Screenshot: CSPAN

In any sane or just world, Brett Kavanaugh would not be a sitting judge on any court, let alone the highest court in the land. And yet, here we are! There he sits. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported new details about the investigation into Deborah Ramirez’s allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, which included one additional second-hand allegation. The shocking nature of the piece prompted a fresh wave of calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

Lindsay Graham—notoriously stable and fair-minded on this issue—reacted today with all the callousness and partisan bile one would expect. Then McConnell addressed the matter on the Senate floor:

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The confusing nature of the story—it read like a news story, but was actually a book excerpt by two Times reporters, and editors later added a note clarifying that the journalists were unable to corroborate the previously unreported allegation—made the news cycle around the piece an absolute mess. Ben Shapiro sank perhaps to the lowest possible point, noting that since nobody has given us a detailed description of Kavanaugh’s dick, we should view the allegations with extreme skepticism.

It is utterly pointless to expect Mitch McConnell to do anything that would facilitate a thorough and fair investigation into Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, which is what the real focus of this news cycle should be. As Vox notes, the Times book excerpt story details how little the FBI did to investigate Ramirez’s claims, and how new details may show that Kavanaugh lied during his confirmation hearings. But thanks to the second, less-concrete allegation, Republicans now have a loophole to call the entire thing fake news. It’s a travesty all round, especially so for the victims being smeared in front of the whole world.