This Lawyer Contacted Senators With ‘Important Stories’ About Kavanaugh — But Says He Was Ignored

Lawyer Cyrus Sanai first attempted to contact the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of July.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Photo Credit: Flickr/CBP Photography

A letter, sent this summer to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), by a lawyer that claimed to have important, pertinent information in regards to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, has been published by the Intercept. Lawyer Cyrus Sanai first attempted to contact the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of July. The information Sanai was offering was connected to disgraced Judge Alex Kozinski, the former mentor of Brett Kavanaugh, who retired before a more thorough investigation into his reportedly rampant sexual misconduct was pursued. Sanai was a California lawyer who “blew the whistle” on Kozinski’s behavior, long before news outlets picked up the story. Sanai’s letter—a copy of which the Intercept provides here—offers up a number “witnesses” who might be able to shed light on an important part of Judge Kavanaugh’s professional and legal life. 

I am writing to you in your respective capacities as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The purpose of this letter is to urge an immediate follow-up hearing to the June 13, 2018 hearing on “Confronting Sexual Harassment and Other Workplace Misconduct in the Federal Judiciary.” The June 13, 2018 hearing was substantially insufficient, because it failed to call witnesses to address the institutionalized policies of retaliation against employees of the courts, law clerks, and third parties who expose judicial misconduct. This issue needs to be addressed now because there are persons who work for, or who have worked for, the federal judiciary who have important stories to tell about disgraced former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and his mentee, current United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

According to Sanai, he received no replies. The importance of this document is that these witnesses could potentially confirm or contradict Kavanaugh’s repeated assertions—under oath—that he knew nothing of his mentor’s misconduct.

During his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh told the Judiciary Committee that he had no knowledge whatsoever of Kozinski’s behavior and was stunned to learn of the misconduct allegations. “When they became public, the first thought I had: No one should be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace ever, including in the judiciary, especially in the judiciary,” Kavanaugh said under oath during his confirmation hearing, responding to a question from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “When I heard, it was a gut punch. It was a gut punch for me. It was a gut punch for the judiciary. I was shocked, and disappointed, angry, swirl of emotions.”

In a follow up question, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, asked him to search his records and in a written response, he backed off his certainty, saying only, “I do not remember receiving inappropriate emails of a sexual nature from Judge Kozinski.”

I don’t expect much of anything from Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has repeatedly pretended to be a Senator, and not simply a complicit hack in the dismantling of our checks and balance system of government. I expect more from Sen. Feinstein (though sadly, not much), because I expect more from Democrats. However, this confirmation hearing has exposed the fundamental problem with what is frequently called “centrist Democrats.” The issue isn’t their unabashed love for capitalism, so much as it’s the conservative streak that makes them believe that the worst of the status quo must be defended—while the best of it is ripped apart in service of fascism. 

I’ve never been a fan of Feinstein, and living in the Bay Area, I find myself hoping she will retire because her time has been over for about 20 years now.

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Walter Einenkel is a social media editor and writer at DailyKos.