Progressive activist groups have renewed calls for a new probe into Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his possible impeachment, saying a further FBI investigation is necessary.
The American Humanist Association and the Freedom from Religion Foundation claim that Justice Kavanaugh may have lied during his Senate confirmation hearings about sexual assault allegations — and that would be impeachable conduct.
“It is unacceptable that the FBI and the Trump Administration failed to thoroughly investigate Kavanaugh and the many claims made against him,” said Sunil Panikkath, president of the American Humanist Association. “To allow him to continue to serve on the nation’s highest Court, without serious allegations of him having lied to Congress being properly investigated, is a mistake that must be immediately corrected.”
The calls for a new review of the confirmation process were prompted by a letter last week from seven Senate Democrats who requested the FBI provide more information related to its probe into former President Donald Trump’s 2018 nominee after it was revealed the FBI set up a tip line during its investigation and received more than 4,500 tips.
It was the first time the agency had set up a tip line for a high court nomination.
According to the seven Democratic lawmakers, the FBI did not pursue those tips and instead provided them to the Office of the White House Counsel. The senators are demanding that FBI Director Christopher Wray answer questions about the agency’s tip line and provide clarity.
Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court in 2018 after a confirmation hearing in which he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman roughly three decades ago while in high school.
Christine Blasey Ford, the woman making the assault claim, said Justice Kavanaugh attacked her at a house party, but could not say which house or what year the assault occurred. After she came forward, more women alleged that Justice Kavanaugh had assaulted them at past parties.
Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations.
The FBI conducted an investigation into the assault claims, but the allegation by Ms. Ford, who testified before lawmakers, was not corroborated.
Ms. Ford’s lawyers said the revelation of the FBI‘s tip line and process suggest the probe was a “sham and a major institutional failure,” according to a report by The Associated Press.
“Instead, it handed the information over to the White House, allowing those who supported Kavanaugh to falsely claim that the FBI found no wrongdoing,” Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, Ms. Ford’s lawyers, told the AP.
Mike Davis, who worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, said the Senate Democrats are smearing Justice Kavanaugh.
“All 100 senators had access to the printouts of the 4,500 tips received by the [FBI],” Mr. Davis tweeted.