Trump rebuffs calls for impeachment of Brett Kavanaugh
Us president encourages Kavanagh to sue for libel amid new sexual misconduct report
Brett Kavanaugh (right), a conservative appointed by Donald Trump, was confirmed by the US Senate in October after he denied accusations of sexual assault from three women. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty
US president Donald Trump rejected Democrats’ calls for impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday after a new report involving sexual misconduct allegations, encouraging Mr Kavanaugh to sue for libel and suggesting the Justice Department could “rescue” him.
Some Democratic presidential candidates called for Mr Kavanaugh’s impeachment, saying he lied under oath, after a New York Times report on Saturday disclosed new information about sexual misconduct allegations against him.
The Times essay, drawn from an upcoming book written by the newspaper’s reporters, said it was able to corroborate an allegation by former classmate Deborah Ramirez that Mr Kavanaugh exposed his penis to her during a drunken party at a Yale University when they were undergraduates.
“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.
It was unclear what action the Republican president was advocating the Justice Department take.
The Times article said at least seven people, including Ramirez’ mother, had heard about the incident long before Mr Kavanaugh became a judge. Mr Kavanaugh denied Ramirez’ accusations during his acrimonious Senate confirmation hearing last fall.
Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Can’t let Brett Kavanaugh give Radical Left Democrat (Liberal Plus) Opinions based on threats of Impeaching him over made up stories (sound familiar?), false allegations, and lies. This is the game they play. Fake and Corrupt News is working overtime! #ProtectKavanaugh— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
The Times piece also disclosed a previously unreported account that echoes Ramirez’ story. Former Yale classmate Max Stier describes Kavanaugh pushing his private parts into the hand of a female student at a party. The report said the classmate notified US. senators and the FBI about the incident, but the FBI did not investigate. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment on the report.
Mr Kavanaugh did not comment to the Times on the allegations. The Supreme Court press officers did not immediately return a request for comment.
Mr Kavanaugh, a conservative appointed by Mr Trump, was confirmed by the US Senate in October after he denied accusations of sexual assault from three women. After acrimonious hearings, the Senate confirmed his appointment to the high court by 50-48 vote, one of the tightest margins ever for a justice.
Mr Trump did not mention the Times article but blamed “radical left Democrats” and the “LameStream Media” for going after Mr Kavanaugh. In a series of Twitter posts, he accused Democrats of threatening impeachment to influence Kavanaugh’s opinions on court cases.
“They want to scare him into turning Liberal!” he wrote.
At least four Democrats running to replace Mr Trump in 2020 called for Mr Kavanaugh’s impeachment on Sunday.
“I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the US Senate and most importantly to the American people,” Senator Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter. “He must be impeached.”
“Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said in another Twitter post.
Julian Castro, housing secretary under former president Barack Obama, and former congressman Beto O’Rourke also said the new allegation should be investigated.
“We know he lied under oath. He should be impeached,” O’Rourke said on Twitter. – Reuters