It became a recurring refrain at Thursday’s Senate hearing.
“I like beer,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh told senators on the Judiciary Committee, talking about today and his experiences in high school and college. “We drank beer. Sometimes probably had too many beers.”
The purpose of Thursday’s hearing was to address sexual assault allegations facing the Supreme Court nominee from Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who says a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during high school.
Drinking is mentioned repeatedly in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook, and a classmate from Yale described him as “frequently unusually drunk,” the New York Times reports.
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“I saw him very drunk many times and there is no way he remembers everything about every night,” said Dr. Elizabeth Swisher, a former classmate, according to the Times.
During the hearing, Kavanaugh’s drinking habits took center stage — and at a few points, an exasperated Brett Kavanaugh turned the questions on Democratic senators who wanted to know about his alcohol consumption in high school, college and beyond.
“Senator, what do you like to drink?” Kavanaugh asked in response to a question by Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Rachel Mitchell, the Maricopa County prosecutor who Republican senators brought in to aid with questioning, also probed Kavanaugh about his drinking.
“How many beers do you consider to be too many beers?” Mitchell asked him.
Kavanaugh didn’t give an exact number.
“Whatever the chart says,” Kavanaugh responded. “The blood alcohol chart.”
During her questioning, Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota asked Kavanaugh if he had ever blacked out and couldn’t remember part of what happened while drinking.
“You’re asking about — blackout?” Kavanaugh responded. “I don’t know, have you?”
“Could you answer the question, judge?” Klobuchar said.
“I’m curious if you have,” Kavanaugh told Klobuchar.
“I don’t have a drinking problem,” Klobuchar responded.
“Nor do I,” Kavanaugh said.
The committee took a 15-minute break shortly after that exchanging.
When the hearing resumed — in one of the lighter, less tense moments in the day’s marathon hearing — Kavanaugh apologized to Klobuchar for turning the question on her.
“I’m sorry I did that,” Kavanaugh said. “This is a tough process.”
Klobuchar said she appreciated the apology.