Updated Sep 16, 2019

2020 Democrats demand Kavanaugh impeachment

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Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden became on Sunday the latest 2020 candidate to speak out on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a report by the New York Times that included new allegations of sexual misconduct.

Details: Several 2020 contenders have called for Kavanaugh's impeachment over the latest claims, and Biden has demanded an investigation into the justice to get to "the truthfulness of his testimony to Senate," according to a statement obtained by CBS News.

"We need to get to the bottom of whether the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans pressured the FBI to ignore evidence or prevented them from following up on leads relating to Justice Kavanaugh's background investigation."
— Former Vice President Joe Biden statement to CBS News

The big picture: The Times reported Saturday that a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh's, Max Stier, told the FBI and Senators that he had seen Kavanaugh take his pants down at a party and that his friends thrusted his penis into a woman's hand. The FBI did not investigate the incident.

  • The report also outlined an account by Deborah Ramirez, who alleges Kavanaugh once swung his exposed penis at her, causing her to unwillingly touch it as she attempted to shoo him away. Ramirez was among Kavanaugh's public accusers during the confirmation process.

What they're saying:

  • Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) tweeted, "[Kavanaugh] 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 Congressman Beto O'Rourke tweeted, "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," .
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) tweeted, "Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached," .
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro tweeted, "It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. He should be impeached."
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted, "The revelations today confirm what we already knew: During his hearing, Kavanaugh faced credible accusations and likely lied to Congress."
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) tweeted, "This new allegation and additional corroborating evidence adds to a long list of reasons why Brett Kavanaugh should not be a Supreme Court justice."
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) told ABC's "This Week," "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. My concern here is that the process was a sham. I don't think you can look at impeachment hearings without getting the documents ... and the attorney general is shielding documents."

The other side: President Trump tweeted, "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."

Go deeper: First look: A new Brett Kavanaugh book "fills in the blanks"

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include comments by Booker, Sanders, Klobuchar and Biden.

Go deeper

Ayanna Pressley to introduce legislation for Kavanaugh impeachment inquiry

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) is set to introduce legislation Tuesday demanding impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a weekend report expanded allegations of sexual misconduct against him, The Hill reports.

  • "Sexual predators do not deserve a seat on the nation’s highest court and Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process set a dangerous precedent," Pressley said in a statement. "We must demand justice for survivors and hold Kavanaugh accountable for his actions."
Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019

Sen. Chris Coons told FBI last year about Kavanaugh allegation in NYT

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told the FBI last year about a sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that was at the heart of a New York Times piece published over the weekend, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Coons' letter to FBI director Christopher Wray described an account from Kavanaugh's Yale classmate Max Stier and was dated Oct. 2, 2018 — days before Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 6. The FBI, despite conducting a supplemental background investigation into Kavanaugh after multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, did not investigate the allegation in Coons' letter.

Go deeperArrowSep 16, 2019

First look: Harris asks for Kavanaugh investigation

Photos: Win McNamee/Getty Images; Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris is asking House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler to form an outside task force to investigate the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and whether he lied to Congress during his testimony, according to a letter first given to Axios.

Why it matters: Nadler and others on the committee have poured cold water on the idea of investigating Kavanaugh because they're instead focused on impeaching President Trump. But Harris argues that an outside task force could allow Democrats to answer the growing calls for Kavanaugh's impeachment and also investigate the president.

Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019