News Release

“Congress Must Investigate Kavanaugh’s Lies Because the Courts Will Not”


LISA GRAVES, lisa at
Co-director of Documented Investigations and former chief counsel for nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Graves said today: “On Tuesday, a panel of federal judges dismissed 83 ethics complaints filed against Brett Kavanaugh, stating that the Code of Conduct for United States Judges “must be dismissed because, due to his elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh is no longer a judge covered by” the relevant act. [PDF]

Said Graves: “John Roberts referred the ethics complaints — that had been filed against Kavanaugh for his conduct while serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — to the Tenth Circuit court to examine. That court refused to apply the Code to Kavanaugh, even though the core of the ethics complaints against him was based on his deceptive testimony under oath before the U.S. Senate. The Code applies to the conduct of all U.S. federal judges, except for those on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“A core tenet of American democracy is that no person, no matter how powerful, is above the law — not a president or a judge on the Supreme Court. Because the courts will not police themselves by investigating the 83 ethics complaints filed against Brett Kavanaugh based on his testimony to the Senate, Congress must do so. As I wrote in September, I believe there is strong evidence that Kavanaugh committed perjury in his testimony to obtain his initial appointment to the D.C. Circuit and he lied repeatedly in his testimony in September to obtain confirmation to the Supreme Court. I call on the U.S. House of Representatives to examine these matters because neither judges nor the president’s lawyers or children should be allowed to lie to Congress with impunity.”

Graves added: “Congress also needs to secure documents about Kavanaugh that were improperly withheld from the Senate and conduct a full investigation into the evidence provided that Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and others, since the White House thwarted a full investigation of all relevant witnesses, including Kavanaugh himself. Under our Constitution, judges are only allowed to serve with ‘good behavior’ and Kavanaugh’s deceitful statements under oath violate that requirement. Of course, the Code of Conduct should apply to the judges on our nation’s highest court, but the House need not wait for the extreme partisans in the Senate or the White House to require that in order to investigate the manifest misconduct of Kavanaugh, who is unworthy of a position of trust on our Supreme Court.”

Graves was the chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Kavanaugh first went before the Committee. She wrote several pieces documenting Kavanaugh’s lying under oath and appeared on such IPA news releases as “’Kavanaugh Lied Under Oath About Memos I Wrote’” and “Kavanaugh’s Pattern of Lying Under Oath” see here.

Note: IPA senior analyst Sam Husseini has challenged the widespread use of the term “Justice” as an honorific to judges on the Supreme Court as corrosive to the actual concept of justice — see the piece “Stop Calling Him ‘Justice Roberts.’