Speed Reads

Kavanaugh Confirmation Kerfuffle

Brett Kavanaugh paid off up to $200,000 in debt last year, but the White House has an explanation

Major League Baseball is perhaps the only affordable major pro sport left in America, but Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh still managed to max out three credit cards and a Thrift Savings Plan loan buying tickets to see the Washington Nationals in 2016, the White House said Wednesday. In financial disclosure forms, Kavanaugh reported having $60,000 to $200,000 in debt in 2016, not including his $865,000 mortgage, and White House spokesman Raj Shah tells The Washington Post that President Trump's nominee went into debt buying Nats season tickets and playoff game tickets for himself and a "handful" of friends, and also on home improvements.

Kavanaugh paid off the debt in 2017, or at least enough of the debt to get it below the reporting threshold, and he has stopped buying season tickets, Shah said. The financial disclosure forms do not require that Kavanaugh disclose the source or nature of his payments, but as a federal appellate judge, Kavanaugh earns about $220,000 a year, and he made $27,000 teaching at Harvard Law School in 2017, according to the disclosures. Shah said the undisclosed number of unidentified friends paid Kavanaugh back for their share of the tickets. Kavanaugh has a habit of going into debt, presumably to watch baseball, and also reported $60,000 to $200,000 in 2006, the year he was confirmed as an appellate judge.

In all, Kavanaugh reported assets of between $15,000 and $65,000, which does not include a number of things, like his house in Chevy Chase or his federal retirement account. You can read more about Kavanaugh's assets and liabilities at The Washington Post.