Senate Democrats Divided Over Kavanaugh Impeachment

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Henry Rodgers Capitol Hill Reporter
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  • Despite a recent push from Democratic presidential candidates to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats remain divided.
  • The Daily Caller spoke to over 10 Democratic senators about Kavanaugh, and many dismissed impeachment while others urged for a complete FBI investigation before moving forward.
  • Senate Republicans who spoke to the Daily Caller dismissed the idea of impeachment outright.

Senate Democrats are divided on impeachment talks for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as many Democrats have called for him to be impeached over new allegations of sexual misconduct.

The New York Times ended up having to publish an update late Sunday night after leaving out key evidence in a story about Kavanaugh’s time as a student at Yale University. Many Democratic senators running for president, though, still believe he should be impeached.

California Sen. Kamala Harris told NPR Monday morning that Kavanaugh should be impeached, though none of the sexual misconduct allegations have been proven.Many of their Senate colleagues, however, do not agree.

The Daily Caller spoke with over 10 Democratic senators about the recent calls to impeach Kavanaugh, and they either rejected impeachment or called for further investigation before moving forward.

“Look, I think there are some unanswered questions about how that background investigation was conducted and I’d like to see answers to those questions,” Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons told the Daily Caller. “I think the New York Times engaged in some regrettably sloppy reporting.”

UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 31: Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., participates in the Senate Democrats’ news conference to unveil a plan to protect and expand retirement savings on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner told the Daily Caller that he believes the FBI should have completed a full investigation on Kavanaugh, also adding that he still has to look into the full story before making a decision on impeachment.

“It’s one of the reasons why the FBI should have concluded a full investigation,” Warner said. “I want to get the full facts before I weigh in further,” Warner told the Daily Caller when asked about The New York Times story, which had to be updated.

Democratic Michigan Sen. Gary Peters had a similar response, saying that it is important to fully investigate the allegations before coming to a direct conclusion that Kavanaugh should be impeached.

“So obviously those are serious allegations that were made and should at least be looked at. You need to ask more questions and it would be appropriate for folks to investigate and more,” Peters told the Daily Caller.

“I mean I’m not talking about impeachment. I’m saying, you know certainly you should look into it whenever you get allegations, it is important to look into it. So it’s a little early to talk about it unless you’ve investigated it more,” Peters continued.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who led Democratic opposition to Kavanugh on the Judiciary committee, told the Daily Caller that she believes the only way to impeach Kavanaugh would be if he does something inappropriate moving forward, saying, “I think that battle has been won and lost. I think he’s now a judge. If there is something that he does in his position that warns impeachment that’s one thing. But I think the case is closed on his past life.”

Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said talks of impeaching Kavanaugh are a “dumb idea.” Whitehouse then said, “I’m a prosecutor before you get to anything like that. You’ve got to be prepared to make your case. And I think it’s a question of sequencing. First, you gather your evidence then you make your case. Then you ask for your verdict.”

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was walking back to his Senate office from the Capitol with Whitehouse, weighed in on the Democratic senators comments, saying “that has stood the test of time, by the way.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, questions William Barr, U.S. attorney general, not pictured, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Other Democratic senators like Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, say the FBI is to blame for the way they conducted their investigation of Kavanaugh.

“I think the relevant issue for me has been the question of when an individual or a number of individuals bring information to the FBI and it’s not followed up on. That’s what I’ve been very troubled about from the beginning,” Wyden said before jumping on the Senate subway.

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal told the Daily Caller he has not been pushing for impeachment but mentioned the FBI should be investigated for the way it investigated Kavanaugh.

“I haven’t advocated impeachment. I think there is a need to investigate why the FBI was constrained in its investigation,” Blumenthal told the Daily Caller.

Democratic Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen did not mention impeachment when asked about the issue. Instead, he mentioned that he voted against Kavanaugh and that an investigation should continue. (RELATED: Trump Says Kavanaugh Allegations Deserve Libel Lawsuits)

“Look I voted against Kavanaugh because I thought he was way out of the mainstream on various issues. I also think they should continue the investigation, but I support Jerry Nadler’s decision,” Van Hollen told the Daily Caller.

Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin told the Daily Caller that she believes there will be another book coming out about Kavanaugh, which would portray him poorly.

“I think that the proper area of inquiry is why the White House so curtailed the FBI reopening of the investigation and didn’t talk to relevant people and why they directed it to be so narrow, and I don’t think this book that just came out is gonna be the last one to come out,” Baldwin told the Daily Caller.

When asked about Kavanaugh and impeachment, Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez told the Daily Caller, “I’m not doing any interviews right now,” and then he stood in a corner near the Senate subway for nearly three minutes, as one of his staffers blocked him from view.

Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow said she Kavanaugh was never qualified to be on the Supreme Court in the first place, regardless of the new allegations, adding that she would not be opposed to him stepping down.

“I didn’t think that he should be there in the first place. He was never in my judgment well qualified, never had the temperament in the first place. Originally there were many many questions that came up about his behavior and so this is a continuation of that. I certainly don’t oppose the investigation of that and certainly wouldn’t oppose him stepping down,” Stabenow told reporters.

“But he’s not somebody who I believe in any way is fit for that position,” Stabenow continued. (RELATED: NYT Publishes Correction After Leaving Out Exculpatory Evidence From Brett Kavanaugh Story)

Louisiana Treasurer and Republican Senate candidate John Kennedy speaks at a “get-out-the-vote” rally with US President-elect Donald Trump on December 9, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

On the Republican side of the aisle, every member of the party has continued to support Kavanaugh throughout the new allegations. Republican Louisiana  Sen. John Kennedy told the Daily Caller that Democrats just want to impeach anyone close to Trump, mentioning there are elections coming up soon.

“I know all my Democratic friends don’t feel this way but some of them do. They just want to impeach everything that moves. They want to impeach President [Donald] Trump. They want to impeach Justice Kavanaugh. I think they’re thinking about impeaching Screech the bald eagle mascot for the Washington Nationals because he likes to eat meat,” Kennedy told the Daily Caller.

“I get it. There’s some people that are unhappy that President Trump was elected president of the United States and there’s nothing that anybody can do about that because it’s called democracy and the American people chose. And so those who are still upset about it after two and a half years they need to go fill out a hurt feelings report and move on,” Kennedy continued.

“We’re going to have another election here coming up soon and you can vote how you want to. But in the meantime, you know, put the wine back on the shelf and let us go try to serve the American people,” Kennedy concluded.