UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect the call by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who represents Massachusetts, for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be impeached.
At least two Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday called for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be impeached.
The calls came a day after New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly said they corroborated one of the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings last year. They also reported a similar allegation, also involving a female Yale University classmate from decades ago, that was previously unknown to the public.
According to the reporters, the new claim was made by nonprofit owner Max Stier to the FBI, but the agency did not investigate it.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California said on Twitter that she “sat through those hearings” and they were a “sham.”
“Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people,” she said. “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.”
I sat through those hearings. 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.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Minutes later, Julian Castro, a former housing and urban development secretary, echoed Harris’ demand. His position marked a rapid escalation from his demand hours earlier for an investigation.
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. https://t.co/Yg1eh0CkNl
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 15, 2019
Hours thereafter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, tweeted that both Kavanaugh and President Donald Trump should be impeached. Harris and Castro have also said in the past that Trump should be impeached.
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.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 15, 2019
Pogrebin and Kelly are set to on Tuesday release a book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” based on a 10-month probe of Kavanaugh’s life at prep-school and Yale. They said they “corroborated Stier’s story with two officials who have communicated with” him.
The Times reporters also said they talked to at least seven people who heard of Ramirez’s account “long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge,” including two former Yale students who learned of it days after it allegedly occurred.
More calls for the impeachment of Brett Kavanaugh
Harris and Castro joined a number of liberal commentators in demanding Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
Conservatives, meanwhile, expressed irritation with the continued fixation on alleged misbehavior from Kavanaugh’s youth. Some sought to poke holes in the latest reporting.
Trump suggested on Twitter that Kavanaugh “start suing people for libel” or that the Justice Department “come to his rescue.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Mollie Hemingway, an editor at The Federalist, and Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, accused Pogrebin and Kelly of leaving out the fact, mentioned in the book, that the alleged victim in the new incident, Tracy Harmon Joyce, apparently does not recall it.
This is the blockbuster "new allegation" against Kavanaugh. Except it's not actually new. It was shopped to Senate Democrats at the time and they apparently found it impossible to nail down, so they ignored it – the same Senators who found the "rape boat" allegations plausible. pic.twitter.com/0183DKr0q2
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) September 15, 2019
Even on the left, a number of commentators questioned why the Times had published Pogrebin and Kelly’s reporting in the Opinion Section, framing it as a narrative about Ramirez as opposed to presenting it as hard news.
Others slammed the Times for a Saturday tweet promoting the article, which suggested “having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun.” Amid the backlash, The Times deleted the post, saying it had been “poorly phrased.”
However, many critics were left unsatisfied.
The @nytimes has deleted this, saying it was “poorly phrased,” but this is not about the wrong choice of words – it’s the constant diminishment and laughing off of women’s pain. pic.twitter.com/AXF5PeRK03
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) September 15, 2019
The Times did not immediately respond to Pluralist’s request for comment.
Pluralist was not immediately able to obtain a copy of the book, which comes out Tuesday.