Please verify

Watch LIVE

Democratic group files perjury 'complaint' against Brett Kavanaugh. But there's a big problem.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh's critics claimed he committed perjury during his Senate hearings last week. That's not true, legal scholars say. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A controversial Democratic PAC, the Democratic Coalition, claimed over the weekend it had filed a perjury "complaint" against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The group alleges that Kavanaugh committed perjury during his hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. It also says he committed perjury during hearings related to his confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

What are the details?

The group said it submitted its "criminal complaint" with the Justice Department.

The group said it would file a similar complaint with the clerk for D.C. Circuit Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland, whom former President Barack Obama nominated to the Supreme Court in 2016 to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans denied Garland a hearing and a floor vote.

"Judge Kavanaugh testified falsely under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee and specifically to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in both 2004 and 2006 during hearings related to his confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and twice during his own Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week," the group alleged.

"In those hearings, Kavanaugh denied any knowledge or use of Senate Judiciary Committee emails in his role as a White House staff specialist on judicial nominations. However, a newly released email dated July, 28, 2002 shows that he did indeed possess, use and have knowledge of those stolen emails," it explained.

Kavanaugh's critics hedge their claim over his 2004 and 2006 denials that he received information prepared by Democratic staffers on then-President George W. Bush's judicial nominees. The documents had been unethically obtained and circulated by a Republican Senate aide.

As it turns out, Kavanaugh was emailed some of the information. Whether he was aware of the email or not is unknown.

What are the problems?

There are several problems with the group's claim.

First, only the federal government can lawfully file federal criminal complaints. Second, Garland is not in a position to immediately review a perjury complaint because he is a sitting judge on a federal appeals court. As far as federal judicial hierarchy is concerned, matters are first litigated at the district court level before they can be appealed to a higher court.

Then there are problems with the perjury claim itself.

As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pointed out, legal scholars have already debunked claims that Kavanaugh committed perjury.

Indeed, Vox spoke to four legal scholars; none agreed that Kavanaugh perjured himself. The scholars described claims of perjury as "feeble" and explained nothing Kavanaugh has said before the Senate meets the "high bar" for perjury.

(H/T: Hot Air)

Most recent
All Articles