Arizona Senator Jeff Flake appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday evening and settled the question of whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to serve on the Supreme Court should be rejected. The Republican, who last week used his critical position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to secure an ill-defined, one-week FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, was asked by CBS News’ Scott Pelley: “If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the committee, nomination’s over?”
Flake replied: “Oh yes.”
Flake’s colleague, Delaware Democrat Chris Coons, echoed the sentiment: “I would think so.” That should settle the matter, because Kavanaugh has been shown to have lied to the committee.
No matter what the FBI turns up with regard to the nominee’s denials last week of allegations that were detailed in powerful testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—the research psychologist who told the Senate she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her—and no matter what is turned up with regard to other assault allegations that he has denied, the Senate already has overwhelming evidence of what former Judiciary Committee member Russ Feingold refers to as “the nominee’s disturbing willingness to avoid the truth.”
Feingold, a former Democratic senator from Wisconsin who was highly regarded for his fairness and commitment to bipartisanship, has focused attention on the fact that there is now “clear evidence showing that Kavanaugh lied under oath during the 2006 confirmation hearing for his spot on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.”
Feingold recalls questioning Kavanaugh during that hearing about the role the nominee had played in advancing the Bush administration’s judicial nominees. In particular, the Democratic senator from Wisconsin inquired about Kavanaugh’s handling of the controversial nomination of Charles Pickering Sr. to serve on the Fifth Circuit. Kavanaugh feigned ignorance, claiming that “This was not one of the judicial nominees that I was primarily handling.”
In fact, as Feingold has noted in a Huffington Post essay, “newly released emails show that Kavanaugh appeared to be the primary person handling Pickering’s nomination, at least by 2003, and was heavily involved in pushing for his confirmation as early as March 2002. There are emails showing that Kavanaugh coordinated meetings with and about Pickering; that he drafted remarks, letters to people on the Hill and at least one op-ed for then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales about Pickering; that he advised Gonzales on Pickering strategy; and much more.”