J'accuse as the New Legal Standard
Two and a half centuries of legal precedent in the United States is based on the assumption of "innocent until proven guilty." The law provides for due process, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, trial by a jury of one's peers, and other measures preventing conviction based solely on an accusation.
"J'accuse" was the title of an editorial published in France in 1898 exposing a military cover-up of a French army captain falsely accused of espionage, later exonerated, but with the army suppressing the new evidence, concealing the army's erroneous conviction. Eerie parallels can be drawn from this story to current events involving President Trump and the Deep State.
J'accuse, meaning "I accuse," has become the new legal standard in America, at least for Supreme Court nominees. Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is in jeopardy based on the accusation of one woman, claiming sexual misconduct over thirty years ago when both were in high school.
She doesn't remember when the alleged assault occurred, or where it took place, who else was present, or any other information that would support her accusation. She doesn't want to publicly state her case to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation. Instead, she hides behind her desire for privacy and anonymity, despite this entire stunt being planned, including the accuser hiring an attorney and taking a polygraph test at least a month before she "reluctantly" went public with her accusations.
In other words, Kavanaugh is guilty simply because Christine Blasey Ford cries, "J'accuse," then runs and hides behind the skirts of her attorney and her #MeToo compatriots. There is only that one word serving as judge, jury, and executioner, throwing due process out the window.
One hundred women know Judge Kavanaugh and stand behind his honor, decency, and integrity. There is no pattern of boorish behavior, as is typically seen with sexual predators – Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Keith Ellison, to name just a few examples. There may, however, be a pattern to Dr. Ford's accusations, as there are rumors of a similar letter she wrote regarding Neil Gorsuch ahead of his confirmation.
Who needs evidence or proof of allegations when the accusation alone is enough? That's the opinion of Ford's attorney, Democrat activist Debra Katz, who said "it is not her client's job to corroborate her claims." Who needs evidence or corroboration? J'accuse is enough.
Even Senator Dianne Feinstein acknowledges, "I can't say everything is truthful." Well, isn't that grand? The grand inquisitor can't even confirm that her grand inquisition has merit.
Hillary Clinton weighed in as well, saying, "Christine Blasey Ford deserves the benefit of the doubt in her accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers." J'accuse is adequate, in other words.
What about the benefit of the doubt for Judge Kavanaugh? Despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence being on his side, it's suddenly his responsibility to prove his innocence, to disprove what a single Democrat activist claims in her j'accuse letter to Senator Feinstein.
Mrs. Clinton forgets that her husband had a string of accusers, not just a single one, meaning a pattern of behavior. Did those women receive the benefit of the doubt? Hardly. Mrs. Clinton and her "bimbo eruption team" viciously attacked the accusers and investigators, demeaning and physically threatening them.
Not only did they not have their own j'accuse moments, but they also did not even have due process. Mrs. Clinton must have a short memory.
My local newspaper, the liberal Denver Post, also stands by j'accuse legal doctrine, saying: "Kavanaugh must now clear his name if he is to be confirmed." By the paper's standards, he is guilty until he proves himself innocent – quite the opposite of the standards of American jurisprudence.
Let's play this out in a few different ways and see what the responses might be.
J'accuse Barack Obama of being a Muslim born in Kenya, not a natural-born citizen, ineligible to be president.
J'accuse the government of orchestrating 9/11, deliberately setting explosives in the towers, including Building 7, which was not hit by a plane.
J'accuse the government of orchestrating the Sandy Hook school shooting in order to advance its gun control agenda.
J'accuse the Clintons and their hired muscle of murdering dozens of people who were either in their way or threatening to expose Clinton crimes.
These are all considered conspiracy theories. Promoting them will get you banned from social media platforms, ostracized, and called names like "birther" or "truther," despite there being enough evidence out there to at least give one pause before declaring them total nonsense. Just ask Alex Jones.
Why can't j'accuse apply to accusations problematic for or damaging to the left rather than only to nominees to the Supreme Court from Republican presidents? Clarence Thomas a generation ago went through the same thing Brett Kavanaugh is going through now: an unsubstantiated accusation without corroborating evidence, in sync with Democrat senators and the entire media, designed to subvert judicial precedent and the constitutional prerogative of the president to make nominations to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh has had half a dozen FBI background checks and sits on the second highest court in the land, with nary a peep about him being a closet rapist until days before his confirmation vote. Why now?
Today we have two legal doctrines. Republicans are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Brett Kavanaugh is a rapist and predator based on a single flimsy accusation, and the burden is on him to prove a negative.
Democrats, on the other hand, are innocent even when proven guilty. James Comey detailed how Hillary Clinton mishandled secure emails and classified information, charges that normally lead to a long prison term, and concluded his findings by declaring her innocent.
J'accuse is a true witch hunt. Remember the presumed witches of Salem, who were put to death over a simple accusation. Or the millions of Soviets and East Germans finding themselves in a gulag or a grave over the accusations from a neighbor.
Adding insult to injury is the response of Republicans. Few are coming to Kavanaugh's defense; instead, they are wringing their hands, talking about fairness, acting like cowards in the face of hypocrisy and injustice. These same Republicans are a single j'accuse away from having their careers and families ruined over the standard of justice they acquiesce to.
GOP senators are being played as patsies. Democrats change the rules and goalposts every hour regarding who will testify and when and under what circumstances. They will stall and try to run out the clock until they can invoke the Biden rule, pushing off any Supreme Court nomination as long as possible, hoping for an intervening miracle like the Democrats winning the Senate in November.
Or they will stall until a few other scorned women can be paid or convinced to fabricate memories of Brett Kavanaugh's wild and crazy high school antics – with the media cheerleading each new revelation until a few squishy senators abandon honor and principle, throwing the judge overboard.
Appeasement of the j'accuse movement will only feed the beast, encouraging further such behavior. Republicans are too cowardly or clueless to recognize this.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.