Following this week’s rocky confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats are openly accusing Kavanaugh of lying under oath.
Among the issues Democrats believe Kavanaugh has not been honest about is his receipt of emails in 2003 that contained documents allegedly stolen from Democratic senators and staff. Manny Miranda, a former aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was later revealed to have accessed Democratic emails and memoradum related to George W. Bush’s judicial nominees without authorization.
When asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) about the emails — including one with the subject line “spying” that began, “I have a friend who is a mole for us on the left” — Kavanaugh sought to downplay it as a routine occurrence, even attempting to characterize the exchanges as an example of “bipartisanship.”
“Judge, I was born at night but not last night,” Leahy said in response. “If I had something that somebody said ‘we’ve stolen this’ or ‘this is — don’t tell anybody we have this,’ I think it would raise some red flags.”
Kavanaugh’s explicit denials during his confirmation hearings that he had any knowledge of Miranda’s activity or even suspected wrongdoing on the part of Senate Republicans at the time didn’t sit well with some Democrats this week.
Leahy said Kavanaugh’s denial was “not truthful” in an interview with the Washington Post Friday. “There were numerous emails sent to him that made it very clear this was stolen information, including a draft letter from me,” the senator said.
Untruthful testimony, under oath and on the record. https://t.co/ngXLaZ5Is1
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) September 8, 2018
“It’s only thanks to Senate Democrats and others that we’ve been able to see important pieces of the judge’s lengthy paper trail,” the New York Times editorial board wrote in a piece tweeted by Leahy Saturday morning. “Far from being embarrassed by all this, Judge Kavanaugh is acting like someone who knows there is virtually nothing he can do to imperil his nomination.”
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) also tweeted a Slate piece Friday evening that asks whether Kavanaugh should be impeached for repeatedly denying under oath that he had received the stolen information from Miranda, saying his answers were “not true.”
Brett Kavanaugh used materials stolen from Democratic senators to advance President Bush's judicial nominees. He was asked about this in 2004, 2006 and this week. His answers were not true. https://t.co/YNYOyJUiDC
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 7, 2018
As ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser noted this week, Senate Republicans did Kavanaugh no favors this week by going to extreme lengths to keep much of his record secret — a choice that left him unprepared on numerous issues, including the Miranda emails. “Republicans did their own Supreme Court nominee a disservice by trying to keep so much of his record out of the public eye,” Millhiser wrote. “Their secrecy meant that Kavanaugh had to respond to attacks on the fly, often while trying to remember what he meant in an email written 15 years ago, and without any warning about which attacks were coming.”