Democratic Presidential Candidates React To New Sexual Misconduct Claim Against Brett Kavanaugh
A new sexual misconduct claim has emerged against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was uncovered by two The New York Times journalists investigating allegations made by one of his accusers, Deborah Ramirez, during his confirmation hearings in 2018. In light of the report, some Democratic presidential candidates have called for Kavanaugh's impeachment.
Reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly published an excerpt from their forthcoming book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, in the NYT Saturday. The published report corroborates claims of sexual misconduct brought against the justice by his former classmate at Yale, Deborah Ramirez. She claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drinking game while the two were students at Yale University, according to USA Today.
The two FBI agents had found Ramirez's account "credible," as the journalists uncovered, but any further investigative efforts were reportedly stymied by the Republican-controlled Senate that had imposed strict limitations on the investigation, according to TIME.
The investigation, conducted over a span of 10 months, also found that Ramirez's legal team provided the FBI with a list of at least 25 individuals who could have corroborated her account, but the agency allegedly declined to investigate and were even unreachable for those potential witnesses, according to Vox.
Furthermore, Pogrebin and Kelly uncovered a new allegation in the process of their investigation, with a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh, Max Stier, accusing him of forcibly thrusting his penis into the hand of an unidentified student during their freshman year, according to Vox. Stier claims he told the FBI and senators about this alleged incident, but it reportedly wasn't investigated, according to BuzzFeed.
The Department of Justice, Supreme Court, and Kavanaugh did not immediately respond to Romper’s requests for comment regarding the claims made in The New York Time's report.
Following the publication of this new allegation, many have stepped forward to call for the justice's impeachment, including a handful of 2020 democratic presidential candidates. Considering the next president could play a big role in Kavanaugh's possible removal, many are curious about what the 2020 hopefuls have to say.
As the hashtag #ImpeachKavanaugh trended on Twitter Sunday, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar commented on ABC's This Week, saying, "I strongly opposed him, based on his views on 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."
She also said that impeaching Kavanaugh would require a new president, stating: "I don't think you can look at impeachment hearings without getting the documents, the House would have to get the documents, and the attorney general is shielding documents."
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently tweeted her calls for impeachment as well, saying, "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."
Candidate Julian Castro demanded this too, noting, "Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Republicans, and the Trump administration knew about corroborating witnesses and additional allegations of his sexual abuse and kept them quiet. As I said yesterday, it’s clear he lied under oath and he must be impeached."
California Sen. Kamala Harris joined in on the conversation, tweeting: "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."
President Trump has responded to the calls for impeachment in defense of the Supreme Court justice, suggesting that Kavanaugh should start "suing people for libel."
He tweeted, "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 in response to the trending hashtag calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment, Trump said, "Fake and Corrupt News is working overtime!" and included the hashtag #ProtectKavanaugh.
The White House did not immediately respond to Romper’s request for comment regarding the president's tweets.
This new allegation comes one year after survivor Christine Blasey Ford stepped out with testimony against Kavanaugh during his confirmation process last year. During testimony provided for the Senate confirmation hearings, Dr. Blasey Ford detailed an account of the then-nominee allegedly pinning her to a bed, groping her, and attempting to forcibly remove her clothes while covering her mouth, according to C-SPAN. Following Ford's testimony, which was deemed credible by Pogrebin and Kelly's investigation, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the supreme court.
Although it's unclear whether Kavanaugh will face impeachment one day, it's obvious some Democratic presidential candidates want this matter investigated further.
If you're a victim of sexual assault and need help, contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.HOPE to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. You are not alone.