House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler Throws Cold Water on Kavanaugh Impeachment Hype: ‘We Have to Look Into This a Lot More’
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Calls to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh following a now-corrected story at the New York Times will have to take a back seat to House Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, the House Judiciary Committee chairman said Monday.
During an interview with WNYC-AM radio, Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the committee would “question the FBI director [Chris Wray] about this whole thing when he comes before our committee next month, and then we’ll make our other determinations.”
The chairman also said the “relevant” question for his committee would be whether or not Kavanaugh lied to the Senate during last year’s confirmation process.
However, taking that “next step” doesn’t mean that efforts to impeach Kavanaugh would climb up the list of the committee’s priorities, given their focus on the ongoing investigation against President Trump.
“Frankly,” Nadler said, “we are concentrating our resources on determining whether or not to impeach the president. Personally, I think the president ought to be impeached, but we have to concentrate on that for the next few months.”
He added that “we have to look into this a lot more before we can make that judgment” on impeachment.
Several Democrats have called to impeach Kavanaugh — or at least re-investigate him — over a New York Times story that brought attention to a third-party allegation of sexual misconduct from a drunken dorm party in college. The alleged victim in this case, however, declined to be interviewed, and friends told Times reporters that she didn’t remember the incident. The newspaper later issued a massive correction to that effect after taking a considerable amount of criticism.
“An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party,” the correction stated.
“The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”
Per the U.S. Constitution, the impeachment process for federal officials begins in the House. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over matters related to impeachment under House rules.
When asked about the multiple 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls and others who have already called to impeach or investigate the Supreme Court justice, Nadler responded, “It’s one thing for a presidential candidate or anybody else to say it’s their opinion that something should be done; we have official jurisdiction. Whether to exercise that jurisdiction is a consequential action which we have to be able to justify.”