‘There’s no way to do even an investigation unless we flip one of the houses….’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said Democrats will consider impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh if they retake the House of Representatives this November.
“The reality is, right now, Republicans control the House and the Senate, and there’s no way to do even an investigation unless we flip one of the houses. So I think even before you start focusing on questions about his truthfulness before a Senate committee, you’ve got to focus on the urgency of the work over the next 30 days, and that’s where my focus is,” Booker said, reports Yahoo News.
Kavanaugh was confirmed on Saturday after a contentious process involving multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He strongly denied each of the accusations, and the Senate confirmed him to the bench by a narrow vote.
Booker has been criticized as well, after an article from his college days surfaced in which he acknowledged inappropriately groping a female companion.
Booker wasn’t the only Democrat calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. Leftist groups organized a petition calling for his removal, and it has now gained more than 155,000 signatures.
“Kavanaugh has been credibly accused of sexual assault and lying under oath in 2004, 2006 and at least 30 times during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings,” the petition, organized by liberal group Credo Action, claims. “Perjury is an impeachable offense. The House Judiciary Committee should immediately investigate these accusations and work to remove Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.”
In order to initiate impeachment proceedings—which fall outside the scope of presidential pardon powers—the House need only pass a majority vote approving one or more articles on which to bring charges.
The process then falls to the Senate, which would require at least a two-thirds majority for removal after a trial-like proceeding likely presided over by the Supreme Court’s chief justice.
Of course, there are political consequences that have kept opposition parties from regularly deploying this tactic under frivolous circumstances. Even with a preponderance of evidence showing that President Bill Clinton had conducted an affair in the Oval Office and had lied about it, both publicly and under oath, Clinton was acquitted on obstruction of justice and perjury charges.
The resulting fallout netted the resignation of several members of the Republican House leadership whose infidelities were revealed in the process, and Clinton in 1998 became the first president (and one of only two since at least 1948) to see his party gain seats in the midterm election.
Another hurdle to Democrats in pressing impeachment would be a much higher burden of proof that any “high crimes or misdemeanors” had occurred to justify removal. The sexual assault allegations by three women against Kavanaugh were not proved to be credible after a supplemental background investigation by the FBI did not reveal further evidence corroborating any of the claims.
Regardless, co-director of Credo Action Heidi Hess told NBC News that Kavanaugh “repeatedly [lied] under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee” and has “no business being a judge — period.”
In order to establish perjury, Democrats would need to prove not only that statements Kavanaugh made were false, but that the alleged falsehoods were uttered intentionally and with his knowledge. They would also risk the possibility that any false statements made by accuser Christine Blasey Ford would be subjected to the same legal scrutiny—with the additional chance that Ford’s lawyers, and politicians including Sen. Dianne Feinstein who colluded with her, might face charges on subornation of perjury.
At a rally in Iowa, Booker called Democrats to electoral action, urging the angry and upset voters to “stay faithful.”
“We’re not defined by a president who does not believe women,” Booker said, referring to President Trump’s defense of Kavanaugh. “We’re going to be defined when this state says not only do we believe women, we elect women!”