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Democrats say Brett Kavanaugh may have committed perjury by lying about Republican 'spying' in the Senate

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 9/6/2018

Records marked “confidential” reveal President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have lied under oath about his involvement in the so-called “memogate” scandal that stained the Republican Party in the early 2000s, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy alleged Thursday.

Facing questions on the matter for a second day in a row, Kavanaugh tripped up a bit as Leahy presented emails he exchanged with Manny Miranda, a Republican Judiciary Committee aide who stole and disseminated thousands of confidential documents from the committee’s Democrats between 2001 and 2003.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera © Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

In several emails to Kavanaugh, Miranda attached documents he had inappropriately obtained from Democratic servers, some of which were explicitly labeled “not for distribution” and “highly confidential.”

Kavanaugh, who was a White House lawyer working on President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees at the time, at no point questioned Miranda how he had obtained those emails.

In a string of tweets posted Thursday afternoon, Leahy referenced one particular eight-page memo that Miranda had stolen from his staff and sent over to Kavanaugh on March 18, 2003.

“Kavanaugh was told that I received a sensitive letter ‘in the strictest confidence’ about a controversial nominee,” Leahy tweeted. “He was asked to keep the information confidential and to take no action without further instruction. HE DIDN’T THINK THIS WAS ‘untoward?’”

Another particularly damning email sent to Kavanaugh had the subject line “spying” and referenced a “mole on the left” who was feeding information to the Republicans.

“Interesting,” Kavanaugh responded to the email.

Leahy charged that the email chains, which were released Thursday amid Democratic outrage over their being kept confidential, directly contradict sworn testimony Kavanaugh gave at his confirmation hearings for federal judgeships in 2004 and 2006.

“A number of senators, Republicans and Democrats, asked you, and you said you never received any stolen materials,” Leahy said, recalling questioning about the “memogate” scandal at the time. “That doesn’t appear to be accurate.”

Kavanaugh contended he had no reason to suspect the records Miranda forwarded to him had been obtained illegally, saying committee Democrats and Republicans frequently exchanged information.

Leahy countered that several documents Miranda had given him were marked confidential and contained Democratic insider information that had not been publicly discussed.

“I was born at night, but not last night,” Leahy said.

Miranda was pressured to resign in 2004 after details about his hacking activity were exposed. The ex-GOP aide was never prosecuted but Democrats and Republicans agreed his actions amounted to criminal behavior.

The possibility that Kavanaugh may have lied under oath could jeopardize his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Leahy say the unearthed email exchanges between Kavanaugh and Miranda may just be the tip of the iceberg.

“It is simply not ‘normal’ to get real-time insider intelligence from a Democratic ‘mole’ and marked ‘spying,’” Leahy tweeted. “Red flags abound. And with 102,000 documents withheld by the Trump White House, mostly about judicial nominations, we can bet there’s more.”


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