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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
by Ariana Tobin and Justin Elliott

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh accrued as much as $200,000 in debt buying tickets to Washington Nationals baseball games.

White House spokesman Raj Shah told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh would go to games with a “handful” of friends. These friends then reimbursed him for the tickets, the White House says, and the debts have been paid off.

But the White House and Kavanaugh are not answering questions about what happened. Who did Kavanaugh buy tickets for? How did they reimburse him? Was this properly disclosed? And how was all of this treated for tax purposes?

Kavanaugh is up for one of the most powerful positions in the land. A lifelong position.

We think it’s important to figure out as much as we can about a nominee’s background before he is confirmed. So we’re turning to you.

Figuring out who Kavanaugh brought to games could be relevant to his confirmation. It would help:

  • Understand more about his relationships and any potential questions they might raise for the Supreme Court justice.
  • Get a better sense of what went into this unusual amount of debt for a judge in his position.
  • Or maybe just affirm that the guy really does love baseball for the judicial inspiration.

We’re not sure what we’ll find. But we do know that people take a lot of pictures at baseball games. Did you see Judge Kavanaugh at a game? Did you attend a game with him? Do you have any photos, and if so, will you send them our way?

Here’s what we know already:

  • We know he bought season tickets at the end of 2016, likely for the 2017 season.
  • We know he also bought tickets to some playoff games. He might not have been sitting in the same seats for those.
  • He has reportedly gone to games in the past with U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg, an Obama nominee who is his ex-roommate from law school.
  • At this year’s All-Star Game, he sat in the stands above first base. These probably weren’t in the same part of the stadium as his 2017 season tickets, but could perhaps offer a clue into where he likes to sit.
  • He’s been photographed at least twice wearing blue striped polo shirts.

We’d especially like to figure out where he sat, how many seats he bought and which friends attended games with him. If you’ve got information, please fill out the questions below or send us an email at supremecourt@propublica.org.

We may publish the information that you share with us, but we will redact any individual identifying information unless we get your permission. The more people who contribute their experiences, the more accurate a picture we’ll be able to get.

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