Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) called for an impeachment inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and defended her colleagues' attack on the Supreme Court in an amicus brief during an appearance on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports.
In an interview with host Andrea Mitchell, Hirono blasted the weeklong FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh. She called it a "sham investigation" because the FBI declined to interview 25 potential witnesses the attorney for Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez claimed would corroborate her client's allegations.
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"Under normal circumstances, Andrea, I would ask the I.G. to do an investigation as to why the FBI investigation was so limited and to get to the bottom of these things. But these are not normal times," Hirono said. "So I would ask the House Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment inquiry so that we can get to the bottom of whether or not Kavanaugh lied to Congress, specifically to the Judiciary Committee."
Hirono also accused President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) of "court packing," seeming to confuse it with the normal procedure of nominating judges. She told Mitchell "some of us have been talking about court packing that's going on and the danger of court packing by Mitch McConnell and Trump."
"Court packing" refers to a proposed practice of expanding the Supreme Court so the current president can nominate additional ideologically aligned justices. No president has ever successfully accomplished it, but several Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have expressed openness to court packing.
In August, Hirono, along with four other Democratic senators, filed an amicus brief warning the Supreme Court to "heal" or face an overhaul. Critics argued that Hirono and her colleagues were effectively threatening to pack the Court. The brief accused the Court of yielding to "corporate and Republican political interests" in areas like civil rights, voting rights, and workplace issues.
In Monday's interview, Hirono cited the brief as her attempt to resist President Trump's "court packing" and dismissed concerns that it threatened judicial independence, asking Mitchell, "How can you threaten people with lifetime appointments?"
"Some of us wrote an amicus brief, signed on to an amicus brief to the Supreme Court urging them not to accept cert on a New York gun case that should have been a moot situation leading to the Wall Street Journal accusing the five of us of threatening the court. Really? How can you threaten people with lifetime appointments?" Hirono said.
She then reiterated her characterization of Trump's nomination of conservative judges as "court packing."
"Court packing is a huge danger and I believe it is one of the lasting legacies of this Trump presidency with these very ideological conservative members at all levels of the judiciary who will bring their ideological axes to grind as far as I'm concerned."