Dick Durbin

President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is already facing allegations of perjury. Confidential documents Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) released Wednesday add fuel to the fire.

Durbin, who is one of the most senior Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, posted two pages of documents marked “committee confidential” on his official senate website Wednesday. The documents show an email thread between Kavanaugh, and former White House counsel associates Helgard Walker and Bradford Berenson, who are discussing the nomination of William “Jim” Haynes for a nomination to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

“What is the basis for saying [Haynes] would be an across-the-board judicial conservative? I have no reason to think that one way or another outside of defense/military area — and I know others have questions about that,” Kavanaugh wrote to Berenson and Walker.

Dick Durbin
Screenshot of confidential documents Dick Durbin published on Wednesday

The discussion itself seems innocuous, but Dick Durbin accused Kavanaugh of lying under oath during his 2006 confirmation hearings, when Kavanaugh was nominated to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. During those hearings, Kavanaugh told Durbin while under oath that even though he knew Haynes, he was not involved in his nomination.

“It is clear now that not only did Judge Kavanaugh mislead me when it came to his involvement in the Bush Administration’s detention and interrogation policies, but also regarding his role in the controversial Haynes nomination,” Durbin wrote in a statement posted to his website. “This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again – he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story.  It is no wonder the White House and Senate Republicans are rushing through this nomination and hiding much of Judge Kavanaugh’s record—the questions about this nominee’s credibility are growing every day.”

Sen. Durbin’s perjury accusations come on the heels of an entirely separate allegation of perjury from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) last week. Sen. Leahy released confidential documents suggesting Kavanaugh had lied about his knowledge of being privy to emails that a GOP operative stole from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the nomination of Bill Pryor to a federal judicial post.

Perjury is considered an impeachable offense. While no Supreme Court justice has ever been convicted on impeachment charges, federal judge Walter Nixon (no relation to the former U.S. president) was impeached by Congress in 1989 for perjury. Nixon had lied to federal investigators regarding his involvement in helping a former business partner’s son evade drug charges.


Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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