The day after the New York Times dropped a story about new sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump took to Twitter in his defense as a growing cadre of Democratic presidential hopefuls called on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.
The Times reported Saturday that Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Max Stier witnessed an incident at a dorm party in the 1980s during which Kavanaugh’s naked penis was forcibly pushed into the hand of a female student.
The allegations match earlier claims by Deborah Ramirez who alleged that a pants-less Kavanaugh forced his penis towards her at the same Yale party. Stier said he told the FBI about the incident during Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, but the incident was not investigated.
In a series of Sunday morning tweets, the president said the latest allegations of sexual misbehavior were part of ongoing lies told about his first Supreme Court nominee that are “unbelievable” calling them, “False Accusations without recrimination.”
The president added that Kavanaugh should start “suing people for liable”—he later corrected the spelling—or the “Justice Department should come to his rescue.”
The president added, “When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!”
For their part, a growing number of 2020 Democratic candidates called for impeachment proceedings after the report surfaced, including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), former Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Julián Castro and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
“Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing,” Warren said in a tweet. “Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”
The impeachment and removal of a federal judge, including a Supreme Court justice, is similar to impeachment proceedings against a president. It requires a majority of the House to approve an indictment to impeach, and a two-thirds majority of the Senate to convict and force the judge or justice from office.
Trump had earlier warned the “LameStream Media” had treated him horribly. “They want to scare him into turning Liberal!”
Shortly after Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July 2018 to fill the post left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, allegations of sexual misconduct started to emerge. Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor of psychology, later testified in a Senate confirmation hearing that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a house party in the early 1980s when they were in high school. Ramirez and another woman came forward at that time.
Kavanaugh denied all allegations. The new allegation was the first made by a male student who witnessed the alleged misconduct.
Reaction to the Times allegations was divided along party lines. Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that she still opposed Kavanaugh and the process under which he was sworn in.
“I strongly oppose him, based on his views on the executive power which will continue to haunt our country, as well as how he behaved, including the allegations that we are hearing more about today,” Klobuchar said. “My concern here is that the process was a sham.”
Harris followed a similar line, tweeting that she had attended the confirmation hearings. “Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people,” she wrote on Twitter. “He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.”
Former-Texas U.S. Rep. and fellow presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke tweeted that “yesterday we learned of another accusation against Brett Kavanaugh—one we didn't find out about before he was confirmed because the Senate forced the F.B.I. to rush its investigation to save his nomination. We know he lied under oath. He should be impeached.”
Trump returned to Twitter in the afternoon, to spar with those calling for Kavanaugh’s ouster complete with a hashtag: “Can’t let Brett Kavanaugh give Radical Left Democrat (Liberal Plus) Opinions based on threats of Impeaching him over made up stories (sound familiar?), false allegations, and lies. This is the game they play. Fake and Corrupt News is working overtime! #ProtectKavanaugh.”
Former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that the Kavanaugh affair crystallizes how bad Washington is.
“If the information had come out early, I think you could have seen a full-throated FBI investigation,” she said. “But this isn’t going away if the FBI never even bothered to talk to people surrounding this woman’s allegation,” adding that Trump is only tweeting about this “because he thinks it’s a winner.”