After calling to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is putting public pressure on one of her fellow Democrats to get the wheels moving.
On Tuesday, Harris announced a letter she sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) urging him to have the committee "investigate recent reports about Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and to hold Mr. Kavanaugh accountable for his prior conduct and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee."
In her letter, the California senator criticized the FBI investigation conducted into last year's allegations against then-nominee Kavanaugh as "extremely limited" and said she would like to see Nadler's committee look into the following list of "questions and investigative leads":
- Any information relating to how and why the FBI's investigation was limited in scope.
- Any information about the interviews conducted by the FBI during the supplemental background investigation.
- Any information relating to Brett Kavanaugh's honesty during his Senate confirmation process.
- Any additional information that may be provided by potential witnesses to the sexual assault allegations, including but not limited to:
- James Roche, Mr. Kavanaugh's former Yale roommate, who claimed Kavanaugh was "belligerent and aggressive when he was very drunk."
- The list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence of Ms. [Deborah] Ramirez's allegation.
- Additional classmates of Mr. Kavanaugh's from high school and college who have tried to reach out to the FBI.
"I understand that the House Judiciary Committee has limited resources and many other responsibilities," Harris' letter concluded. "The House Judiciary Committee should pursue whatever form of investigation best suits its work and competing demands—but Mr. Kavanaugh's appointment to a lifetime seat on our highest court warrants a similarly rigorous approach."
The letter comes two days after Harris tweeted that Kavanaugh "must be impeached" in the wake of a New York Times story containing allegations about Kavanaugh's behavior at a drunken dorm party in college.
However, the allegation came from a lone third-party witness (who also happens to have been a Clinton impeachment defense lawyer), and the alleged victim reportedly says that she doesn't remember the incident ever happening and refused to talk to reporters about the matter. The New York Times later issued a correction to address the story's initial glaring omission about the alleged victim.
Following Harris' and others' calls to impeach Kavanaugh in the wake of the article's publication, Nadler said that his committee would look into the issue, but would remain focused on its impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump.
"It's one thing for a presidential candidate or anybody else to say it's their opinion that something should be done," Nadler told WNYC radio. "We have official jurisdiction. Whether to exercise that jurisdiction is a consequential action which we have to be able to justify."
Several congressional Republicans have come out in defense of Kavanaugh in the recent controversy. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of "reopening the sad and embarrassing chapter they wrote last September." The same day, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted that "Justice Kavanaugh will not be impeached over these scurrilous accusations."
"This is what happens when partisans become obsessive," stated Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), "and when reporters spend a year digging for dirt and find nothing, but don't want to return their fat book advance."
Harris has even drawn criticism from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who said that "she really should put an alleged in front of the word victims, especially in the case in the New York Times essay, the baffling essay, the baffling editing process that they put forward."