WASHINGTON (CN) – House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Monday tamped down talk of impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after new revelations of alleged sexual misconduct by the justice emerged over the weekend and spurred calls from top Democrats that he be removed from the high court.
In an appearance on WNYC on Monday, Nadler called the FBI’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh a “sham,” and said his committee would press FBI Director Christopher Wray on the probe when he appears before it in a previously scheduled hearing next month.
But Nadler declined to join the impeachment calls of other top Democrats, saying there would need to be “a lot more” investigation into the allegations before he could take a stance on impeachment. He also noted the committee is currently busy with looking into whether to impeach President Donald Trump.
“We have our hands full with impeaching the president right now and that’s going to take up our limited resources and time for a while,” Nadler, a New York Democrat, said Monday.
The allegations, which the New York Times published over the weekend in an excerpt of a forthcoming book about Kavanaugh, say the justice – then a student at Yale – was at a party with his pants down when two of his friends pushed his penis into the hands of a female classmate.
The Times has since updated its story to note that the authors make it clear the woman declined to be interviewed for the book and that her friends “say that she does not recall the incident.” The newest allegation came from another classmate who says he witnessed the incident.
The FBI and senators were aware of this allegation, but the FBI did not investigate it, according to the Times.
The allegation mirrors a separate charge against Kavanaugh from another Yale classmate named Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college party. In the book, entitled “The Education of Brett M. Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” the authors say they found multiple witnesses who backed up Ramirez’s allegations.
Three presidential candidates – Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, as well as former housing and urban development secretary Julian Castro – have called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, while others have said Congress should at least investigate the issue.
The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on a narrow 50-48 vote last year. His nomination, once all but assured to end in confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate, was thrown into turmoil when Christine Blasey Ford accused him of pinning her to a bed and assaulting her when they were both in high school.
Kavanaugh denied both Ford’s and Ramirez’s allegations during the confirmation process.