Top 2020 Democratic contenders Kamala Harris and Julian Castro announced on Sunday that Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh “must be impeached,” after a new, uncorroborated and disputed allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh surfaced in a New York Times piece.
The revitalized, longshot push to get Kavanaugh removed from the high court comes as Democrats’ attempt to impeach President Trump have largely stalled. Trump, for his part, suggested Kavanaugh should sue for defamation.
The Times piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, asserted that a Kavanaugh classmate, Clinton-connected lawyer 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.”
According to the Times, Stier “notified senators and the FBI about this account, but the FBI did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly.”
But the Times did not mention that Pogrebin and Kelly’s book found that the female student in question denied any knowledge of the alleged episode.
“The book notes, quietly, that the woman Max Stier named as having been supposedly victimized by Kavanaugh and friends denies any memory of the alleged event,” wrote The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway. “Seems, I don’t know, significant.”
“Omitting these facts from the @nytimes story is one of worst cases of journalistic malpractice that I can recall,” wrote the National Review’s Washington correspondent, John McCormack.
Nevertheless, Democrats announced a new effort to topple Kavanaugh. Impeaching and removing Kavanaugh would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.
“I sat through those hearings,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “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.”
During the hearings, Harris strongly implied that Kavanaugh had improperly discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe with a Trump-connected lawyer. She provided no evidence for the insinuation, which went viral on social media.
Castro echoed that sentiment, and said Kavanaugh had committed perjury.
“It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath,” Castro wrote. “He should be impeached. And Congress should review the failure of the Department of Justice to properly investigate the matter.”
The Times’ piece also stated that well before Kavanaugh became a federal judge “at least seven people” had heard about how Kavanaugh allegedly exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez at a party. Ramirez had called classmates at Yale seeking corroboration for her story, and even told some of her classmates that she could not remember the culprit in the episode — before changing her mind and publicly blaming Kavanaugh after speaking to lawyers.
Kavanaugh, predicted by Democrats during his confirmation process to be a hardline conservative, often sided with liberal justices during the Supreme Court’s last term.
The president, meanwhile, accused the media of trying to influence him. He also went on to say that Kavanaugh should go on the offensive, taking on the media for false statements.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. 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!”
Ramirez was one of several women who had accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process. Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party when they were teens. Her attorney, Debra Katz, was quoted in a new book as saying that Ford was motivated to come forward in part by a desire to tag Kavanaugh’s reputation with an “asterisk” before he could start ruling on abortion-related cases.
“In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court,” Katz said. “He will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important.
“It is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.