Sunday on MSNBC's "AM Joy," presidential candidate Julian Castro cited a report from the New York Times about an alleged sexual assault incident from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's college years and called for Kavanaugh to be impeached and removed from the bench.
Kavanaugh denies the allegation and President Trump tweeted:
Can’t let Brett Kavanaugh give Radical Left Democrat (Liberal Plus) Opinions based on threats of Impeaching him over made up stories (sound familiar?), false allegations, and lies. This is the game they play. Fake and Corrupt News is working overtime! #ProtectKavanaugh— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Castro told MSNBC's Joy Ann Reid Sunday that he believes Kavanaugh lied under oath during his confirmation hearings:
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Joining me now is -- by phone, is Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro. And Secretary Castro thank you for joining me. You're calling for Kavanaugh to be impeached. How likely is it, do you think, that these allegations would get anywhere near making that happen? And have you talked to any House Members about it?
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (Via telephone). You know, look, we know whether you're looking at the impeachment of Donald Trump or anybody else that Mitch McConnell and his buddies -- Republican buddies in the Senate are not likely to lift a finger. But what's happening right now with Donald Trump and what he's doing in the presidency and what happened with this Kavanaugh process is that they're completely undermining our Democratic process. And the necessity to go by what is truthful and honest -- especially when you're talking about somebody sitting on the highest court in the land, that is supposed to be the ultimate arbiter of what is right and just and what became clear...
I was going to say, what's become clear is that -- that he should be impeached. The House absolutely has the ability to impeach him. The question would be what the Senate would do and, you know, I want to know at this point why -- why did the FBI not follow up on all of these leads that they have? They didn't lift a finger to investigate it. And if they brought -- if they did bring some of that information to the attention of some of those Republican senators, why didn't those senators say anything?
REID: You tweeted that -- that in your view, Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. You believe he lied during his testimony about these alleged acts of sexual misconduct?
CASTRO: Based on -- on this new information that's certainly what it appears like, yes. That he's -- that he lied under oath.
REID: And do you believe then that he is essentially a sexual predator or that he was at some point?
CASTRO: Yes, I believe -- I believe that he engaged in the conduct that was described. I mean, folks should just stop and think for a second, you had, you know, now many, many people who made very similar allegations about his conduct in different context -- it wasn't just one episode. And these were people that -- that made these claims well before he was ever a judge, before he was up for the Supreme Court, before he was ever in the limelight. They told other people at that time and these are folks that themselves -- and we've seen with some of the people who came forward, they had a lot to lose in coming forward.
I mean they were risking some (ph) of their own career, their own reputation, that -- that people know how it is these days, you know, you step into the public eye and you get the blowback, even when you're being truthful about something and to -- they risked all of that and they had made the claims years before -- before he ever came up for a vote for the Supreme Court. That tells me that there is truth there.
And it is appalling that basically Mitch McConnell and his buddies have stolen a Supreme Court seat twice; once by denying Merrick Garland and the second time by putting this guy on the Supreme Court.
REID: And let me play it for a -- for a moment. This is the moment in which Brett Kavanaugh under oath -- and keep in mind he is under oath, denies the sexual -- some of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY KENNEDY, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT (RETIRED): Are Ms. Ramirez's allegations about you true?
BRETT KAVANAUGH; ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT: Those are not. She -- no -- none of the witnesses in the room support that. The -- if that -- that had happened, that would have been the talk of campus in our freshman dorm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And of course the story -- the big Blockbuster story in The New York Times is of course it was the talk of campus, at least seven people knew about it. People knew about it at the time. Do you believe that the fact that -- despite the fact that Ms. Ramirez was prepared to provide 25 witnesses but none of those witnesses was questioned by the FBI and according to her in this story these staff committee members from the Senate Judiciary Committee who spoke with her attempted to imply that it might be a case of mistaken identity.
Do you believe that there was misconduct in this case by the FBI, by the Department of Justice, or even by the senators who seemed uninterested in finding out what really happened with this very brief investigation of Mr. Kavanaugh?
CASTRO: Based on this report I absolutely believe that. In the least I have -- I think they -- the -- Congress -- the House of Representatives should immediately open up a review, an investigation of why that information was not followed up on by the FBI, why it was not made available to Democrats on that committee.
It is completely outside of the bounds of the normal process of a nomination. For the FBI not to follow up on those kinds of leads -- I mean, that's -- you know, that's not just an incompetent investigation, that seems like intentionally bad. And so they absolutely -- the House should absolutely begin a review right now.
REID: The implication at least of this New York Time's story was that it seemed that the Senate Judiciary Committee didn't encourage the information. Do you believe that any sort of investigation into what happened here should also include the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee seeming to want to rush through this nomination and get it through as quickly as possible or the Department of Justice -- who, by the way, William Barr is about to give an award -- a very high award to the people who pushed this nomination through and go it to happen.
Do you believe that there should be a broader look at why and who among Republicans -- senior Republicans in Washington and people at the DOJ were willing to seemingly do anything to just make this nomination happen as quickly as possible any -- by any means necessary?
CASTRO: I absolutely do. I think the American people are owed that. I don't think any of them have clean hands. The Republicans who were controlling that Senate Judiciary Committee, Mitch McConnell, the FBI, Bill Barr, the DOJ, all of them -- this information that we have very compellingly points to trying to cover-up that evidence so that it would make (ph) -- not make the light of day. It would not -- they knew that it would probably derail Kavanaugh's nomination and they chose to squelch it. That's what this looks like.
REID: The president has tweeted and normally his tweets are taken almost as instructions if you listen to Michael Cohen of (ph) the way that he communicates what he wants done is sometimes by implying what he wants done or sometimes he's just out-right saying it. And we know that William Barr is very compliant with whatever it is he knows that Donald Trump wants him to do, though he's supposed to represent the American people.
Are you concerned now since Donald Trump has suggested both that Brett Kavanaugh start suing people but also that the Justice Department step in and come to his rescue? Do you now worry that William Barr will carry out that Twitter order?
CASTRO: Well I mean we've seen plenty of examples, as you say, of these departments carrying out the orders of the president in appropriate ways but all of us have to remember that, you know, this is so far from normal. It's another reason that we need to beat Donald Trump in 2020, if not impeach him before then.
The Justice Department is not supposed to be the personal lawyer of the president or of a Supreme Court Justice. The Justice Department is there to do the business of the American people. And so this is another complete distortion by the president of what the Department of Justice is there to do. And it also gives you a hint that it's very easy to believe that they covered-up information for the sake of the president wanting to get Brett Kavanaugh appointed to the Supreme Court.
REID: Julian Castro, candidate for president of the United States, thank you very much. I really appreciate you coming on. I know we asked you in very short order so thank you very much. Really appreciate it.