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How Brett Kavanaugh explains his baseball ticket debt

Updated 10:17 PM ET, Wed September 12, 2018

Washington (CNN) - Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee who has drawn scrutiny from Democrats for the thousands of dollars of credit card debt incurred by purchasing baseball tickets, says he was paid by friends for the cost of the tickets "to the dollar."

"Everyone in the group paid me for their tickets based on the cost of the tickets, to the dollar," Kavanaugh told senators in written questions for the record submitted Wednesday night. "No one overpaid or underpaid me for tickets. No loans were given in either direction."

Kavanaugh's personal finances were a point of inquiry from several Democratic senators in their follow-up questions submitted to the nominee after his nomination hearing last week. Over the course of 263 pages, he responded to a range of questions ranging from his views on areas like abortion and presidential power to his role in receiving documents Senate Democrats say were stolen while he was serving in the White House counsels office.

He also responded to questions about potential gambling debts, saying he had none, as well as his membership to a country club.

Kavanaugh described the baseball tickets as part of a group purchase divided amongst friends and avid Washington Nationals fans. Kavanaugh estimated he has attended "a couple hundred games" over the period of 2005 through 2017, when he purchased four season tickets, and also playoff ticket packages for the four years the Nationals reached the National League playoffs.

"I have attended all 11 Nationals home playoff games in their history," Kavanaugh noted in his answers. "(We are 3-8 in those games.)"

His rationale for the tickets: "I am a huge sports fan."

Beyond his baseball fandom, Kavanaugh noted in response to questions that has "not had gambling debts or participated in 'fantasy' leagues."

Kavanaugh has spent almost his entire professional career in government service, noted that his "annual income and financial worth substantially increased in the last few years as a result of a significant annual salary increase for federal judges; a substantial back pay award in the wake of class litigation over pay for the Federal Judiciary."

While Kavanaugh says in his answers he is not currently carrying his debt beyond his home mortgage, he did note that "over the years, we carried some personal debt. That debt was not close to the top of the ranges listed on the financial disclosure reports."

As to what drove that debt, Kavanaugh said it was primarily related to his home. "Over the years, we have sunk a decent amount of money into our home for sometimes unanticipated repairs and improvements," Kavanaugh said in his response.

Kavanaugh's membership to the exclusive Chevy Chase Club came with no discounts, he said. "We paid the full price of the club's entry fee, and we pay regular dues in the same amount that other members pay."


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