Published with the generous permission of Amee Vanderpool. For more of Amee's work, visit her Shero newsletter.
By Amee Vanderpool
In November of 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Republican Chuck Grassley, released a 28-page report that concluded that there was “no verifiable evidence” to substantiate any of the sexual assault claims made against then-Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Take special note of the committee’s choice in using the word “verifiable” in their summation. It was a choice meant to be as intentionally manipulative as Kavanaugh’s crocodile tears during his testimony.
At the crux of the report’s glorified dismissal of any wrongdoing in favor of Kavanaugh was the unverified and thus erroneous claim that one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Deborah Ramirez, was “likely” mistaken when she alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her. The reason for the mistake, according to the report, was that another Yale student was allegedly known for exposing himself in the exact same ways in which Kavanaugh had been accused. Take special note of the use of the word “likely” with regard to Ramirez. It is a lawyer’s trick that is meant to denote confidence and assuredness in a statement when one cannot conclusively and legally provide proof.
This new theory of mistaken identity was concocted by a Colorado-based attorney named Joseph C Smith Jr, according to a non-redacted copy of a 2018 email obtained by the Guardian. The concept was sold to the Judiciary Committee by the committee’s then-lead counsel, Mike Davis, a friend and former colleague of Smith.
Like Kavanaugh, Smith graduated from Yale and also worked on the legal team that represented George W Bush in the 2000 presidential recount in Florida. While the name of the person making the submission of the allegation was redacted, we are able to discern that it was Smith who made this report because it includes the following note with the allegation: “I submitted this same information to a staff member of the Senate judiciary committee, Mike Davis, because I know him, and he suggested I also submit it to you.”
The new fall guy meant to take the heat for Kavanaugh was Jack Maxey, a fellow Yale classmate, and member of Kavanaugh’s fraternity, who had a “reputation” for exposing himself. Maxey was the ideal candidate to back up this new cover-up because Maxey already had the reputation that was newly attributed to Kavanaugh, and Joseph Smith was able to produce a photograph for the committee of Maxey exposing himself in his fraternity’s 1988 yearbook picture.
Here is an Oct. 2018 description from a Politico article on conservative white men becoming high-ups in the federal government and their connections to Yale and the Federalist Society:
“The Federalist Society has famously shaped the federal judiciary since its founding, promoting candidates who follow a small-government, socially conservative, and textualist interpretation of the Constitution. Every member of the Supreme Court appointed by a Republican since Clarence Thomas in 1991 has been a Federalist. Trump has bragged that The Federalist Society provided him with the list of Supreme Court nominees from which he has so far selected Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. The goal of shaping the federal judiciary unites the Trump and the Never-Trump wings of the Republican Party.”
Another term of art used to describe these conservative devotees who are purposely filtered into top governmental positions is the longstanding preference for candidates who are “Pale, Male, Yale.” Among those who fit this conservative triumvirate are Smith, the lawyer responsible for this new theory of mistaken identification, Christopher Wray, the Director of the FBI who ultimately oversaw the botched investigation, and Brett Kavanaugh himself.
What remained intentionally overlooked in the Judiciary’s final conclusion was the connection between Smith, Davis, Yale, and the Federalist Society. To say the Federalist Society was a driving force behind the nomination and confirmation of Kavanaugh is an understatement. Smith also appears to have some kind of relationship with the Federalist Society’s co-founder, Leonard Leo, whom he thanked in the acknowledgments of his book Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State.
Back to the patsy: Jack Maxey, who was never specifically named in the Judiciary’s final report. While Maxey did attend Yale with Kavanaugh at some point and was a member of the same fraternity, he was not attending Yale at the time of the incident reported by Deborah Ramirez. Maxey was still a senior in high school at the time of the alleged assault at Yale by Kavanaugh.
Maxey has also confirmed that he has never been contacted by any of the Republican staffers who were conducting the investigation. “I was not at Yale,” Maxey told the Guardian. “I was a senior in high school at the time — I was not in New Haven.” He continued by saying, “These people can say what they want, and there are no consequences, ever.” We are left to conclude at this point that “these people” refers to a myriad of Kavanaugh supporters, all with suspicious links to the government, Yale, and the Federalist Society.
A new documentary about the sexual-assault allegations made against Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh and the subsequent slapdash investigation debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2023. While the final public release date has yet to be announced, the film, entitled Justice, introduced a new witness in the investigation — one that was purportedly, and possibly intentionally, overlooked by investigators.
The documentary contains a never-before-heard recording of another Yale graduate, Max Stier, who describes a separate alleged incident that took place at Yale, in which Stier claims he witnessed Kavanaugh expose himself. According to a report in the New York Times in September of 2019, Stier wanted to tell the FBI anonymously that he recalled having seen “Kavanaugh with his pants down” at a “drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”
Jack Maxey adamantly denies that he exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez at any time. Maxey is a prominent Republican activist who has gained prominence in conservative circles for his role in sharing a portable hard drive of data from Hunter Biden’s laptop with members of the media. Maxey claims that he originally obtained the Biden hard drive from Rudy Giuliani. Maxey also previously worked as a researcher for Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast before the two had a falling out.
Maxey’s professional encumbrances are telling with regard to his close proximity to the key players involved in the Kavanaugh investigation. Considering that the Judicial Committee came to the final conclusion that there was “no verifiable evidence to support” Deborah Ramirez’s claim against Brett Kavanaugh, it is interesting that Jack Maxey was never formally named in the report, nor was he interviewed.
Another interesting aspect of the Jack Maxey saga is the fact that, according to the Guardian, Maxey seemed “to have been annoyed that Smith – whom he said he didn’t know or recall interacting with – named him in an accusatory email.”
Jack Maxey remains the perfect fall guy for Kavanaugh, given Maxey’s antics and what appears to be an ongoing incessant need for prominence within the Republican ecosphere. Moreover, the credibility of Maxey’s past professional work involving Giuliani, Bannon, and the infamous laptop make it clear that he is willing to do whatever dirty work is required of him.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of Maxey’s willingness to continue playing ball with the powers that be can be derived from his frustration with what he has been accused of and how it was done while he continues to make a point to toe the Federalist Party line by adamantly defending Kavanaugh. Maxey made a point to tell the Guardian that Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh had behaved like a “choir boy” while attending Yale. We all know there is little truth to that statement.