Brett Kavanaugh Explains This Viral Moment

Says he didn't recognize Parkland school shooting victim's dad
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 13, 2018 10:00 AM CDT
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Fred Guttenberg, left, attempts to shake hands with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, right, during a break in his confirmation hearing on Sept. 4.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he would have shaken the hand of a school shooting victim's father during a break in last week's Senate hearing had he recognized him before being whisked away by security detail. Kavanaugh's explanation for the encounter with Fred Guttenberg, captured in a viral photo, was among a 263-page response to written questions from senators on a range of issues, including abortion, executive power, and his personal finances, reports the AP. Kavanaugh wrote that he assumed the man who approached and "touched my arm" had been one of the many protesters in the hearing room.

Guttenberg's 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was among 17 people killed in the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. "If I had known who he was, I would have shaken his hand, talked to him, and expressed my sympathy. And I would have listened to him," Kavanaugh wrote. The Judiciary Committee is set to meet Thursday to consider Kavanaugh's confirmation, a vote that's expected to take place later this month. Risking a review from the Senate Ethics Committee, Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday released 28 new committee confidential documents he said "raise more serious and concerning questions" about Kavanaugh's honesty.

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