Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh can rest easy, it seems. Although Democrats plan to re-litigate Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings, they have no plans to impeach the judge now that he is officially on the bench.
New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that, despite rumors to the contrary, he has no plans to spearhead impeachment proceedings against Kavanaugh when the Democrats take control of the House in January.
Nadler said that a source, who told conservative media last week that he overheard Nadler talking about his plans for the Justice, was “not telling the truth.”
“I’m not going to comment on a private conversation with a friend,” Nadler added.
But Kavanaugh isn’t entirely safe, according to The Hill. Democrats — including Nadler — are going to request documents from the FBI investigation into whether Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford while the pair were teenagers in suburban Washington, D.C.
“Nadler added that, while the committee won’t investigate or seek to impeach Kavanaugh, it will look into whether the FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the justice was adequate,” The Hill reports.
That investigation, Nadler added, will be for purely informational purposes.
“One of the things the committee has to do is investigate the question of the FBI not doing a proper investigation because of White House interference so that we can do whatever’s necessary to make sure that investigations in the future are adequate,” he said.
Some Democratic activists may be disappointed to hear the news. Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings ignited a national firestorm, and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee lambasted the career judge over his alleged sexual misconduct, implying that the mere existence of an allegation was enough to cost Kavanaugh a seat on the bench. Feminists and left-leaning activist organizations called Kavanaugh’s confirmation a betrayal of sexual assault survivors.
But in the weeks since Kavanaugh was confirmed, neither Democrats nor progressive activists have seen much benefit in following up on the allegations made against Kavanaugh. Even Dr. Ford, who was adamant that Kavanaugh did not deserve a place on the Supreme Court, dropped her complaints after he was confirmed.
But if Democrats are pledging to hold their fire on Brett Kavanaugh, they are making no such promises about President Donald Trump. Nadler says that while the option of impeaching the president isn’t off the table, a few things have to be cleared up first, namely, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign improperly coordinated with Russian officials to impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“We’ll then have to make judgments,” Nadler said. “I certainly hope that we will not find a necessity for an impeachment, but you can’t rule that out.”
Impeachment, for House Democrats, would be a certain political risk. Voters aren’t in favor of bringing impeachment proceedings against Trump, and Democrats would have just a few short months to complete their investigation and trial before the 2020 presidential campaign begins and an impeachment investigation becomes a political liability.
Other Democrats, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who will likely serve as the Democrats’ Speaker of the House, have signaled that they have no plans to impeach the president, even if they do plan to spend the next two years miring the White House in endless investigations.