In the wake of a new report by The New York Times revealing additional information about sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, several Democratic presidential candidates have called for Kavanaugh to be impeached.
The Times story, an excerpt of an upcoming book by reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, reveals additional details about allegations by Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh “pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her” at a dorm party when the two were freshmen at Yale.
It also describes a second incident at another college party in which a “classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”
The Times reporters said that Stier reported the incident to the FBI and to senators, but the FBI failed to investigate. Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate last October by a vote of 50-48.
After the story was published on Saturday, Democratic candidates began speaking out. On Twitter, Julián Castro, who served as secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama, wrote, “It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. He should be impeached.”
One of the instances in which Kavanaugh has been accused of lying is when he claimed that Ramirez’s account of the Yale dorm party was untrue. In sworn testimony before the Senate during his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh said, “None of the witnesses in the room support that. If that had happened, that would have been the talk of campus in our freshman dorm.”
But according to the Times, “Our reporting suggests it was [the talk of the campus].”
“Ms. Ramirez’s legal team gave the F.B.I. a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence. But the bureau — in its supplemental background investigation — interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own,” Pogrebin and Kelly wrote.
Castro called on Congress to “review the failure of the Department of Justice to properly investigate the matter.”
Next was Sen. Kamala Harris, who as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
“I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people,” Harris tweeted on Sunday morning. “He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the impeachment of both Kavanaugh and Donald Trump. “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached,” she wrote.
Beto O’Rourke also tweeted about it, writing, “Yesterday, we learned of another accusation against Brett Kavanaugh—one we didn’t find out about before he was confirmed because the Senate forced the F.B.I. to rush its investigation to save his nomination. We know he lied under oath. He should be impeached.”
Appearing on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who also questioned Kavanaugh at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, said she thought the confirmation process was a “sham.”
“I strongly oppose him, based on his views on the executive power which will continue to haunt our country, as well as how he behaved, including the allegations that we are hearing more about today,” Klobuchar said. “My concern here is that the process was a sham.”
She also accused Attorney General William Barr of “shielding documents” lawmakers would need to make an impeachment case against Kavanaugh. “I think the whole thing was a sham and that those documents need to be turned over as well as the documents that the White House hid, from his time in the White House counsel’s office—all of that needs to come forward to even look at a proceeding like that,” Klobuchar said.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans are rallying behind Kavanaugh, as they did during the confirmation hearings:
Impeaching Kavanaugh would require approval by a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate—meaning it is unlikely to happen in the current Congress.
In related news, next month, Barr will present the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, one of the Justice Department’s most prestigious awards, to the lawyers who worked on Kavanaugh’s nomination process, The New York Times reported on Friday.