Democratic Presidential Candidates Call for Kavanaugh Impeachment as Trump Defends HimRolling Stone — Peter Wade
On Saturday night, the New York Times reported a third incident of unwanted sexual conduct by now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The event allegedly took place while Kavanaugh was a college student at Yale and was witnessed by classmate Max Steir, who “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,” according to the Times.
The Times piece also focused on the allegations made by Deborah Ramirez, another Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who came forward prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, who says he dropped his pants and pushed his penis toward her, causing her to swat it away with her hand. “I had gone through high school, I’m the good girl, and now, in one evening, it was all ripped away,” Ramirez told the Times. The paper was also able to verify Ramirez’s story with “at least seven people” she told about the incident.
Republicans, including President Donald Trump, are again dismissing the allegations as they did prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Trump tweeted that the accusations were libelous and stood behind Kavanaugh, claiming the women are “trying to influence his opinions,” and called for the Department of Justice to intervene, though he did not say how that would be possible.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” the president wrote. “The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!”
And Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) also came to the justice’s defense on This Week, saying the Times is looking to “just really dig up any dirt they can on the guy.”
“And you know what, the Judiciary Committee did what we should have done. We held a hearing, we invited the principal witness to testify, we’ve heard it, the American people heard it and at the end of the day, the American people made a judgment that the evidence wasn’t there, the corroboration wasn’t there,” Cruz said.
But Cruz is wrong. The American people did not make that judgment, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin decided Kavanaugh’s fate. The American people, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll, believed Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford more than Kavanaugh. Forty-five percent of respondents said they believed Ford, compared to 33 percent who said they believed Kavanaugh.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and questioned Kavanaugh during his confirmation, former Obama cabinet secretary Julián Castro, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have begun to call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, saying it is clear he perjured himself under oath during his confirmation.
“I sat through those hearings,” Harris tweeted. “Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. 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.”
Castro said on Twitter that the matter should be investigated further and Kavanaugh should be impeached for “lying under oath,” writing, “It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. He should be impeached. And Congress should review the failure of the Department of Justice to properly investigate the matter.”
And progressive organizations have also come out in favor of a new investigation. The Center for Popular Democracy, Women’s March and Demand Justice released a joint statement that said, “The evidence that Kavanaugh committed perjury in his Senate testimony is mounting. Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to sit as a Supreme Court justice in the face of so many credible allegations that he sexually assaulted these women. House Democrats must not delay in launching an impeachment probe.”
Democratic candidates Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Elizabeth Warren both took to Twitter on Saturday calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
O’Rourke wrote: “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.”
And Warren wrote: “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.”