POLITICS
09/28/2018 10:57 am ET Updated Sep 28, 2018

House Judiciary Committee Democrats Ready To Investigate Brett Kavanaugh

If the Senate Judiciary Committee won't do it, they will.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats want to investigate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images
House Judiciary Committee Democrats want to investigate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

At least seven of the 17 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are willing to investigate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) told HuffPost they are now joining the colleagues in pushing for a probe.

“Of course we need an investigation,” Demings said. “This was never about politics, it is about finding the truth, despite all of the GOP’s efforts to cover it up. ... Unless we have a credible, independent investigation, these allegations will be a dark cloud over Judge Kavanaugh, The Supreme Court, and the United States for decades to come.”

“Someone committed perjury under oath in the Senate Judiciary Committee and I think it was Judge Kavanaugh and therefore he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and should not serve as a judge on any court,” said Gutiérrez in a comment to HuffPost Friday. Gutiérrez is retiring at the end of his term so will not be present for the next Congress.

They join Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is the ranking member of the committee. 

Democrats have a strong chance of retaking the House majority in the November elections, meaning they would have the power to push forward on an investigation ― which could even lead to impeachment. 

Even if Kavanaugh doesn’t get confirmed to the Supreme Court, he still has a lifetime appointment to the D.C. Circuit, which is widely considered to be the second-most powerful court in the nation. 

“If you stand with survivors, the path forward is clear: Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached ― not promoted,” said Heidi Hess, co-director of the progressive group Credo Action.

Johnson’s support is key, because if Democrats regain control of the majority, he would become chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. That subcommittee has the authority to subpoena witnesses and documents related to Kavanaugh.

“This whole process has stunk to high heaven,” Johnson told The Intercept.

The other members of the Judiciary Committee did not return a request for comment, except Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s (D-Calif.) office, which said it had no comment. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), refused to subpoena Mark Judge, whom Christine Blasey Ford has identified as a witness to the sexual assault she said was carried out against her by Kavanaugh.

Ford and Kavanaugh testified before the committee on Thursday, and the senators will be moving forward to vote on the Supreme Court nominee Friday afternoon. 

This has been updated with additional members.

CONVERSATIONS