Evidence has emerged that Judge Brett Kavanaugh lied repeatedly under oath to the US Senate Judiciary Committee in his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and in his 2018 confirmation hearings to serve on the US Supreme Court. Kavanaugh should face impeachment proceedings for committing perjury before the US Senate Judiciary Committee.
As Lisa Graves, who served as chief counsel for nominations for the Democratic minority of the Senate Judiciary Committee during George W. Bush’s time as president, has written:
Newly released emails show that while he was working to move through President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees in the early 2000s, Kavanaugh received confidential memos, letters, and talking points of Democratic staffers stolen by GOP Senate aide Manuel Miranda. That includes research and talking points Miranda stole from the Senate server after I had written them for the Senate Judiciary Committee as the chief counsel for nominations for the minority.
Receiving those memos and letters alone is not an impeachable offense.
No, Kavanaugh should be removed because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it.
At the end of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the US Supreme Court, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote: “Brett Kavanaugh used materials stolen from Democratic senators to advance President Bush’s judicial nominees. He was asked about this in 2004, 2006 and this week. His answers were not true.”
Federal judges, including US Supreme Court Justices, can be impeached and removed from the judiciary for committing perjury. Federal Judge Thomas Porteous was impeached by the US House and convicted (90-6) by the US Senate in 2010 on grounds which included that he “knowingly made material false statements about his past to … the United States Senate … in order to obtain the office of United States District Court Judge.” The Senate subsequently voted to disqualify him from ever holding federal office again.
The Framers of the US Constitution understood that corruption in the process of obtaining a federal office is an impeachable offense. In the constitutional debates over the impeachment power, George Mason asked rhetorically: “Shall the man who has practised corruption & by that means procured his appointment in the first instance, be suffered to escape punishment, by repeating his guilt?” Judge Kavanaugh’s perjury in the process of obtaining his current position on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, should, as with Judge Porteous, lead to his removal from the federal judiciary and should disqualify him from ever holding a future federal office.