Editor’s note: This article has been updated and revised to add context regarding the nature of the transcript and to clarify that other discrepancies exist.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's remarks about his high school saying that "What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep" do not appear in a transcript of the speech he submitted in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire regarding his nomination. It’s not clear whether the remarks were ad libbed and therefore never appeared in the prepared version, or whether they were omitted along with other material after the fact.
Nominees are required to submit both speeches and published writings to the committee. In the questionnaire, Kavanaugh lists his March 30, 2015, speech at Catholic University. He provides a link to the video of it, and in the “Published Writings” appendix to the questionnaire provides an essay that appeared in the school’s law review, which he calls “a published version” of the speech. The “Speeches” appendix includes no transcript of the speech.
The video and published version of the speech differ repeatedly, suggesting that Kavanaugh was speaking from loose notes or veered frequently from a prepared text. Some material appears in one version but not the other, while some material appears in both but in different order.
In the actual speech as delivered, Kavanaugh refers to Georgetown Prep's motto of being "men for others" and then says, "Three classmates of mine at Georgetown Prep were graduates of this law school in 1990 and are really, really good friends of mine: Mike Bidwill, Don Urgo, and Phil Merkle. And they were good friends of mine then and are still good friends of mine as recently as this weekend, when we were all on email together. But fortunately we had a good saying that we've held firm to to this day, as the dean was reminding me before the talk, which is, 'What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep.' That's been a good thing for all of us, I think."
The published version says, "I attended Mater Dei and Georgetown Prep. Georgetown Prep's motto was to be 'men for others.' I have tried to live that creed. I am proud to say that three Georgetown Prep classmates of mine--Mike Bidwill, Don Urgo, and Phil Merkle--happen to be 1990 graduates of this law school. They remain very good friends of mine, and they well reflect the values and excellence of both Georgetown Prep and this law school."
The essay appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of the Catholic University Law Review. It does not appear to be a pre-existing essay, as it begins with Kavanaugh's remarks thanking the dean who introduced him. It's not clear why the transcript differs from Kavanaugh's remarks as he delivered them, or whether the transcript was generated by Kavanaugh or the school.
A school official referred TYT to the law review's website, which says, "The Law Review publishes articles submitted by legal scholars and practitioners on a quarterly basis." Messages left for the Spring 2016 editor-in-chief were not returned.
Kavanaugh's behavior at Georgetown Prep has come into question due to the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist who says Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a party they attended in high school.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations. Even beforehand, however, his credibility had been challenged by Democrats on a range of issues. After his nomination, Kavanaugh said, “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.”
Kavanaugh is expected to testify again on Monday.
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