer a laundry list of typical owner's problems: replace the heating and air conditioning system and air conditioning units, replace the water heater, paint and repair the entire exterior of the house, paint the interior of the house, replace the porch floor in the front and side porches with composite wood, gutter repairs, roof repairs, new refrigerator, new furnace, roof leaks, continuous flooding in the basement, basement waterproofing, elimination Mold in the basement, draining excess water out of the house that was running on the neighbor's property, repairing the fence, and so on.
"Keeping a house, especially an old house like ours, can be expensive," he said.
The Kavanaugh own a $ 1,225,000 house in Chevy Chase, Md.
Kavanaugh, who has talked about training his daughter's basketball team, said he is a big fan of sports.
He wrote that when the Nationals came to Washington DC in 2005, I bought four season tickets in my name each season from 2005 to 2017. I also bought postseason packages for the four years that the Nationals reached the playoffs (2012, 2014, 2016) and 2017.) & # 39;
The first day of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing was chaotic
One by one, protesters interrupted Kavanaugh's audience
He also noted that he is a regular attendee at the games: "I have attended all 11 national playoff games in their history. (We have 3-8 in those games.) I have attended a couple of hundred games of the regular season.
He said he and his friends split the game tickets.
"As is typical with baseball season tickets, I had a group of old friends who divided the games for me, usually we would divide the tickets into a" ticket receipt "at my house, everyone in the group paid me their tickets according to the cost of the tickets, for each dollar, nobody paid me or overpaid me for the tickets, no loans were granted in either direction ".
He also said that he and his wife paid the "full price" for their membership in the Chevy Chase Club and pay regular fees. "We did not receive or receive any discount."
He did not disclose how much they paid, but it is said that the initiation fee is $ 92,000 and the annual fees add up to more than $ 9,000.
Kavanaugh said his family uses the hockey ring and club gym.
"The club is a minute's drive from our house, and there is an outdoor ice hockey rink and a very good ice hockey program for young people." We are mainly united by the ice hockey program in which he participates. my youngest daughter, and also for the gym, "he wrote.