Pressley files for impeachment probe in Kavanaugh case

Ayanna Pressley Robin Lubbock WBUR photo

US Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for an impeachment inquiry to begin against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a news report over the weekend contained a previously unreported claim of sexual misconduct against him.

“I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Deborah Ramirez. It is our responsibility to collectively affirm the dignity and humanity of survivors,” the Massachusetts congresswoman said in a statement.

The three-paragraph resolution would authorize an impeachment inquiry, call for a committee or task force to be empowered to conduct depositions and issue subpoenas, and authorize funding for “such sums necessary” to conduct the probe.

Pressley is one of several Democrats, including US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have called for Kavanaugh to be impeached after an article in the New York Times included an allegation of sexual misconduct when Kavanaugh was a student at Yale.

Kavanaugh has denied past allegations of sexual misconduct and declined to comment on the Times article or the newly reported allegation.
According to the Times, the female student involved with the allegation declined to be interviewed and her friends say she doesn’t recall the incident.

Other Democrats calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment include US Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, both of whom, like Warren, are Democratic candidates for president.

Pressley vocally opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination last fall, citing claims of sexual misconduct made against him, including by Blasey Ford. She joined other lawmakers decrying the nomination at a rally in Boston in October.

“Sexual predators do not deserve a seat on the nation’s highest court and Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process set a dangerous precedent,” Pressley’s statement said. “We must demand justice for survivors and hold Kavanaugh accountable for his actions.”

A majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote for impeachment to oust the justice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the allegations against Kavanaugh “uncorroborated and unsubstantiated.”

Kimberly Atkins is a senior news correspondent for WBUR, covering national political news from Washington with a New England focus. WBUR and the Reporter share content through a media partnership. This story was first published by WBUR on Sept. 17.

Subscribe to the Dorchester Reporter