More than two dozen progressive groups have asked the House Oversight and Judiciary committees to examine whether Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury during his Senate confirmation hearings last fall.
A letter addressed to the panels Thursday from groups including the Women's March, UltraViolet, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee contends that "many issues went unresolved during last year's confirmation process, when Senate Republicans jettisoned all procedural norms and abandoned any sense of fairness, and they must be investigated."
The issues identified by the groups include "whether he [Kavanaugh] sexually assaulted the women who credibly accused him of doing so [and] whether he lied about his financial debt and how it was repaid; and whether he is ultimately fit to be a justice on the Supreme Court."
The "financial debt" refers to reports following Kavanaugh's nomination that he racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt buying Washington Nationals season tickets for himself and friends, as well as for home improvements. Kavanaugh and the White House said the debts were paid off or fell below the legal reporting limit after Kavanaugh's friends reimbursed him for the baseball tickets, an explanation the groups said "simply makes no sense ... The White House's involvement in trying to explain it [the debt] away only heightens the need for further investigation and public answers."
The debate over Kavanaugh's confirmation was rocked by sexual assault allegations dating back to his days in high school and college in the 1980s. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations in a dramatic appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27. Following a brief delay to accommodate a supplemental FBI investigation into the claims, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the full Senate on Oct. 6.
In December, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals' Judicial Council dismissed 83 ethics complaints against Kavanaugh dating back more than a decade to his confirmation hearing for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In dismissing the complaints, Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich wrote that while "the allegations in the complaint are serious," they could not be reviewed because they were filed under a federal law that does not apply to Supreme Court justices. The council dismissed 20 legal appeals involving the complaints last month.
Ahead of Kavanaugh's confirmation in October, then-House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., told ABC News' "This Week" that lawmakers "would have to investigate any credible allegations ... of perjury and other things that haven’t been properly looked into before."
Following November's midterm elections, The Federalist reported that Nadler was overheard discussing the possibility of impeaching Kavanaugh in a phone conversation on an Amtrak train to Washington.
"The worst-case scenario — or best case depending on your point of view — you prove he committed perjury, about a terrible subject and the Judicial Conference recommends you impeach him. So the president appoints someone just as bad," Nadler reportedly said, adding that there was "a real indication that Kavanaugh committed perjury" during his confirmation hearings.