The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative

George W. Bush's chief political strategist Karl Rove and White House staff secretary Brett Kavanaugh step off Marine One in October 2004. They were traveling with Bush to support his reelection campaign. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve

With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve

THE BIG IDEA: Brett Kavanaugh is no David Souter.

President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court made a name for himself as a partisan warrior when he worked for Ken Starr and has proved his reliability as a consistently conservative judge over a dozen years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly told Trump that Kavanaugh’s lengthy paper trail over a quarter of a century in the public arena would make it harder to confirm him through the narrowly divided Senate than two of the other finalists being considered.

But the same track record that could cause headaches in the next several weeks is exactly what made Kavanaugh so appealing to leaders of the Republican legal establishment, including Federalist Society chief Leonard Leo and White House counsel Don McGahn, who wanted someone they feel confident they can count on for the next generation.

Kavanaugh, who has long been active in the Federalist Society, fits that bill. He was one of Starr’s top bulldogs as the independent counsel investigated Bill Clinton and at times advocated internally for an even more aggressive approach against the Democratic president. Kavanaugh was a lead author of the Starr Report and has acknowledged writing portions that laid out grounds for  impeachment.

He was deeply involved in the exploration of Clinton White House lawyer Vince Foster’s suicide, which Trump suggested in 2016 might have been a murder. Kavanaugh even appeared before the Supreme Court in a bid to subpoena notes taken by a lawyer whom Foster spoke with shortly before he died.

Kavanaugh represented the American relatives of Elián González pro bono as they tried to prevent the boy from being sent back to Cuba, a cause celebre on the right in 1999 and 2000.

He helped defend Jeb Bush’s school voucher plan in the Florida courts and then worked on George W. Bush’s legal team during the 2000 recount. Then he got a job in the White House Counsel’s Office under Alberto Gonzales, helping pick Bush’s judicial nominees. From there, he was promoted to staff secretary, which gave him more direct access to the president and control of the paper flow into the Oval Office.

Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the appeals court in 2003, but Democrats held up his confirmation for three years because of his polarizing work for Starr. At the time, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called him the “Forrest Gump of Republican politics” because he seemed to be in the thick of every controversial legal fight that gripped the capital. Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed in 2006 as part of a larger deal on nominations by a vote of 57 to 36.

Since joining the court, Kavanaugh has written about 300 opinions —  including key decisions on guns, abortion and regulation. He ruled that the way the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is structured makes it unconstitutional, for instance, and has routinely taken the side of big business in disputes with government.

George H.W. Bush nominated Souter for the Supreme Court in 1990 at the recommendation of then-White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu. Souter was on the New Hampshire Supreme Court but hadn’t ruled on hot-button issues, so he emerged as a consistently liberal vote once on the high court. No one who knows Kavanaugh doubts that he will pull the court to the right if confirmed.

Based on Kavanaugh's votes on the D.C. Circuit, a political scientist at Emory University calculates that there is a 55 percent chance that he will be further to the right than Clarence Thomas and an 81 percent chance that he will be to the right of Chief Justice John Roberts:

McConnell recognizes that Kavanaugh’s nomination presents a target-rich environment for Democrats, who have dozens of potential avenues of attack because there are so many cases and episodes to choose from. Even though Kavanaugh is likely to ultimately make it through the Senate, there are enough unpopular positions he has staked out that most of the Democrats from red states should not have that hard of a time finding palatable justifications to oppose his nomination. (It’s always possible they’ll vote for him anyway if he already has the votes to get confirmed.)

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings also ensure that some of the darkest chapters of the Bush era will be re-litigated, including the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.

-- Importantly for Trump, though, Kavanaugh’s views on executive power have evolved significantly since he worked for Starr. In a 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh noted that the Starr team he worked on operated under a “badly flawed” law, “particularly the extent to which it allowed civil suits against presidents to proceed while the President is in office.”

More recently, Kavanaugh has argued that presidents should not be distracted by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations, or even questions from a prosecutor or defense attorney while in office, Michael Kranish and Ann E. Marimow report. “Having observed the weighty issues that can consume a president, Kavanaugh wrote, the nation’s chief executive should be exempt from ‘time-consuming and distracting’ lawsuits and investigations, which ‘would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.’ If a president were truly malevolent, Kavanaugh wrote, he could always be impeached.”

-- Neil Gorsuch, who also served in the Bush administration, was pushed by legal activists on the right last year because he too was a known commodity and had been consistently conservative as a circuit court judge. He helped the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004 as a volunteer lawyer in Ohio. When he was interviewing for a senior job at the Justice Department, then-Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman emailed a top White House official to put in a good word. “He is a true loyalist,” Mehlman wrote of his former roommate.


-- He is just 53 years old. An avid runner, Kavanaugh could realistically spend four decades on the Supreme Court. He finished the Boston Marathon in 3:59:45 in 2010 and 4:08:36 in 2015.

-- He has an elite pedigree. His father ran a cosmetics trade association here for decades. His mother was a high school teacher who became a lawyer and then a judge. Kavanaugh attended Yale for both undergrad and law school after attending Georgetown Preparatory School. Gorsuch, whose mom ran the Environmental Protection Agency, was a classmate at the elite private high school in Washington. The two then clerked for Kennedy at the same time.

Kavanaugh also clerked in San Francisco for Judge Alex Kozinski on the Ninth Circuit, who retired in December after 15 women alleged that he had subjected them to inappropriate sexual behavior.

The D.C. Circuit, where he serves now, is considered the second most important court in the land, only after the Supreme Court. Current justices John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas were each elevated from there.

-- Kavanaugh identifies as an originalist. “A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent,” he said last night. (Note the difference between being “informed” by precedent and being bound by it. Those are two very different things.)

-- Trump called Kavanaugh to tell him on Sunday night and informed Kennedy of his decision on Monday, per a senior White House official. “Kavanaugh’s link to the Bush political dynasty gave Trump pause during the search process, and he peppered associates with questions about whether ‘my base’ would embrace him,” Robert Costa, Robert Barnes and Felicia Sonmez report. “But ultimately, prodded by top advisers and veteran Republicans, Trump decided that Kavanaugh’s lengthy conservative judicial record made up for any lingering concerns about how some of his core supporters would view the pick.”

-- As Kavanaugh praised the president during his speech in the East Room, you could see why he fared so well during his interview with Trump. “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination,” Kavanaugh said, as the president smiled.

-- With Roe v. Wade hanging in the balance, Kavanaugh went out of his way to emphasize his relationships with women. He laid it on thick: “My mom was a trailblazer,” he said. “When I was 10, she went to law school and became a prosecutor. My introduction to law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing arguments. Her trademark line was ‘Use your common sense. What rings true, what rings false?’ That’s good advice for a juror — and for a son.”

  • “For the past 11 years, I have taught hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School. … I remain grateful to the dean who hired me, Justice Elena Kagan.”
  • “I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.”
  • “I have two spirited daughters, Margaret and Liza. Margaret loves sports, and she loves to read. Liza loves sports, and she loves to talk. I have tried to create bonds with my daughters like my dad created with me. … For the past seven years, I have coached my daughters’ basketball teams. The girls on the team call me Coach K.”
  • Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, was Bush 43’s longtime personal secretary: “Our first date was on September 10, 2001. The next morning I was a few steps behind her as the Secret Service shouted at all of us to sprint out the front gates of the White House, because there was an inbound plane. In the difficult weeks that followed, Ashley was a source of strength for President Bush and for everyone in this building.”

-- Fun fact: The president’s big reveal preempted another reality TV show: “The Bachelorette” paused during Trump’s speech for a special report, and then ABC went back after Trump gave a metaphorical rose to Kavanaugh.

--Not since Warren Harding in 1921 nominated former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice has the country been presented with a high court nominee so completely shaped by the needs and mores of the executive branch as Brett Kavanaugh,” Garrett Epps, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Baltimore, notes in The Atlantic. “Though Kavanaugh served as Kennedy’s law clerk during the October 1993 term, the contrast between the two men could hardly be more complete. Kennedy’s roots lay in his days of small-town private practice; he made his way to the bench from private practice, and, as a judge, he was conservative but independent. Kavanaugh has been the creature and servant of political power all his days. It would be the height of folly to expect that, having attained his lifetime’s ambition of a seat on the Supreme Court, he will become anything else.”

As President Trump announced his nominee for the Supreme Court, senators and activists demonstrated outside the Supreme Court building in Washington. (Video: Jordan Frasier/The Washington Post)


-- Because Kavanaugh is already so well known on Capitol Hill, the partisan battle lines are mostly drawn:

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): “I will lift heaven and Earth to see that he is confirmed.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.): “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have.”

-- Every Democratic senator who was invited to attend the announcement at the White House declined, including Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.). Incidentally, so did Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who says she supports abortion rights and could be pivotal. On the other side, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller — the most vulnerable Republican up for reelection in 2018 — proudly sat in the front row. 

-- Americans for Prosperity, which is part of the Koch network, announced plans to spend “seven figures” on paid advertising and “grassroots engagement” in support of Kavanaugh's confirmation. The GOP-aligned Judicial Crisis Network separately says it will spend $1.4 million on TV ads in the next week touting Kavanaugh in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

-- A good illustration of how Republicans are likely to fall in line: Kavanaugh ruled in 2015 that “the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” If a Democratic nominee wrote that, there is no doubt that the libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would come out swinging against his or her nomination. Instead, Rand tweeted last night he has an “open mind,” and GOP aides say privately that they don’t think he’ll pose any kind of a problem.


-- More team coverage from my colleagues:

  • Robert Barnes: “A more conservative high court could step, not lurch, to the right.”
  • Ann E. Marimow: “Kavanaugh has endorsed robust views of presidential powers.”
  • Michael Scherer: “With Trump’s nominee announced, the battle for the court begins.”
  • Michael S. Rosenwald: “Kavanaugh — a Catholic — faces a historical struggle between canon and constitutional law.”
  • Valerie Strauss: “The ‘cloistered’ Harvard-Yale law monopoly on the Supreme Court.”
  • Michael Kranish and Marimow: “From Clinton to Trump: How Kavanaugh navigated through some of Washington’s biggest scandals.”
  • Julie Zauzmer: “As Trump picks Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, evangelicals rejoice: ‘I will vote for him again.’ ”

-- The rest of the mainstream media:

  • Wall Street Journal: “Kavanaugh Has Shown Deep Skepticism of Regulatory State.”
  • New York Times: “A Conservative Stalwart in Political Fights and on the Bench.”
  • AP: “Born inside Beltway, Kavanaugh part of GOP legal elite.”
  • Reuters: “Washington insider Kavanaugh boasts conservative credentials.”
  • NBC News: “Kavanaugh was a predictable choice, but could be an unpredictable justice.”
  • NPR: “Kavanaugh Nomination Sparks Partisan Uproar On Abortion Rights.”
  • Roll Call: “This Won’t Be Kavanaugh’s First Knock-Down, Drag-Out Confirmation Fight.”
  • Politico: “Trump asks business groups for help pushing Kavanaugh confirmation.”
  • Politico: “How a private meeting with Kennedy helped Trump get to ‘yes’ on Kavanaugh.”
  • New York Post: “Protesters descend upon Trump Tower, Supreme Court in wake of Kavanaugh nomination.”
  • The Hill: “Dems strategy on Trump pick: Unify around health care.”
  • BuzzFeed News: “Brett Kavanaugh Will Mean Challenging Times For Environmental Laws.”
  • CNN: “GOP Senate candidate Kevin Cramer: I told Trump to avoid 'affirmative action pick' for Supreme Court.”
  • SCOTUSblog: “The 53-year-old Kavanaugh is the consummate Washington insider, well-liked in the city’s legal community.”
  • CBS News: “Who is Martha Kavanaugh, Brett Kavanaugh's mother?”
  • TechCrunch: “Trump’s Supreme Court nominee opposes net neutrality, supports NSA bulk collection.”

-- On the Washington Post opinion page:

  • The Editorial Board: “Kavanaugh could drastically shift the court to the right. The Senate should take care.”
  • Dana Milbank: “A Trump spokesman said that the ‘Sherpa’ charged with leading Trump’s nominee to confirmation in the Senate would be former Republican senator Jon Kyl, a big-time lobbyist for the pharmaceuticals industry.”
  • National Review's David French: “Trump picked the wrong judge.”
  • Eugene Robinson: “Kavanaugh can be expected to play a major role in our lives for at least two decades — probably two and a half. … His elevation to the high court will affect me, my children and my grandchildren.”
  • Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: “Brett Kavanaugh is ‘John Roberts 2.0.’ ”

-- On the left:

  • Slate: “How Kavanaugh Will Gut Roe v. Wade.”
  • Daily Beast: “Kavanaugh ... Is Probably the End of Abortion Rights and Same-Sex Marriage.”
  • Vox’s Ezra Klein: “The Supreme Court vs. democracy: Even those most invested in the Court’s grandeur are finding it hard to defend its reality.”
  • Yale Law professor Akhil Reed Amar in the New York Times: “A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh.”
  • The Intercept: “Chuck Schumer Warns Senate Democrats: Fight Brett Kavanaugh or Pay the Price from the Base.”
  • New York magazine: “Brett Kavanaugh Is a Safe Supreme Court Pick Who Will Carry Out the GOP’s Extreme Agenda.”

-- On the right: 

-- In the states:

  • Birmingham News: “Doug Jones vows 'independent review' of Kavanaugh.”
  • Boston Globe: “Susan Collins is no maverick with GOP judicial nominees.”
  • Allentown Morning Call: “Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey says he'll oppose Trump's Supreme Court pick.”
  • Anchorage Daily News: Lisa “Murkowski, Sullivan promise rigorous review of Kavanaugh nomination.”
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Josh “Hawley's first TV ad in U.S. Senate race is aimed at upcoming fight over Supreme Court nominee.”
  • Indianapolis Star: Joe “Donnelly declines invitation to be at White House as Trump announces Supreme Court nominee.”
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The three-day mission to free 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand has come to an end, officials said July 10. (Video: Amber Ferguson, Melissa Macaya/The Washington Post)


  1. All 12 Thai boys, as well as their soccer coach, were rescued from a flooded cave where they were trapped for nearly three weeks. The rescue operation took three days and the assistance of expert divers, one of whom died as the team prepared the boys’ escape. (Shibani Mahtani)
  2. A California prosecutor who made threatening comments about Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) over social media was placed on administrative leave. Michael Selyem, who works in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, wrote of Waters, “Being a loudmouthed … in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot” her by now. (Eli Rosenberg)
  3. European antitrust regulators could hit Google with a record penalty in the coming weeks for forcing its Web-browsing tools on the makers of Android-equipped smartphones and other devices. Fines could range into the billions of dollars and could force the company to make major changes to its operating system. (Tony Romm)
  4. Police in El Paso have launched an internal investigation into the behavior of an officer who was captured on video last week pointing his firearm at a group of young children. The officer was placed on desk duty. (Yahoo News)
  5. Michigan has approved 11 additional medical conditions that qualify patients to access medical marijuana, including autism, chronic pain, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome. Under state law, patients with the approved ailments still must receive a recommendation from their doctor. (Detroit Free Press)
  6. More than 200 people in the Midwest have been sickened by eating vegetables from Del Monte-brand plastic trays after they were found to contain an intestinal parasite known as cyclosporiasis. The CDC said seven people were hospitalized after eating the contaminated veggies, which have since been recalled. (USA Today)
  7. Two newlywed tourists collided while zip-lining on their honeymoon vacation in Honduras in a tragic accident that killed the husband and left the wife seriously injured. They were on a Royal Caribbean Cruise. (Samantha Schmidt)
  8. Robert Ray, the former Iowa GOP governor who led a statewide effort to help resettle Vietnam War refugees, died at 89. The cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease. (Washington Post)
  9. Attorneys general in 10 states and D.C. are launching an investigation of “no-poach” hiring agreements at major fast-food chains in the U.S. — including Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread and Wendy’s. Critics say the practice is harmful to the economy and limits potential opportunities for low-wage workers. (Jeff Stein)
Shortly after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned on July 9, Prime Minister Theresa May addressed Johnson's resignation in the House of Commons. (Video: Reuters)


-- Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to keep her government from imploding after the resignation of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “Ever since May bungled the 2017 election, losing a majority in Parliament, there has been speculation over how long she would hold the top job,” William Booth and Karla Adam report. “Hard-line Brexiteers are openly debating a no-confidence vote that could sweep her from power. … Johnson, a flamboyant politician and former mayor of London, once said, ‘My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars.’ He is divisive, and his stock has fallen lately. But the Whitehall mandarins and British political class have long assumed he covets the keys to 10 Downing Street. His departure hints at a possible leadership challenge within May’s Conservative Party.” Trump is scheduled to meet May on his trip overseas.

-- “For [Defense Secretary Jim Mattis], this week’s NATO summit presents a central test: how to preserve a U.S.-European alliance that he sees as crucial to America’s security while not crossing a boss who doesn’t share that view,” Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe report. “The summit, which will bring Mattis and [Trump] together with the traditional allies of the United States, illustrates the tightrope the former general has walked since arriving at the Pentagon. The two have differed on torture, the war in Syria and, most centrally for Mattis, the value of America’s alliances as it confronts an increasingly aggressive Russia. … Mattis has compensated by keeping a low profile, downplaying differences with Trump and quietly urging the Europeans to judge the administration by its actions and not the president’s tweets. But in recent months, Mattis’s task has grown more arduous.”

-- Trump will arrive in Brussels the same day Belgium plays France in the World Cup semifinals. From Quentin Ariès: “The combination of the two events has created a perfect storm of security issues, even for a city that is accustomed to high-profile international summits.”

-- The populist tide: Trump privately refers to Mexico’s leftist incoming president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador as “Juan Trump.” Rebecca Tan reports: “Mark Feierstein, who was special assistant to [Obama] and a former senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, wrote in Americas Quarterly last week that Trump ‘sees a bit of his renegade self in AMLO, privately calling the Mexican politician ‘Juan Trump.’ Feierstein attributed Trump’s purported remarks to ‘a senior government official.' ... Trump, who congratulated López Obrador on his victory even before the official results were released, reportedly sees many parallels between himself and the anti-establishment populist."

Buena Ventura Martin came from Guatemala with her infant son to claim asylum in the U.S. Her husband and daughter followed, but were separated at the border. (Video: Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post, Photo: Alfredo De Lara/The Washington Post)


-- More than 50 immigrant children under age 5 who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border are expected to be reunited with them today, authorities said. Maria Sacchetti and Tony Perry report: “About 40 other very young children will not be returned to their parents yet, despite a court-imposed deadline, because the Trump administration either has not finished matching them with their parents or has not cleared the parents to take custody. Two children have already been reunited with their parents, lawyers said. U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw — who last month called the family separation process ‘chaotic’ and set a timetable for the government to reunite the families — said Monday he was pleased that the Justice Department and the [ACLU] worked together through the weekend to facilitate the return of the children to their parents. … He scheduled another hearing for Tuesday morning to get further updates on the reunifications, which he ordered as part of a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU.”

-- A federal judge rejected Trump’s request to alter a decades-old legal agreement allowing the long-term detention of immigrant children. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports: “Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee dismissed as 'tortured' the Trump administration's legal argument to get out from under the so-called Flores consent decree agreed to in 1997, dictating that children in immigration detention not be held more than 20 days. ‘Defendants seek to light a match to the Flores Agreement and ask this Court to upend the parties’ agreement by judicial fiat,’ wrote Gee, an [Obama appointee]. ‘It is apparent that Defendants’ Application is a cynical attempt ... to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action.’ … Gee's order says some immigrant families could be detained together if the parents consent, but suggests that without that consent immigration authorities must release the children. That could leave the Trump administration with two choices: release the family or split them up, which Trump's June 20 directive pledged to stop doing.”

-- Pregnant women who were detained at six different immigration detention centers during the Trump administration say they were denied proper medical care while at the facilities. BuzzFeed News’s Ema O’Connor and Nidhi Prakash report: “A new ICE directive states that women are not to be held into their third trimester and that ICE is responsible for ‘ensuring pregnant detainees receive appropriate medical care including effectuating transfers.' Instead, women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care, even when in dire need of it, are shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities, and have been physically and psychologically mistreated. In interviews and written affidavits, [the women spoke] of being ignored when they were obviously miscarrying, described their CBP and ICE-contracted jailers as unwilling or unable to respond to medical emergencies, and recounted an incident of physical abuse.”

-- The Trump administration is seeking to revoke the citizenship of some who committed minor crimes before they became citizens — a drastic measure historically reserved for “the likes of war criminals, child rapists and terrorist funders,” the Miami Herald’s Adiel Kaplan reports. “Norma Borgono is none of those. The 63-year-old secretary who immigrated from Peru in 1989 volunteers weekly at church, raised two children on a $500-a-week salary and suffers from a rare kidney disorder. … Borgono, a Miami resident for 28 years, is being targeted based on her minor role in a $24 million fraud scheme in the previous decade. As the secretary of an export company called Texon Inc., she prepared paperwork for her boss, who pocketed money from doctored loan applications filed with the U.S. Export-Import Bank. When the feds caught wind of the scheme, Borgono cooperated. The secretary never made any money beyond her regular salary and helped the FBI make a case that put her former boss behind bars for four years.”

Rodolfo Rodriguez suffered broken ribs and bruises after being struck by a brick on July 4 while taking a walk in Los Angeles. (Video: Misbel Rojas)

-- Rodolfo Rodriguez, a 91-year-old Mexican man and permanent U.S. resident, was attacked with a concrete brick by a woman yelling, “Go back to your country.” Deanna Paul reports: “[Rodriguez was] taken to the hospital with a broken cheek bone and two broken ribs. Misbel Borjas, 35, a South Los Angeles resident, saw the assault as it happened. Traffic had slowed Borjas’s car at a corner in Willowbrook, Calif., around 7 p.m. on July 4. Rodriguez accidentally bumped into a young girl while walking on the sidewalk, Borjas told The Washington Post. Borjas watched the child’s mother push the elderly man to the ground and repeatedly bash him in the face.”

-- An undocumented married couple was detained by ICE while trying to visit their daughter and son-in-law, who is in the Army, at a military base. From Samantha Schmidt: “[Longtime Brooklyn residents Margarito Silva and Concepción Barrios] had visited several military bases in the past, in Brooklyn, Colorado and Hawaii, with no problems, their daughter Perla Silva wrote on Facebook over the weekend. While the husband and wife acknowledge living in the country illegally, they both have valid New York City-issued identification cards. ... During the couple’s previous visits to military bases, these ID cards were enough to gain entry, Perla Silva said. But during last week’s trip to Fort Drum, military authorities at the base stopped them.”

Various President Trump aides have faced taunts and in-person threats from hecklers for their involvement with the administration. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)


-- Rudy Giuliani continues to work for foreign clients while he serves as Trump’s attorney, raising ethical concerns. Josh Dawsey, Tom Hamburger and Ashley Parker report: “Giuliani said in recent interviews with The Washington Post that he is working with clients in Brazil and Colombia, among other countries, as well as delivering paid speeches for a controversial Iranian dissident group. He has never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of his overseas clients, asserting it is not necessary because he does not directly lobby the U.S. government and is not charging Trump for his services. His decision to continue representing foreign entities also departs from standard practice for presidential attorneys, who in the past have generally sought to sever any ties that could create conflicts with their client in the White House.”

-- Some of the ethics probes into Scott Pruitt’s behavior as EPA administrator may continue, even though he resigned. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report: “While a few of them — including the two informal reviews inside the White House — might be shelved, others, such as a probe by a key House committee, are likely to continue.”

-- Trump’s longtime personal driver is suing for 3,330 hours of unpaid overtime work, which he allegedly accrued over the past six years. Noel Cintron — who spent 25 years as Trump’s driver — claims the Trump Organization failed to provide him with annual wage notices required by state law. Bloomberg News’s Christine Smythe and Chris Dolmetsch report: “Cintron says he was required to be on duty for Trump starting at 7 a.m. each day until whenever Trump, his family or business associates no longer required his services. He worked as long as 55 hours per week, but was paid a fixed salary of $62,700 in 2003, $68,000 in 2006, and $75,000 in 2010, according to the complaint. The wage bump in 2010 came with a catch, Cintron said. He was induced to surrender his health insurance, saving Trump approximately $17,866 per year in premiums, according to the lawsuit. Cintron said he was Trump’s personal driver until the Secret Service took over. … Cintron is seeking about $200,000 in damages.”

-- Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen has been “sending a clear signal” to Giuliani that the truth “is not you or your client's friend,” sources familiar with his thinking tell CNN’s Gloria Borger and Dana Bash. “Two sources familiar with Cohen's thinking say he has ‘hit the reset button’ and is continuing his commitment to speak the ‘real truth.’ In particular, the same sources say Giuliani is wading into dangerous territory when he asks Cohen to ‘tell the truth’ about the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian meddling in the election. … These new comments from sources close to Cohen suggest he might have information about Trump and others in the President's orbit to share with investigators, though Cohen hasn't publicly revealed any details yet.”

-- A former adviser to Vladimir Putin has a secret investment in a U.S. energy company Trump has praised as a job creator. The Guardian’s Luke Harding reports: “Alexander Voloshin — who served as Boris Yeltsin’s chief of staff before working for Putin between 2000 and 2003 — has an undisclosed stake in American Ethane, a Houston-based firm that recently signed a multibillion dollar export deal with China. … It is unclear if the Trump White House was aware of this Kremlin connection.”

-- Some members of Trump’s Florida clubs, including Mar-a-Lago, appear to have been given private tours of Air Force One. BuzzFeed News’s Tarini Parti and Jeremy Singer-Vine report: “Members would not confirm or deny that they actually attended, but the invitations would raise more questions about the blurry line between Trump's administration and his family’s private businesses. Although past administrations have given Air Force One tours to friends, family, and even donors, in this case, those attending would have paid Trump’s exclusive clubs thousands of dollars annually.”

-- Ivanka Trump’s Chinese-made products have been spared from her father’s new round of tariffs, which affect $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. HuffPost’s Mary Papenfuss reports: “The first daughter and senior White House adviser has never manufactured a single product for her Ivanka Trump brand on American soil. … That means Chengdu Kameido Shoes in Sichuan province can continue to supply shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand as it has in the past. It’s currently bidding for a new contract to manufacture 140,000 pairs of shoes for Trump’s company. Until January 2017, all of Ivanka Trump’s products were made in factories in China and Hong Kong. ... Since then, some manufacturing has apparently been moved to other overseas factories in Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam.”

-- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross disclosed another recent sale of stock he had previously pledged to divest. Steven Mufson reports: “Ross told the Office of Government Ethics that on June 11 he sold 1,631 shares of Air Lease Corp. worth between $50,000 and $100,000. … [Ross] said he had overlooked them until he received a check for less than $200 in dividend payments that had gone unclaimed. … Few people could say they weren’t aware of owning stock worth that much. On June 11, the day Ross said he sold his shares, they would have been worth about $73,166 at the closing price.”

-- Trump staff continue to have a hard time when they're out on the town in Washington. From Paul Schwartzman and Josh Dawsey’s story on how White House officials navigate the capital: “One night, after [White House adviser Stephen Miller] ordered $80 of takeout sushi from a restaurant near his apartment, a bartender followed him into the street and shouted, ‘Stephen!’ When Miller turned around, the bartender raised both middle fingers and cursed at him, according to an account Miller has shared with White House colleagues. Outraged, Miller threw the sushi away, afraid that someone in the restaurant had spit in or otherwise tampered with his food, he later told colleagues.”


--The National Republican Congressional Committee has withdrawn its endorsement of a congressional candidate in New Jersey after reporters dug up offensive comments he’d made about black and Hispanic people,” David Weigel reports. “ ‘Bigotry has no place in society — let alone the U.S. House of Representatives,’ NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement Monday night. ‘The NRCC withdraws our support of Seth Grossman and calls on him to reconsider his candidacy.’ Grossman, a former elected official in Atlantic County, was not the party’s first choice to run in New Jersey’s 2nd District. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-N.J.) announced his retirement late last year, and the local party scrambled to find a contender. … But while the NRCC initially criticized Democratic nominee Jeff Van Drew, a moderate state senator, the race had already quietly fallen off the Republicans’ fall map.”

-- The Democratic primary in Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin district has turned nasty, as the initial favorite, Randy Bryce, finds himself on the defensive against local school board member Cathy Myers. Weigel reports: “Bryce entered the race last June with a viral video ad that made him a left-wing sensation, memorably described as a candidate who had been ‘genetically engineered from Bruce Springsteen songs.’ Myers declared her own candidacy a few days later, and did not become a left-wing sensation. But a year in the spotlight has occasionally left Bryce burned. In November, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Bryce had been delinquent on child support, and paid up shortly after entering the campaign. It was not the only debt he paid off, but Myers hammered on the child support issue to argue that Bryce was too toxic and unreliable to win.” Myers has also gone after Bryce for past arrests tied to possessing marijuana and driving under the influence.

-- Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), who faces a difficult reelection this year, reported turning a profit this year from a health-care group that services facilities including an ICE detention center. Politico’s Natasha Korecki reports: “In his most recent statement of economic interests, the [multimillionaire] disclosed earnings from a private equity fund that owns Correct Care Solutions, a for-profit health care provider that has millions of dollars in government contracts with jails and prisons across the country, including immigrant detention centers. The governor said he relinquished investment decisions to a third party and has no direct ties to Correct Care Solutions, a group whose work extends to … one of just four immigrant family detention centers in the country contracted for profit. Still, Rauner’s disclosures indicate that he’s earning income from the group, which reports annual revenue of $1 billion.”

-- Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) announced he will run for governor in 2019 against Republican incumbent Matt Bevin. (AP)

-- In the run-up to this year’s midterms, a rising number of Democratic candidates are criticizing some of Israel’s policies — breaking decades of precedent in condemning what they say are abuses against Palestinians. ABC News’s Roey Hadar reports: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, [who upset 10-term] incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in last month’s Democratic primary, incorporated criticism of Israel’s actions into her campaign, condemning what she called a recent ‘massacre’ in Gaza. … Minnesota State Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democratic candidate for the Minnesota congressional seat vacated by outgoing Rep. Keith Ellison, has gone a step further, defending her 2012 tweet in which she alleged Israel has ‘hypnotized the world’ and committed ‘evil doings.’ … Public opinion polling shows that sentiments have indeed shifted, especially among Democrats. According to a Pew Research poll … Democratic voters sympathize about equally with the Israelis as the Palestinians, with sympathy for Israel dropping 16 percentage points in the last two years.”

-- Crowley’s defeat continues to shake up the House Democratic leadership races. From Politico’s Heather Caygle: “Rep. Tim Ryan is considering taking on [Nancy Pelosi] again in November despite previously ruling out the idea. … Ryan, who won one-third of the caucus’ backing in a long-shot bid following the 2016 election, would be the first challenger to emerge against Pelosi in the post-Crowley world.”

-- “Two Years Ago, Revolution Messaging Helped Bernie Raise Millions. Now They’re In Crisis,” from BuzzFeed News’s Ruby Cramer: “The company, molded in the ‘DIY punk rock’ image of its founder, Scott Goodstein, began nearly 10 years ago with a simple promise to progressive operatives: Amid all the ‘bad gigs in the Democratic Party ecosystem’ … this would be a place where staffers were actually treated well, working for clients they actually liked. After 2016, Revolution Messaging became synonymous with the politics, policy, and campaign strategy of the [Bernie] Sanders brand. … Amid a transformational moment in American politics, however, current and former staffers describe Revolution Messaging as a cautionary tale of what happens when movement aspirations meet the hard reality of building a long-lasting institution.”

-- Virginia Republicans are asking the Supreme Court for an extension in redrawing congressional districts, which a lower court threw out over claims of racial gerrymandering. Gregory S. Schneider reports: “While the case is under appeal, the Republicans asked the court to postpone a requirement that new legislative boundaries be drawn by Oct. 30 for use in next year’s state elections. Redrawing the map now ‘will result in voter confusion and disruption to the primary process,’ the Republicans argue. ‘And that is to say nothing of the immense waste of scarce resources’ if they win their appeal, the motion continues.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is denying claims from multiple former Ohio State University wrestlers that he knew about inappropriate physicals from Richard Strauss. (Video: Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)


-- Six former Ohio State University wrestling coaches came to the defense of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), writing in a statement that none of them “saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers.” Elise Viebeck reports: “The statement defending Jordan, who served as an assistant Ohio State wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995, was circulated by the prominent conservative public-relations firm Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. It was the first example of a professional crisis communications firm getting involved in defending Jordan since the allegations became national news last week. … Defending Jordan in a statement Monday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) dismissed [Perkins Coie, the firm investigating the abuse allegations] as a ‘Washington, DC-based dirty tricks law firm.’ ”

-- Jordan also received a boost from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). “I have always known Jim Jordan to be honest, and I’m confident he would stand up for his athletes, just like he’s always stood up for what’s right,” Scalise said in a statement. “I'm glad that Jim is committed to working with the investigators to see that the full truth comes out and justice is served.” (Politico)

-- But former wrestlers’ accounts of their interactions with team doctor Richard Strauss continue to paint a disturbing picture of the OSU program. From Elise: “Reid Delman, who said he joined the team in 1986, said Strauss showered with the wrestlers for no apparent reason and conducted uncomfortably long checks for hernias in the groin area during exams. ‘It’s tough to put into words. It was definitely inappropriate,’ Delman told The Washington Post on Monday. ‘I don’t know how long [a hernia check] should take. It was long.’ Delman said he does not know if anyone filed a formal complaint against Strauss and does not remember having specific conversations with Jordan about the doctor’s behavior.”

-- Even Jordan’s closest colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus have been hesitant to wade into the controversy. CNN’s Sunlen Serfaty and Daniella Diaz report: “Multiple members of the [caucus] say they are ‘uncomfortable’ with the scrutiny growing around whether [Jordan] turned a blind eye to alleged abuse, but those conservatives are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach for the time being, according to one source Monday who is familiar with their thinking. … The source said Jordan's relationships within the House Freedom Caucus are strong, with his colleagues seeing him as a ‘good man who was probably just in a bad situation.’ … However, there is an acknowledgment that some caucus members are skittish about putting their necks on the line without yet knowing the full story of what happened at Ohio State University.”

-- Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is resisting calls for his resignation amid allegations that he groped four women, including a state lawmaker. John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez report: “‘A week ago today, I had a name. I want my name back,’ Hill (R) said at a news conference at which he described himself as ‘a condemned man, condemned without trial.’ ‘These past several days have witnessed my name and reputation dragged through the gutter in ways I would have never imagined,’ he said, blaming a media with an ‘appetite for scandal.’ ”


Trump's social media director posted a picture of the president and his Supreme Court nominee:

Trump touted his selection this morning and cited a recent Gallup poll showing his approval at 90 percent among Republicans:

The NRA is throwing its weight behind the nomination:

On the other side, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) — who represents the families of Newtown — raised alarm bells about Kavanaugh's record on guns:

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) posed these questions about Kavanaugh:

No one thinks Kaine will vote to confirm Kavanaugh, but Brian Fallon — who served as Hillary Clinton's spokesman when Kaine was her running mate — still attacked:

Virginia's former Democratic governor had harsh words for Kavanaugh:

George W. Bush's former press secretary endorsed the pick:

From a columnist for the Hill:

From a Vanity Fair writer:

From a Post White House correspondent:

A CNN reporter confirmed that Trump was made aware of Kavanaugh's rulings in favor of executive power:

An ABC News producer noted that only one current Senate Democrat voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the D.C. Circuit:

An ABC News reporter captured this moment after the announcement:

Trump previewed his NATO trip this morning:

Yesterday, Trump expressed confidence in Kim Jong Un, despite recent reports that North Korean officials stonewalled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his trip to Pyongyang last week:

He also criticized a New York Times report that officials from his administration sought to quash a pro-breastfeeding resolution at the World Health Assembly (but if you read closely, it's a confirmation that they did try to block it):

And he went after drug companies for their high prices:

Damian Paletta explains: "Trump’s comments ... appeared to be in response to a Financial Times report that showed that Pfizer had raised prices on roughly 100 drugs."

Michael Cohen's new lawyer took a swipe at Trump and Rudy Giuliani:

Stormy Daniels's attorney responded to Davis:

A presidential historian shared this relevant photo:


-- The Atlantic, “Canada’s Secret to Escaping the ‘Liberal Doom Loop,’ ” by Derek Thompson: “The world is burning with the fires of illiberal populism. The flames take on different shapes in different nations. There is Trump’s xenophobia in America, Brexit in Britain, a right-wing government in Poland … Geert Wilders’s ‘blond beastliness’ in the Netherlands, and the Kultur-warriors of Germany’s [AfD party]. But in the Canadian wilderness, the fire isn’t catching yet. [Canada] is the most inclusive country in the world in its attitudes toward immigrants, religion, and sexuality … [And in a] ranking of the most important Canadian symbols and values, its citizens put ‘multiculturalism’ right next to the national anthem — and just behind their flag. … What’s Canada’s secret? A unique blend of imperial history, bizarre and desolate geography, and provincial politics have forged something unique in the Great White North … [and] countries now buckling under the strain of xenophobic populism should take note.”

-- Wired, “How Silicon Valley fuels an informal caste system,” by Antonio García Martínez: “Today’s ‘sharing’ economy resembles the ‘sharecropping’ of yesteryear, with the serfs responding to a smartphone prompt rather than an overseer’s command. …  But it is the vision of the future that San Francisco offers: highly stratified, with little social mobility. It's feudalism with better marketing.”

-- NBC Washington, “From FDR to JFK, Presidents Took Center Stage at Baseball All-Star Games in DC,” by Frederic J. Frommer: “On a hot sticky July day in Washington 81 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made his way to the tiny ballpark two miles northeast of the White House, escaping a political storm of his own making. … Whether Trump shows up or not, the next All-Star Game will be the hottest ticket of the summer, just as it was eight decades ago. In 1937, the Washington Post society editor called the All-Star Game ‘the most thrilling event of the summer social season.’”


“Miss Massachusetts Hopeful Resigns From Competition In Protest Of ‘Me Too’ Joke,” from HuffPost: “A contestant in the Miss Massachusetts competition has resigned in protest after a master of ceremonies made fun of the Me Too movement in a skit. Maude Gorman, who won the 2018 Miss Plymouth County title before advancing to the state’s Miss America preliminary round, has been outspoken about her own sexual assault at age 13. ... She [said] she ‘instantly knew [she] had to do something’ after she heard the joke mocking the Me Too movement while she was backstage as a contestant for Miss Massachusetts. Believing that the skit crossed a line, Gorman resigned from her title.” “I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement,” Gorman said. “I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation, or make it anything less than what it is: AMAZING.”



“Women’s March Sends Press Release Bashing Trump Scotus Nominee — Forgets to Add Name of Nominee,” from the Daily Caller: “PR shops were working overtime flacking for and against [Trump’s Supreme Court] pick. However, one organization that was not working overtime was the hyper-liberal Women’s March. The leftist group that sprang from Trump’s election victory blasted out an email to reporters and supporters slamming Trump’s nominee as part of a ‘patriarchal’ and ‘white supremacist’ agenda. Only one problem: They sent it out prematurely. The copy sent to hundreds of journalists just included an ‘XX’ where the name of the justice should be. In the same blast, ‘Kavanaugh’ is spelled wrong — with a ‘C’ instead of a ‘K.’ The group corrected later in the evening — sending an ’UPDATED’ version that was identical, with Kavanaugh’s name spelled correctly and in the place of the ‘XX.’ The move demonstrates how viscerally against the pick many on the political Left would be — regardless of Trump’s selection.”



Trump and the first lady will fly to Brussels today for the NATO summit.

Pence will meet with Mitch McConnell and Kavanaugh this morning. He will also sit down for interviews with local television and radio stations from states represented by endangered Democratic senators, according to Bloomberg News


California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who will retire at the end of this term, explained why he has not spent the nearly $15 million remaining in his campaign war chest: “Having a fund increases one’s relevance. … You want me to spend it and have no more money and nobody is going to call anymore? That’s really dumb.” (New York Times)



-- Temperatures and humidity levels will increase in the District today. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Bright blue skies allow the sunshine to heat things up quickly. Highs should peak in the lower 90s for most. Humidity is still not bad but does climb enough to add to the discomfort, as breezes will be lacking.”

-- The Nationals lost to the Pirates 6-3, bringing Washington’s record back down to .500. (Jorge Castillo)

-- Members of the D.C. Council are moving to overturn the ballot initiative that called for raising tipped workers’ minimum wage. Reis Thebault and Peter Jamison report: “D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Brandon T. Todd (D-Ward 4) said they intend to file a bill on Tuesday to overturn Initiative 77, which voters approved 56 percent to 44 percent in June. … The repeal legislation would not be taken up until the fall, after the council returns from its summer recess. It would probably be the first salvo in protracted negotiations between the ballot measure’s supporters and the council.”

-- Several council members have also introduced a bill that would require D.C. restaurants to accept cash, pushing back against a growing “cashless” trend in the industry. From Fenit Nirappil: “Critics of no-cash policies say they shut out the 1 in 10 District residents who don’t have bank accounts and undocumented immigrants who can’t easily sign up for cards. Some people also pay in cash so they can better track their spending or to avoid having their card information stolen.”


Jimmy Kimmel returned from vacation and belatedly responded to Trump's comments about him during a rally late last month:

Stephen Colbert examined another one of Trump's recent rallies:

The Post’s fact-checking team found that 76 percent of the factual claims Trump made last week during his Montana rally were false, misleading or unsupported by evidence:

President Trump's campaign style rally on July 5 was littered with claims that are false, misleading or lack evidence. (Video: Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

Prince William's youngest son, Prince Louis, was christened at St. James's Palace in London:

Prince Louis, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was christened in London on July 9. (Video: Reuters)

The mother mallard who was cared for by Interior Department employees sadly abandoned her nest of nine eggs after rats devoured eight of them. But yesterday, a single duckling emerged from its egg:

Employees of the U.S. Department of the Interior say they found a lone duckling on July 9, days after rats ate the other eggs in his nest. (Video: Department of the Interior)