News Release

Will a Member of Congress Move to Impeach Kavanaugh?


LISA GRAVES, lisa at, @thelisagraves
Graves just wrote the piece “I Wrote Some of the Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About” for Slate.

She was on the program “Democracy Now!” this morning. She is the former chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice. Graves is the co-founder of Documented, which investigates corporate influence on democracy.

She writes that Kavanaugh should be removed from his current judgeship “because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from [GOP Senate aide Manuel] Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it.

“For example, in 2004, Sen. Orrin Hatch asked him directly if he received ‘any documents that appeared to you to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.’ Kavanaugh responded, unequivocally, ‘No.’

“In 2006, Sen. Ted Kennedy asked him if he had any regrets about how he treated documents he had received from Miranda that he later learned were stolen. Kavanaugh rejected the premise of the question, restating that he never even saw one of those documents.

“Back then the senators did not have the emails that they have now, showing that Miranda sent Kavanaugh numerous documents containing what was plainly research by Democrats. Some of those emails went so far as to warn Kavanaugh not to distribute the Democratic talking points he was being given. …

Graves writes: “He lied. Under oath. And he did so repeatedly.

“Significantly, he did so even though a few years earlier he had helped spearhead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for perjury in a private civil case. Back then Kavanaugh took lying under oath so seriously that he was determined to do everything he could to help remove a president from office.

“Now we know that he procured his own confirmation to the federal bench by committing the same offense. And he did so not in a private case but in the midst of public hearings for a position of trust, for a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary.” See recent New York Times piece “Brett Kavanaugh Urged Graphic Questions in Clinton Inquiry.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today: “What’s needed is a brave member of the House to introduce a Bill of Impeachment against Kavanaugh immediately for perjury to force this issue. That’s what we need. Machinations from the Democratic Party leadership are more Kabuki theater.” See recent comments from Boyle on The Real News, in The Guardian and the IPA news release “Kavanaugh and the Federalist Society.”

Boyle was was legal adviser to Rep. Henry B. González when he released classified material on the House floor in 1992 in an attempt to impeach George H. W. Bush following the Gulf War. Bush would later write in his memoirs that if the Gulf War “drags out, not only will I take the blame, but I will probably have impeachment proceedings filed against me.”

See recent piece from The Daily Beast: “Newly Released Emails Show Brett Kavanaugh May Have Perjured Himself at Least Four Times,” which notes the documentation of Kavanaugh’s past falsehoods is only due to recently released emails, but that “only 7 percent of Kavanaugh’s White House records have been released to the public. …

“The clearest contradiction between Judge Kavanaugh’s sworn testimony and the formerly confidential email record concerns the nomination of Judge William Pryor, a conservative firebrand. In 2006, Kavanaugh was asked, by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, whether Pryor’s extreme statements disturbed him. Kavanaugh replied that he was not involved in the selection or vetting of Judge Pryor.”

The Daily Beast notes that last week, Sen. Patrick Leahy entered “a formerly-confidential email into the record that states clearly that Kavanaugh actually did interview Pryor. ‘How did the Pryor interview go?’ he was asked in December, 2002. ‘Call me,’ he replied.”

The just-disclosed emails also show a leading voice defending Kavanaugh knew he was actually involved in the Pryor nomination. Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and editor-in-chief of Lawfare blog was himself communicating with Kavanaugh about the Pryor nomination at the time, writing to Kavanagh: “I take it back. I will write something about the decision to nominate Pryor promptly. … You should send over any exculpatory information you might have quickly.”

Wittes just responded to this revelation by writing: “I’m off Twitter until further notice.”