The Senate Judiciary Committee late Wednesday released more than 1,000 written questions posed by senators and answered by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of his confirmation hearing last week.
In most instances, Kavanaugh stuck to his view that he would not be drawn into political issues and at other points referred the senators to things he had said at the confirmation hearing, without elaborating.
Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, lashed out at Senate Democrats for trying to “gum up the process” with an avalanche of questions, which he said was larger than any batch of post-hearing queries sent to any nominee in history. Neil Gorsuch, by comparison, responded to 324 questions. Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan each responded to about 215 questions, according to Grassley.
Senators are allowed to keep the record open after the hearing and ask written questions of court nominees, who are still under oath during this phase of the confirmation process.
“Last week, Judge Kavanaugh sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for well over 32 hours of statements and questions,” Grassley said in a statement. “Members had the opportunity to ask as many questions they wanted to ask. Submitting this many written questions appears to be just one more effort to gum up the process.”
What follows are some of the questions presented to Kavanaugh—and his responses—lightly edited for length and clarity.
➤➤ The Alex Kozinski clerkship. Kavanaugh was pressed over what he knew, and when he knew it, about sexual misconduct claims that would force the Ninth Circuit judge to resign last year. Sen. Patrick Leahy asked: “Did you ever received sexually suggestive or explicit emails from Judge Kozinski, whether as part of his ‘Easy Rider Gag List’ or otherwise?”
Kavanaugh: “I do not remember receiving inappropriate emails of a sexual nature from Judge Kozinski.”
Sen. Christopher Coons: “At least 15 women have accused Judge Kozinski of sexual harassment. Do you believe that Judge Kozinski treated women inappropriately?”
Kavanaugh: “As I said at the hearing, I have no reason to doubt the claims of these women.”
Coons: “During the entire course of your relationship with Judge Kozinski, did you ever witness him engaging in inappropriate behavior?”
Kavanaugh: “Judge Kozinski was known to be a tough boss, but I did not witness him engaging in inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono: “Judge Kozinski was quoted as saying he was heartened by having heard from some former clerks after his misconduct was revealed in public. Were you among them? Did you contact him after the revelations were made public? When was the last time you were in contact with him?”
Kavanaugh responded: “I contacted Judge Kozinski shortly after he resigned because I was concerned about his mental health.”
➤➤ Contact with Mueller’s prosecutors. Sen. Kamala Harris: “Have you had any contact with Robert Mueller or any members of his special counsel team—including through an intermediary—since March 1, 2017? If yes, please describe the nature of the contact, including the identity of the person(s) you communicated with and the timing and substance of the communications.”
Kavanaugh: “Not to my knowledge. I may have seen or said hello to members of his team when passing them in the courthouse. I have had no inappropriate discussions.”
Kavanaugh’s responses are posted here in full:
Mike Scarcella contributed reporting from Washington.