Kamala Harris pressures Nadler to launch Kavanaugh probe task force, despite Dems’ reluctance
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is telling House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., that if he does not have time to impeach Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, he should find someone who does.
Harris cited details from a recent New York Times report on allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, particularly those involving Deborah Ramirez, who accused him of exposing himself to her at a college party. Nadler said Monday, in response to being asked if he would impeach Kavanaugh, that his committee has its “hands full” with impeaching President Trump.
“I understand that the House Judiciary Committee has limited resources and many other responsibilities,” Harris said in a letter to Nadler sent Tuesday. “However, in the past, congressional committees have dedicated resources and established structures to pursue serious cases of misconduct — including by creating a task force and retaining outside counsel to help lead impeachment inquiries.”
Harris said Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court “warrants a similarly rigorous approach.”
Ramirez’s allegations were known during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, but Harris pointed to information in the Times’ report to claim that they were not properly investigated.
“Notably, it was reported that two FBI agents interviewed Ms. Ramirez about the event and found her credible, but lacked authorization to review her account any further,” Harris said, citing the report, adding that Ramirez’s lawyers reportedly provided the FBI with at least 25 names of those who could have had corroborating evidence, only for the FBI to interview none of them.
Now, Harris wants the House Judiciary Committee to investigate how and why the FBI was limited in the scope of its investigation, anything related from the interviews the FBI did conduct, whether or not Kavanaugh was truthful during the confirmation process, and “[a]ny additional information that may be provided by potential witnesses to the sexual assault allegations[.]”
Harris, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, is not the only candidate calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro all called for impeachment after the initial Times report.
Harris has continued to push for impeachment, despite the Times later updating the piece with information that the alleged victim in a separate reported incident declined to be interviewed and her friends said she did not recall the incident.
Harris’ Democratic colleague, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has come out against the calls for impeachment.
“We’ve got to get beyond this ‘impeachment is the answer to every problem,” Durbin said, according to Politico. “It’s not realistic. If that’s how we are identified in Congress, as the impeachment Congress, we run the risk that people will feel we’re ignoring the issues that mean a lot to them as families.”
GOP lawmakers quickly rallied around Kavanaugh Monday and vowed to fight any impeachment effort.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the current Judiciary Committee chairman who mounted one of the most passionate defenses of Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, called the attacks “beyond the pale.”
“My heart goes out to Justice Kavanaugh’s family for being forced to endure this ridiculous treatment once again,” he tweeted.
Tuesday also saw news that Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., is planning on introducing a resolution in the House calling for Nadler’s committee to conduct an impeachment inquiry related to the allegations against Kavanaugh.
President Trump, meanwhile, continued to speak out against the Times over its reporting, suggesting that Kavanaugh sue for libel and calling the newspaper itself a “journalistic disaster.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re, Judson Berger, Chad Pergram, and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.