Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

“No man has been taken down at the height of his powers,” my coworker and fellow staff writer Anne Branigin said to me in Slack earlier.

We were discussing Brett Kavanaugh, and all the acrobatics the Senate Judiciary is doing to pretend like they want the confirmation of the Supreme Court nominee to be a fair and just process.

We know it is an act, and the American people are their captive audience as they go about keeping up appearances and pretending like they are doing all they can to ensure the vetting of Kavanaugh is on the up and up.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, confirmed Tuesday that an outside counsel—a woman—was hired to handle the questioning of Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. The identity of the outside counsel is being kept secret out of concern for her safety, according to CNN. She will be asking questions on behalf of the GOP senators while the Democrats will do their own questioning.

Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday, “As I said earlier, and I think you already know, we have hired a female assistant to go on staff and to ask these questions in a respectful and professional way. We want this hearing to be handled very professionally, not a political sideshow like you saw the—put on by the Democrats when they were questioning Judge Kavanaugh.”

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OK, Mitch.

If the GOP were actually concerned about making sure this was handled professionally and thoroughly, why are they still rushing the vote? Blasey Ford is scheduled to give her testimony on Thursday, and the Judiciary says it will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation Friday morning. Why the hurry?

What about the other women that are accusing Kavanaugh? Are we not going to have the opportunity to hear from them as well?

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Grassley claims using the outside counsel will pull politics out of the situation.

“We have done it because we want to depoliticize the whole process like the Democrats politicized the Anita Hill thing,” he said. “The whole purpose is to create an environment where it is what Dr. Ford has asked for—it be professional and not be a circus. That’s what we’re up to.”

The outside counsel is said to be an “experienced sex-crimes prosecutor.”

Michael Bromwich, an attorney for Ford, expressed concerns about the outside counsel in a letter to the committee, writing, “This is not a criminal trial for which the involvement of an experienced sex crimes prosecutor would be appropriate. The goal should be to develop the relevant facts, not try a case.”

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Meanwhile, lawyers for Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to detail allegations against Kavanaugh, responded to inquiries from Judiciary committee attorneys about whether their client would be willing to provide evidence supporting her claims to the committee.

John Clune, an attorney for Ramirez, said on Twitter:“Our client stands by the facts of the New Yorker story as reported. We are in contact with the Senate Judiciary Committee to determine the best process to provide Senators with additional information. We remain adamant that an FBI investigation, where all witnesses are questioned under threat of perjury, is the only way to get the truth. Our client remains willing to cooperate with such an inquiry.”

It seems as though everyone is willing to cooperate with an FBI investigation. Everyone, that is, except the Judiciary Committee and Kavanaugh himself.

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What exactly is the problem?

If the goal is to uncover as much truth as possible to prove that Kavanaugh is qualified and eligible for the position he is up for, why is an innocent man pushing back so hard against an investigation? What exactly is he running from?

As it stands now, no matter what comes out in the Blasey Ford testimony Thursday, the Judiciary is determined to push Kavanaugh through.

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What recourse will the American people have when that happens?