Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., one of the four freshman congresswomen known collectively as the “Squad,” is planning Tuesday to introduce a resolution seeking an impeachment inquiry into Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, despite reluctance from top Democrats to pursue one and concerns about the basis for the latest accusations.
The resolution follows a New York Times report that included a new allegation of sexual misconduct from when Kavanaugh was in college — although an editors’ note later revealed that the alleged victim did not recall it taking place. In a statement, Pressley only focused on the women who came forward during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.
“I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Deborah Ramirez,” Pressley said in a statement shared by Boston.com reporter Nik DeCosta-Klipa, which Pressley retweeted from her official Twitter account. “It is our responsibility to collectively affirm the dignity and humanity of survivors.”
Statement from Pressley, who has made addressing sexual violence a core focus from the start of her career:
"I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Deborah Ramirez. It is our responsibility to collectively affirm the dignity and humanity of survivors."
— Nik DeCosta-Klipa (@NikDeCostaKlipa) September 16, 2019
Pressley also used her personal Twitter account to retweet a post that included images of what appears to be text from the resolution. It calls for “Inquiring whether the House of Representatives should impeach Brett Michael Kavanaugh, Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the United States of America,” and for the House Judiciary Committee to conduct depositions and take affidavits, serving subpoenas if necessary.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who heads the House Judiciary Committee, has not necessarily come out against impeaching Kavanaugh. But he made clear it was not a top priority for his committee.
“We have our hands full with impeaching the president right now,” Nadler said on a radio show Monday.
Top-ranking Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., outright rejected the calls.
“We’ve got to get beyond this ‘impeachment is the answer to every problem,” Durbin said, according to Politico. “It’s not realistic. If that’s how we are identified in Congress, as the impeachment Congress, we run the risk that people will feel we’re ignoring the issues that mean a lot to them as families.”
GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, quickly rallied around Kavanaugh Monday and vowed to fight any impeachment effort.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the current Judiciary Committee chairman who mounted one of the most passionate defenses of Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, called the attacks “beyond the pale.”
“My heart goes out to Justice Kavanaugh’s family for being forced to endure this ridiculous treatment once again,” he tweeted.
The original Times piece, adapted from a forthcoming book, asserted that a Kavanaugh classmate, Clinton-connected nonprofit CEO Max Stier, “saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”
By late Sunday, the paper had revised its story to include the fact that several friends of the alleged victim said she told them she did not recall the reported sexual assault in question.
Several Democratic presidential candidates, however, said that Kavanaugh should be impeached and did not back down after the editors’ note and revision to the story. Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro all called for impeachment after the initial Times report.
Harris continued to push for an investigation on Monday, even circulating an impeachment petition on her Twitter account.
I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He must be impeached. Sign our petition if you agree.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Fox News’ Gregg Re, Judson Berger, Chad Pergram, and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.
Author: Ronn Blitzer