This afternoon, after the Republican Party cobbled together enough votes to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, thus putting him over the top, I pointed out that he could quickly be removed if the Democrats win control of the Senate next month. Some observers mistakenly thought I was referring to removal by impeachment vote, and pointed out that 67 Senate votes would be needed. But I’m talking about something that would only take 51 Senate votes.
Over the past two years we’ve seen multiple Republican-controlled Senate committees make criminal referrals against witnesses who allegedly lied under oath during their testimony. If the Democrats take the majority in the Senate, even by only one vote, they’ll take control of the Senate Judiciary Committee – where Brett Kavanaugh just finished committing multiple counts of easily proven perjury on multiple topics. In such case the Democrats can, and will, make a criminal referral against Kavanaugh.
If you’re tempted to think this might sound like some kind of mere hypothetical fantasy, I can’t stress enough that the Senate doesn’t hesitate in general to make these kinds of criminal referrals. And this time around, Donald Trump wouldn’t be able to place any restrictions on the investigation, because it wouldn’t be his investigation to begin with. We’d likely see Kavanaugh indicted by a grand jury and then arrested. There’s a reason why Donald Trump and his White House placed such emphasis on trying to prevent Kavanaugh’s past drinking habits from being investigated by the FBI. It’s not that the drinking would have disqualified him; it’s that it would have nailed him for perjury.
The big question is whether the Democrats can win the Senate next month. The Democrats would need to keep all of their existing seats, plus win two Republican seats from the races in Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, and Nevada. Or, if the Democrats lose one seat, they would need to take three Republican seats, and so on. This would be tricky, but doable. The magic number in the Senate for ousting Brett Kavanaugh isn’t necessarily 67; it’s 51.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report