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Thu Oct 25, 2018, 06:56 PM

Dining club emails reveal Kavanaugh's close ties to Trump's solicitor general

Brett Kavanaugh, the new supreme court justice, counts the Trump administration’s solicitor general, who will be arguing cases before the high court on behalf of the president, as a close professional friend, according to emails that offer new insights into an all-male dinner club that Kavanaugh used to attend.

Emails obtained by the Guardian show that Kavanaugh, who was narrowly confirmed to the supreme court earlier this month, participated in monthly evening cocktails and dinners from 2001 to 2003 with a group of men that included Noel Francisco, who now serves as the Trump administration’s solicitor general. It is not clear whether the dinners continued after Kavanaugh became a federal judge in 2006.

Other attendees included a lawyer who is now a top strategic adviser to Rupert Murdoch, the author of the George W Bush-era “torture memos” that were used to justify illegal interrogation techniques, and two lawyers who now regularly appear before the supreme court on behalf of corporate clients.

The so-called “Eureka” dinners – named after the college that Ronald Reagan attended – were briefly raised in a written question that was submitted to Kavanaugh by senators following his initial confirmation hearing. Asked what the Eureka Club was, Kavanaugh said in a written response: “A group of friends sometimes gathered for dinner. The scheduling emails for those dinners would sometimes be titled ‘Eureka’.”

What Kavanaugh’s answer did not fully explain was that the dinners were attended by an elite group of men closely associated with the Federalist Society, the rightwing organization that has played a major role in vetting and choosing judicial appointments for Republican presidents since its founding in 1982.


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