If Republicans rush Kavanaugh's confirmation despite credible allegations of sexual assault, it could have serious consequences later on.
Republicans may rush to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court without a proper investigation into sexual assault allegations against him — but they will also risk seeing Kavanaugh impeached if Democrats retake the House, a top House Democrat promised.
On Wednesday morning's edition of Fox News' "America's Newsroom," host Sandra Smith questioned the "timing" of the allegations against Kavanaugh, and asked Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) to respond to the accusation that Democrats are simply trying to delay the confirmation vote until after the election.
But Swalwell turned the tables, telling Smith, "If the Republicans rush through a nominee where you have unanswered sexual assault allegations, I can promise you that Democratic senators will be interested in going and looking at those allegations."
"And if Judge Kavanaugh lied under oath, you could see a judicial impeachment," Swalwell warned.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has courageously come forward to describe Kavanaugh's alleged assault, has demanded an FBI investigation before she will appear at any hearing. But reopening Kavanaugh's background investigation would require a request from Trump, which he has already ruled out.
And Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has similarly ruled out an FBI probe into the allegations, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has raised the prospect of voting on Kavanaugh's nomination "as soon as possible," without any further investigation.
But Swalwell's warning carries serious implications for Trump and congressional Republicans, who are facing a growing threat of a blue wave in the midterms. If Republicans were to lose the House, Democrats would have the power to investigate Kavanaugh, to compel testimony, and to impeach Kavanaugh if he is found to have lied under oath about the alleged assault.
But if Democrats take back control of Congress, they could subpoena Judge, as well as any other relevant witnesses or materials. Thousands of Kavanaugh's emails and other documents remain secret, but could be revealed in Democrat-led committee hearings.
Impeachment for a Supreme Court justice requires a majority vote in the House of Representatives, followed by a trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required to remove a judge. But even if Kavanaugh were not removed, the investigations and impeachment would be incredibly damaging.
Republicans are trying to force through the confirmation of a nominee who was historically unpopular to begin with, and who is now facing growing opposition from Americans. If they won't do the right thing out of decency, perhaps they should at least consider the political price they'll pay for their actions — and whether Kavanaugh is really worth it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.