MSNBC legal analyst explains exactly where Brett Kavanaugh perjured himself while under oath
Brett Kavanaugh testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee (MSNBC/screen grab)

The fallout from the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings continued to reverberate Monday, as the FBI conducted an investigation that Democrats say is far too limited in scope.


But public discussion about Kavanaugh's fitness for the court expanded beyond whether or not he committed sexual assault. Many legal analysts pointed out that Kavanaugh seemed to have lied to the Senate Judiciary committee about everything from his drinking to the meaning of sexual slang in his yearbook.

On Monday, MSNBC legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Danny Cevallos explained the legal framework under which Kavanaugh had likely committed perjury. For example, Kavanaugh contended that the legal drinking age was 18—but that reality would not have applied to him because he would have been 17 on the night he's accused of committing assault.

"The key to the perjury statute or the false statement statute often turns on knowing the falsity of the statement," Cevallos explained. "If somebody is lying about whether or not they were drinking underage, that means they could not have known that drinking was illegal at that particular age."

"It goes back to, did he knowingly make a false statement about his awareness of the drinking age?" Cevallos asked.

"It makes no sense. Those lies then set up the next requirement of materiality, in other words, was the statement made to mislead the senator asking the question?" he observed.

"Yes. High school drinking might be inconsequential if I'm asking about arms to Iran or something like that," he added. "But, if the question is about what you were drinking like in high school, and you mislead a Senator, now we're getting into perjury and false statements possibly," he concluded.

"A lie is a lie," MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle said. She pointed out that many of Kavanaugh's claims were absurd, such as the idea that he'd thrown up not from drinking but from sensitivity to spicy foods.

"Bull!" Jackson proclaimed.

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