Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Democratic presidential candidates to steer clear of pushing for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed the rehashed allegations against the judge.
Graham said in a statement that he wanted to give 2020 candidates calling for the impeachment a word of advice.
“Even Jerry Nadler figured out that impeachment of Brett Kavanaugh, based on this ridiculous accusation, is a Bridge Too Far,” he said, referring to the House Judiciary Committee chairman’s remarks opposing an impeachment probe.
“If Nadler isn’t willing to go there……..NO ONE should go there!” Graham said.
“As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I promise you Justice Kavanaugh will not be impeached over these scurrilous accusations,” he added in another missive on Twitter.
The latest attacks leveled against Brett Kavanaugh are beyond the pale.
My heart goes out to Justice Kavanaugh’s family for being forced to endure this ridiculous treatment once again.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 16, 2019
A number of presidential candidates, including one of the frontrunners, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), called for Kavanaugh to be impeached over the weekend.
They were responding to an article publishing information from a book out Sept. 17 written by two New York Times reporters. Despite finding little evidence to support the claims already made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the reporters said at the end of the book they thought the stories were true.
The reporters also published a newly reported claim based solely on the account of one man, former Clinton lawyer Max Stier, who they were unable to talk to. The woman who Stier reportedly witnessed being assaulted doesn’t remember the alleged incident, friends of the woman told the reporters. They were also unable to speak to the woman herself.
“For anybody who’s been reading the news the past few days, it’s probably felt a little like Groundhog Day. Because, over the last couple of days, leading Democrats have tried to grab onto yet another poorly-sourced, thinly-reported, unsubstantiated allegation against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. There they go again,” McConnell said in a statement.
“Call it a one-year anniversary re-enactment. Senate Democrats re-opening the sad and embarrassing chapter they wrote last September.”
“The latest allegation was blasted out by a major newspaper despite the apparent lack of any corroborating evidence whatsoever. The reporting was so thin, the story ran not in the news section, but on the opinion page. In fact, they’ve already had to issue an enormous correction. The writers conveniently failed to note that the supposed victim herself declined to be interviewed. And several of her friends say she has no memory of any such thing happening,” he added.
An article penned by the authors of the book, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, was published by the New York Times over the weekend. It focused on Ramirez’s claim but also, for the first time, reported on Stier’s claim. The article initially did not include the information undercutting Stier’s claim.
The paper later issued a major correction. The writers have been blaming editors for the omission while conducting interviews to promote their book.
McConnell called the suggestion that Kavanaugh be impeached “laughable,” adding that it “is already earning scorn throughout the country, across the political spectrum.”
The senator noted that many Democratic candidates have discussed packing the Supreme Court, or adding seats to it, to try to counteract the current 5-4 Republican-appointed-judge majority.
“It would be a mistake to dismiss this as a bad case of sour grapes. This is not just a left-wing obsession with one man. It is part of a deliberate effort to attack judicial independence,” McConnell said.
Other lawmakers haven’t called for impeachment but do believe the new information shows the FBI didn’t probe the claims well enough last year during the confirmation hearings.
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Members Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who held Ford’s claim in secret for months before releasing it just before a scheduled vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, said in a statement that the FBI’s investigation wasn’t thorough enough.
“The FBI could have conducted an investigation that would have been seen as objective by both sides,” she said. “Unfortunately it’s now clear the FBI largely ignored these requests because the scope of its investigation was so constrained by the White House and Senate Republicans. It’s unfortunate the FBI wasn’t allowed to do its job.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden has also called for a renewed probe into the allegations.
Biden said in a statement sent to reporters: “This weekend’s report in the New York Times raises again profoundly troubling questions about the integrity of the confirmation process that put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court in the first place.”
“The women who continue to come forward, as Dr. Blasey Ford courageously did, deserve to be treated with dignity and be listened to,” he added. “It takes enormous courage for a woman to come forward, under the bright lights of millions of people watching, and relive a traumatic memory.”