Brett Kavanaugh Should Face Congressional Investigation, Majority of Americans Say: Poll

In a new ABC News poll released Friday, the majority of Americans said they would support a congressional investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, assuming Democrats were to regain control of either the House or Senate after the midterms and had the power to open such an investigation.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would support the investigation by lawmakers, which would likely be into sexual misconduct allegations and perjury, while 43 percent opposed. Men were almost evenly split on their opinion, with 47 percent for and 49 percent against. Women were less divided, with 58 percent in support of an investigation, compared to 37 percent opposed to it.

Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate and officially sworn in October 6 after weeks of public debate surrounding multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct during his time in high school and college in the 1980s. The Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House instructed the FBI to conduct an additional background investigation into the validity of some of the allegations after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's first accuser, publicly testified. Democrats and critics cried foul over the FBI investigation's brevity and lack of witness interviews, with Democratic Senator Bob Menendez going so far as to call it "bullshit." The bureau's report, which was not made public, reportedly did not find anything additionally damaging toward Kavanaugh.

Although it may be politically implausible, House Democrats said they were prepared—should they regain control after the midterms—to open their own congressional investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations and into possible perjury committed by Kavanaugh during his testimony to senators. Should the investigation find that the Supreme Court justice lied under oath, or discover further evidence to support he committed sexual assault, some Democrats said they would support his impeachment.

If Democrats regained control of the House they would hold the subpoena power on the House Judiciary Committee. Democrat Jerry Nadler would then take control as chairman, and he has already promised an investigation.

"It is not something we are eager to do," Nadler said in an interview the day before Kavanaugh's confirmation. "But the Senate having failed to do its proper constitutionally mandated job of advise and consent, we are going to have to do something to provide a check and balance, to protect the rule of law and to protect the legitimacy of one of our most important institutions."

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois also sits on the House Judiciary Committee. He told Newsweek in September that his first move would be to subpoena Kavanaugh associates, like Mark Judge, who were not interviewed as part of the FBI's supplemental investigation.

"Let's do the job that the Senate refused to do," said Gutiérrez, alluding to the Senate Judiciary Committee's refusal to subpoena Judge to testify under oath. Ford said that Judge was in the same room when Kavanaugh attempted to rape her, but Judge denied all of Ford's allegations in a prior six-sentence sworn statement sent to the committee.

"If we find lies about assault against women, then we should proceed to impeach," Gutiérrez said at the time.

The ABC News poll, conducted in partnership with The Washington Post, was conducted by Langer Research Associates of New York. The survey had a random sample size of 1,144 adults across the U.S. and was conducted by both landlines and cellphones from October 8-11. Surveys were conducted in both English and Spanish consisting of 33 percent Democrats, 26 percent Republicans and 35 percent independents. The poll had a 3.5 percent margin of error.

Update: This story has been updated to include the methodology of the poll and how it was conducted.

Brett Kavanaugh Should Face Congressional Investigation, Majority of Americans Say: Poll | U.S.