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Democrats threaten aggressive Kavanaugh probe if they win a majority in November

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is shown here at a a rally calling for criminal justice reform outside the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Congressional Democrats said they would investigate sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh if he is confirmed to the Supreme Court without an extensive background probe and the party reclaims Congress.

Who said this?

According to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), “as soon as Democrats get gavels,” the party will push an investigation, even if Kavanaugh is already seated on the high court by that time, various media outlets reported.

Rep. Eric Swallwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, also said in an interview that the party could push an investigation into allegations against Kavanaugh.

"If they ramrod this nomination through, and we win the majority, we can still investigate this on the House side, and certainly the question as to whether a Supreme Court justice committed perjury is something you could look at,” Swalwell said. "Hopefully it doesn’t come to that; hopefully they do this right."

He added: "Because it’s going to get investigated either way and it would be better not to have to investigate a sitting judge.”

The comments underscore a persistent Democratic focus on Kavanaugh. And it could spur the turnout of more liberal voters in November, regardless of whether the GOP confirms him.

“You can't ignore a crime victim's claim that something happened, refuse to investigate, throw her up into the stand without the least bit of support for her, without the least bit of effort to corroborate what she says and then walk away from that,” Whitehouse told CNN.

If Democrats take the House or Senate, Democratic chairmen “could use their subpoena authority to make Kavanaugh's first year on the bench miserable,” Politico reported.

Would this be unusual?

If the turn of events led to the opening of impeachment investigative proceedings for Kavanaugh, it would be a rare move, the news outlet noted. The last time Congress initiated its own impeachment inquiry was 1980. That’s when lawmakers created the Judicial Conference of the United States which oversees “complaints about the conduct or disability of federal judges.”

Congress typically takes up the issue only if the Judicial Conference refers a case to Capitol Hill, the report noted. In the past, judges who get into trouble will often resign before the complaints become public.

One last thing…
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