This may sound like partisan hackery, and it very well could be, but this aggressive question from a Democratic senator to the Republican nominee for the Supreme Court is based on a very strange and very true story, and may hint at inside knowledge. Per The Washington Post:
Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball tickets over the past decade and at times reported liabilities that could have exceeded the value of his cash accounts and investment assets, according to a review of Kavanaugh’s financial disclosures and information provided by the White House.
White House spokesman Raj Shah told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh built up the debt by buying Washington Nationals season tickets and tickets for playoff games for himself and a “handful” of friends. Shah said some of the debts were also for home improvements.
In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a loan. Each credit card held between $15,000 and $50,000 in debt, and a Thrift Savings Plan loan was between $15,000 and $50,000.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is asking the question also thanks to a publicly disclosed e-mail from 2001, where Kavanaugh wrote that he has blown “still another game of dice.”
Now, as someone who has been gambling for a long time, I feel the need to defend Brett Kavanaugh (*barf*). Just because he gambles does not disqualify him from holding federal office. It’s crazy that we live in a country where Wall Street can literally gamble with pensions of entire cities on complicated financial instruments that they don’t even understand, but the common man can’t put $5 on a football game. However, being five to six figures in debt for Nationals tickets is incredibly strange, and I will let lawyer Luppe B. Luppen detail why we cannot just outright dismiss Kavanaugh’s baseball tickets as just another overpriced quirk of our nation’s capital.
The question as to how a Supreme Court nominee racked up more debt than he had assets is a legitimate one, and gambling debts is an obvious question to ask. Sheldon Whitehouse has asked many more questions pertaining to gambling than just whether Kavanaugh has a problem with it, and this looks like it may be a story that won’t go away until we get a concrete answer as to how someone could accumulate up to six figures in debt for freaking baseball tickets.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.