Washington: Several Democratic presidential candidates called for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh on Sunday after The New York Times published new information about allegations of sexual misconduct against him, while Republican leaders condemned the reporting as irresponsible and defended him.
President Donald Trump on Twitter accused news outlets of trying to pressure the justice into taking more liberal positions and suggested, without elaborating, that the "Justice Department should come to his rescue."
On Saturday, The Times published an essay in its Opinion section adapted from a forthcoming book "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," by two Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who helped cover his confirmation hearings.
The reporters wrote that they spent 10 months investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct and assault at the center of the hearings, including one by a former Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez. She recalled being at a dorm party where participants were drinking heavily, and Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it.
While Senate investigators concluded at the time that Ramirez's account lacked corroboration, the authors said at least seven people "heard about the Yale incident long before Kavanaugh was a federal judge."
The authors also said they uncovered a second, previously unreported incident involving similar behavior by Kavanaugh at a different party in his freshman year.
"These newest revelations are disturbing," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat-Massachusetts, wrote on Twitter about The Times essay. "Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached."
Sen. Kamala Harris, Democrat-California, on Twitter echoed the call for impeachment.
"He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice," she wrote.
Julian Castro, who was housing secretary under President Barack Obama, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also called for his impeachment.
The Senate Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said on Twitter, that the "far left's willingness to seize on completely uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations during last year's confirmation process was a dark and embarrassing chapter for the Senate."
Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, wrote on Twitter that "The New York Times should be ashamed of this smear on Justice".