A group calling itself “The Democratic Coalition” “filed” what they called “perjury charges” with the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Saturday, claiming that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury in his Senate confirmation hearings.
They were very excited about the charges, and even added that they planned to take the case directly to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where it would be heard by none other than former Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
The press release uses a lot of exclamation points.
BREAKING: A criminal complaint and judicial ethics complaint are being filed against Kavanaugh for perjury in Congressional testimony — and LOOK WHO’S REVIEWING IT!
— Kristin Mink (@KristinMinkDC) September 8, 2018
There are a few problems. For starters, one can’t simply “file” perjury charges: that’s the U.S. government’s job in cases where someone may have intentionally lied under oath in a federal hearing. The U.S. attorney general typically does not follow up on random complaints lodged with its fax machine during off hours and over weekends by issuing a warrant for the subject’s immediate arrest and detention.
Then, there’s the matter of Merrick Garland. He’s a court of appeals judge, which means he won’t be hearing an immediate plea to censure Kavanaugh for what The Democratic Coalition calls “ethical violations.” Those would need to be filed with the body that holds Kavanaugh’s law license, not a United States District Court, and certainly not a court that only takes cases up on appeal from an earlier judicial decision.
So, basically, The Democratic Coalition filed their groundbreaking perjury claim … with Twitter. Which … okay.
There are bigger issues, of course, most notably that even Vox Media, no friend of the judge, could find no evidence that Kavanaugh committed anything akin to perjury when he denied personally handling Judge William Pryor’s nomination during his time in the Bush White House back during a previous set of confirmation hearings, even though a series of emails seem to show he had some insider knowledge of Pryor’s ordeal.
After speaking with four left-leaning legal experts, Vox was unable to pin down Kavanaugh’s crime.
Come Monday, though, it seems Kavanaugh had better watch out for a Twitter citizens’ arrest.