Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) has called on Judiciary Committee head Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to direct the FBI to determine if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was truthful under oath in his testimony before the panel.
“Lying to Congress is a federal crime,” Sanders noted in a tweet that included a copy of a letter he sent to Grassley on Friday. “Kavanaugh’s truthfulness with the Senate goes to the very heart of whether he should be confirmed to the court.”
A determination of perjury in any statement in Kavanaugh’s testimony would threaten his confirmation.
The FBI was given a week to investigate allegations against Kavanaugh as part of a deal forged Friday by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and committee Republicans.
“In order for the FBI investigation regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to be complete, it is imperative the bureau must not only look into the accusations made by Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, it should also examine the veracity of his testimony before the Judiciary Committee,” Sanders wrote.
Several statements that Kavanaugh made Thursday were challenged after he defended himself under oath against Blasey’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her. She testified that he pinned her to a bed, tried to remove her clothing and placed his hand over her mouth when she tried to yell at a house party when they were both in high school.
Kavanaugh testified three times Thursday that Blasey’s friend Leland Keyser “refuted” Blasey’s claim “under penalty of felony.” While Keyser doesn’t recall the party where the attack allegedly occurred, she did “not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and … she believes Dr. Ford’s account,” her attorney wrote in a letter sent Friday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates have contradicted his characterization of his drinking in high school and college as moderate and that he never blacked out. Classmates said he was a heavy drinker and sometimes a belligerent, drunk. Blasey said that both Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, who she said was in the room when the alleged assault against her occurred, were “stumbling drunk.”
Judge has written in his memoir, Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, that he and his friends were determined to drink 100 kegs of beer their senior year at Georgetown prep. Kavanaugh’s bio in the senior yearbook notes that he was a member of the “Keg City Club (treasurer) — 100 Kegs or Bust.”
Kavanaugh also testified that it was legal to drink as a senior when he attended Georgetown Prep, which is located in suburban Maryland. It wasn’t. The drinking age in Maryland was raised from 18 to 21 in 1982 when Kavanaugh was 17.
Kavanaugh also denied being in the same “social circles” as Blasey, indicating it was unlikely they’d be at the same party. Yet his calendar marks several get-togethers with a friend nicknamed “Squi” — whom Kavanaugh identified as Chris Garett — who was going out with Ford at the time, she testified.
Kavanaugh also testified he “never attended a gathering like the one” described by Blasey, but his own calendar and Judge appear to contradict that.
Kavanaugh’s insistence that words he used in his bio in his senior yearbook — “boofing,” “Devil’s Triangle,” and “Renate Alumnius” were relatively innocent have been widely contradicted. While he said Devil’s Triangle was a drinking game, for example, it’s also used as a term for a sexual threesome.
Sanders also lists several questionable statements under oath by Kavanaugh during his initial confirmation hearings earlier this month.
It’s unclear how much freedom the FBI will have in its investigation to determine Kavanaugh’s veracity under oath.
NBC reported Saturday that the bureau has been given a specific list of witnesses that can be questioned, and that contradictory information about his drinking at Yale will not be probed, according to sources. Agents will also not be allowed to investigate claims by Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at parties during high school, NBC reported.