HUFFINGTON POST --- 09/11/2018
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wants to know if Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, has a gambling problem.
“Have you ever sought treatment for a gambling addiction?” Whitehouse asks pointedly as part of a series of questions submitted this week about Kavanaugh’s unexplained personal debts.
In 2016, Kavanaugh reported credit card and personal loan debts of between $60,000 and $200,000. The Trump White House said these debts were the result of Kavanaugh buying baseball tickets for friends who later paid him back, as well as some spending on home improvements. The 2016 debts did not appear on Kavanaugh’s 2017 disclosure form because they were either entirely paid off or fell below the reporting threshold. Kavanaugh also reported between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt in 2006.
The fact that Kavanaugh accrued such high debts through baseball tickets attracted notice, but surprisingly, not a single senator asked him about the issue during his televised judiciary committee hearings last week.
“Senators have limited time for questioning,” Rich Davidson, Whitehouse’s spokesman, said in an email. “Senator Whitehouse would have touched on many of these issues if he had additional time.”
Whitehouse is now asking about them in writing, and Kavanaugh will have to answer ? although not on camera. In addition to the baseball tickets, Whitehouse is asking Kavanaugh about his membership at an expensive country club, whether he regularly plays poker and how he paid for his house.
Whitehouse’s gambling questions stem, in part, from a publicly disclosed email from 2001 where Kavanaugh apologizes to his friends for “growing aggressive after blowing still another game of dice” on a weekend vacation in the Chesapeake Bay.