Prior to the midterm elections, there was widespread speculation about what Democrats might do if they regained control of the House of Representatives, with the general consensus being that a plethora of politically-motivated committee investigations would be opened up against President Donald Trump, members of his Cabinet and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Those assumptions have more or less been confirmed by the own words of Democrat New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, who stands poised to assume the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist just so happened to be sitting within earshot of Nadler on the Acela train from New York City to Washington D.C. on Wednesday while he chatted on his phone about the election results and plans for the next two years with various callers.
Chief among those plans was a dual-track effort to remove Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court, either through further investigation of the uncorroborated allegations against him or through prosecution for alleged perjury that was said to have occurred during the under oath confirmation hearings.
The first route actually involved investigating the investigators and going after the FBI for how it handled the Kavanaugh allegations. “They didn’t even do a half-ass job,” Nadler said, according to Hemmingway. “They didn’t interview 30 witnesses who said ‘Interview me! I’ve got a lot to say!’”
As to the second route, Nadler said “there’s a real indication that Kavanaugh committed perjury” during his Senate testimony.
The congressman referenced an article from The Atlantic about one of the accusers and said that when Kavanaugh was “asked at a committee hearing under oath when he first heard of the subject, he said, ‘When I’d heard of the Atlantic article.’ But there is an email chain apparently dating from well before that from him about ‘How can we deal with this?’”
Hemingway explained that Nadler was referencing a since-debunked claim against Kavanaugh that came from conflicting reports about what he knew of his accusers and when he knew it, and even Nadler himself seemed to concede that ousting Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court over alleged perjury was a long-shot that may not even bring the desired political results to Democrats.
Specifically, Nadler told the caller, “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.”
Hemmingway said Nadler also rejected a suggestion that the committee conduct an investigation of Kavanaugh quietly, as he said, “You can’t do it quietly because word will get out that the FBI or the committee is reaching out to witnesses.”
Nor could the committee drag out an investigation and impeachment of Kavanaugh until after the 2020 presidential election in the hope that Democrat would win and replace him. According to Hemmingway, Nadler said of Kavanaugh — in comparison to an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory against Trump — “There are a finite amount of witnesses. I don’t see why it should take long at all. We’re not talking about a 30-year scheme of getting money from Russians via hidden sources — that takes time.”
Speaking of Trump, Hemmingway also said Nadler told one caller that his committee would be “all in” on an impeachment effort against the president that would be branded and framed in a more public-friendly way of holding the president “accountable,” though he admitted the committee’s efforts would be “depending on what (special counsel Robert) Mueller finds.”
Nevertheless, Nadler was adamant that his committee “will have a role” — albeit a supporting one — in the Rep. Adam Schiff-led Intelligence Committee’s Trump/Russia investigations, which have essentially been ongoing since shortly after Trump first took office.
Hemmingway claims Nadler also discussed the prospective Democratic presidential candidates for 2020 with some callers, and worried that presumed front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden would be hurt by the efforts at impeaching Kavanaugh, as Biden’s own role in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings could come back to bite him.
Nadler also reportedly lamented that too many of the other prospective candidates were “too conservative” or “too conservative on economic issues for the party” or “not charismatic” enough for his liking.
Hemmingway said Nadler further expressed his disappointment with how well the economy was doing and how the booming economy had helped Republicans do better than expected Tuesday night. He also took issue with the recruitment of NeverTrumper moderates and “Rockefeller Republicans” to the Democratic Party, as they were generally rich elitists whose presence would contradict the party’s efforts to portray itself as the party of the working class.
The resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions was announced after the train ride was over, but Hemingway noted in her piece that Nadler had taken to social media to address the sudden change and seemed to indicate that his committee would be investigating the “reasoning” behind Trump’s decision to get rid of Sessions … even though Nadler had been demanding Sessions’ resignation just last year.
Though these overheard quotes are just the words of one Democrat congressman — albeit a rather prominent one in charge of a powerful committee — they do seem to suggest that, as usual, Democrats will go full force against Trump and everyone associated with him.
Also as usual, they will most likely overplay their hand — just like with Kavanaugh’s confirmation — and only serve to ensure Trump’s re-election in 2020, and possibly even a Republican takeover of the House in response as well.
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