It would seem like an obvious question, but so far no Republican is asking it.
Why is the recently made unsubstantiated accusation of Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct from 36 years ago, when he was in high school, fair game for Democrats to use against his Supreme Court nomination, but court-documented allegations of spousal abuse by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is dismissed as water under the bridge?
Brown is in the midst of a re-election campaign against Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) but court records from 1986 that contain his name are getting very little attention from the Ohio press.
Me Too Ohio launched an ad campaign last week about Brown’s 1986 divorce papers, which include accusations from his former wife Larke Reechie that he physically abused her.
His ex now defends him and denounced the ad, but there is no question that in 1986 she was afraid of Brown and felt threatened by him. Why else would she have filed for and been granted a temporary restraining order?
There is no such evidence regarding the Kavanaugh accusation. The FBI has refused to investigate and there are no known police reports or court records that were filed at the time.
Yet the Democrats are using the 36-year-old accusation in an attempt to derail a Supreme Court nomination while ignoring the court complaint against one of their own, Brown, who will end up voting on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“While the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh are rightfully being aired out, Sherrod Brown’s court-documented domestic abuse continues to be swept under the rug,” Blaine Kelly, communications director for the Ohio Republican Party, told The Ohio Star. “It is the height of hypocrisy to demand answers from Judge Kavanaugh, but not Sherrod Brown.”
Kavanaugh said Monday he is willing to answer questions about the accusation dating back to his high school days in Maryland. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, said she is also willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
The contrast between this and Sherrod Brown’s case is striking.
Anyone looking for answers about the facts involved in the accusations against Brown only need to go search the court records in Franklin County, Ohio. No hearings needed.
According to records on file at the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Recchie alleged in her divorce complaint that Brown “has been guilty of gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty.”
Recchie sought a restraining order against Brown to keep him from “doing bodily harm” to her. Recchie claimed to be “in fear for the safety and well-being of myself and our children due to [Brown’s] physical violence and abusive nature” and said Brown “intimidated, pushed, shoved and bullied” her on multiple occasions, according to the Daily Caller.
A judge granted a seven-count restraining order against Brown. Recchie would later accused Brown of violating the order and said he “pushed me up against the wall with his arms in order to pass and entered the house.”
According to a Columbus Dispatch article from 1989, Recchie again accused her ex-husband of behaving violently. This time, she said, Brown pounded on her door so hard that he broke it and assaulted her new husband, Joseph Recchie. Both Recchies filed police reports but later chose not to press charges.
Yet, Recchie has since backtracked on her repeated allegations, saying they were mere “angry words” as part of an “unfriendly” divorce. If that is indeed the case, she needs to apologize to those in the court system and police in Franklin County, who expended public resources to protect her from what she said was a threat.
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.