New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker told Yahoo News on Sunday that impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh should be considered if Democrats take control of at least one of the houses of Congress in next month’s midterm elections. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Saturday by a narrow vote following a contentious process that included multiple sexual assault allegations.
Other Democrats have raised the possibility of impeaching Kavanaugh over allegations that he committed perjury in his hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Booker is on that committee and believes that the Supreme Court Justice lied during his testimony.
Impeaching Kavanaugh would be difficult and require the Democrats to win a House majority and control that chamber’s judiciary committee. If the House convicted him in a trial then the impeachment proceeding would required a two-thirds vote to convict Kavanaugh and kick him off the Supreme Court.
On this point Booker said:
“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 was in Iowa over the weekend, and made several campaign appearances on behalf of Democratic congressional candidates. He said his main focus right now is helping secure a Democratic majority. After the midterms, he said, Democrats can determine what to do about Kavanaugh and where he fits into other priorities.
“I think that after the dust settles on the night of November 6th, I think that’s where we start to evaluate … what is the best thing for us to be focusing on in terms of what’s best for America and the American people,” Booker said.
In one of his appearances in Iowa he called for electoral action, referring to comments made by Donald Trump last week as he mocked one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
“We’re not defined by a president who mocks a hero in Dr. Blasey Ford. We’re not defined by a president who does not believe women. We’re going to be defined when this state says not only do we believe women, we elect women!” Booker said.
Democrats have a strong chance of taking the House in the midterms. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who would most likely become chair of the House Judiciary Committee if the Democrats have a majority, has said he supports the idea of investigating Kavanaugh for perjury, which could begin an impeachment process.
The perjury allegations against Kavanaugh come from three things: his denials of all the sexual assault accusations levied against him, his claims about his youthful drinking and evidence that he lied under oath during prior confirmation hearings.
An FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations was authorized by the White House after being requested by Republicans. The White House limited the scope of the investigation and said it could not include allegations of perjury.
Booker read the FBI’s full report on the probe and said it was not satisfactory to him and his Democratic colleagues.
“I think the way the FBI was limited in their investigation was a sham. There were so many things even in the handful of interviews they did do that would have motivated investigators to ask more questions, interview more people,” Booker said. “Clearly the FBI was severely constrained in the scope of their investigation in a way that did not honor the courage of the survivors who came forward.”
Booker also said there were “a number of things that the FBI could have easily investigated to see if he was lying about his past conduct.”
He said he supported further investigation of Kavanaugh.
“If there is conclusory evidence that shows unequivocally that he lied to a Senate committee, that is a crime and he should be held accountable for those criminal acts,” Booker said.
Brett Kavanaugh may think he is safe in his Supreme Court seat but he is certainly not out of the woods yet as there is a definite chance he could be impeached in a Democratic Congress.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.