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New Emails Surface: Did Brett Kavanaugh Perjure Himself Repeatedly?



Brett Kavanaugh could soon become the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice despite only 7% of his White House records being released to the public and other documents being heavily redacted by Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Photo Credit: Office of Senator Ted Cruz

Republicans have argued that Democrats have more than 400,000 pages to review, enough, they say, to make a decision about the judge’s record on the bench. Democrats argue that those held documents could be crucial in deciding whether or not to nominate Kavanaugh to the highest bench — it turns out they are right.

On Thursday, a half dozen emails by Grassley and several from Senator Cory Booker revealed that Kavanaugh has misled the Senate at least four times. The emails also prove that Republicans have been withholding emails not for national security, as they claim, but rather, in part, because they paint Kavanaugh in a bad light.

The Judge Pryor Interview:

In 2004, Kavanaugh was asked, by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy if  Pryor’s extreme statements disturbed him. Kavanaugh told Kennedy at the time that he had no part in the selection or vetting of Judge Pryor. However, the judge had, in fact, interviewed Pryor.

On Thursday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked the judge, “did you interview William Pryor?” Kavanaugh delayed his answer before responding: “I don’t believe so. It’s possible but I don’t believe so.”

While Kavanaugh could easily claim that he forgot about the interview which occurred 16 years ago, it’s harder for him to make the same claim when he lied about the meeting just several years after the event took place. An email in 2004 reiterated his lie.

Leahy has been a big challenger of Kavanaugh’s record, he also asked about the judge’s role in “Memogate” in 2003. During that scandal, a Republican aide stole Democratic memos from a shared server. In 2006, Kavanaugh was asked about receiving those documents during a hearing. Kavanaugh is now claiming that he didn’t realize the documents were stolen.

This week, emails containing information about the stolen documents were revealed by Leahy:

The subject header reads: “For use and not distribution”— The emails were also clearly marked for the Democratic party and marked as confidential.

If that isn’t enough, Kavanaugh received an email on June 5, 2003, regarding Supreme Court confirmations and the subject line clearly reads “spying.” The very first line of that email reads: “I have a friend who is a mole for us on the left.” “

When asked why the emails didn’t raise any concerns for Kavanaugh he told Leahy, “It did not, Senator… Again, people have friends across the aisle who they talk to… and there was a lot of bipartisanship on the committee.”

Leahy then attacked the laughable excuse:  “Wait—so being a “mole” and performing “spying” is actually a sign of bipartisan comity? Credit to Judge Kavanaugh for making such statements with a straight face.”

Further, Kavanaugh was asked more than 100 times about the hacking in 2004 and 2006 and he continued to deny the event.

“Judge Kavanaugh answered under oath more than 100 questions on this hacking in 2004 and 2006,” Leahy said. “His repeated denials that he didn’t receive any stolen info and didn’t suspect anything ‘untoward’ is SIMPLY NOT CREDIBLE.”

Next, Kavanaugh says he first learned about President Bush’s “Terrorist Surveillance Program” on December 2005 when reading a New York Times article. In reality, an email clearly shows that he emailed John Yoo, a Department of Justice lawyer, and “tortue memo” author, about the program on Sept. 17, 2001.

Here’s what Kavanaugh wrote in that email:

“Any results yet on the 4A implications of random/constant surveillance of phone and e-mail conversations of non-citizens who are in the United States when the purpose of the surveillance is to prevent terrorist/criminal violence?”

Kavanaugh will likely try to make a ludicrous claim that “random/constant surveillance” could have meant anything but it was clearly a question of the warrantless wiretap act put together by George Bush’s administration.

Keep in mind, the torture memos are being kept at arm’s length during the confirmation process. As The Daily Beast points out, there are a lot of questions about the program and Kavanaugh’s involvement:

Did Kavanaugh know of the torture program? Did he offer a legal opinion about it? Did Kavanaugh agree with Yoo that “severe pain and suffering” only means pain “associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure, or permanent damage” would result?

These questions could point to both perjury and poor judgment on behalf of Kavanaugh.

Roe V. Wade

Perhaps the biggest headlines to come out of the confirmation hearings regard Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh has repeatedly claimed that the ruling is “an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.”

Kavanaugh also wrote in an op-ed that Roe V. Wade “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.” The bolded statement is important.

In 2003, Kavanaugh said in an email: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”

Kavanaugh has pointed to his own choice of words during the hearings in which he says Roe. V. Wade has been “reaffirmed” and has set forth “precedent” and that a precedent is not the same thing as “settled law of the land” — the very term he used in his 2003 email.

Kavanaugh’s bait and switch over the Roe V. Wade email have led to various reproductive rights group denouncing his confirmation.

“Brett Kavanaugh’s emails are rock solid evidence that he has been hiding his true beliefs and if he is given a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, he will gut Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and punish women,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement.

Sadly, the Republicans control the Senate with a 51-49 vote and at this time there are no signs that they plan to vote against their own party when the Supreme Court reconvenes next month.