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Joe Biden's sister dismisses calls for Justice Kavanaugh's impeachment

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In an interview with CBS News, Valerie Biden Owens — former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign co-chair and younger sister — dismissed calls to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"I don't think you'd call for impeachment proceedings because of a story in The New York Times," Biden Owens said.

After The New York Times' report of Kavanaugh was published, Biden released a statement saying "we need to get to the bottom" of Kavanaugh's confirmation process. 

"This weekend's report in the New York Times raises again profoundly troubling questions about the integrity of the confirmation process that put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court in the first place," the statement said.

"We need to get to the bottom of whether the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans pressured the FBI to ignore evidence or prevented them from following up on leads relating to Justice Kavanaugh's background investigation, subsequent allegations that arose, and the truthfulness of his testimony to the Senate."

At least five other candidates — including Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren — have called for Congress to move to impeach Kavanaugh, following a new report detailing allegations of sexual misconduct from his time in college.

Biden Owens expressed support for the campaign's statement calling to do "this the right way" and "follow the evidence to wherever it leads," though noting that she had yet to discuss the topic with her brother.

"I don't think any of us are in a position to point a finger, make a judgment," she said.

Biden Owens' comments came as she made her debut Monday on the 2020 stump in southern Nevada.

As his self-described "right hand," Biden Owens has led campaigns for her brother "since high school." But the former vice president's sister has stepped back from a daily role in Biden's latest bid, citing the demands of her position at the University of Delaware's Biden Institute.

"We still talk all the time and I'm very much involved. But I'm careful to make the distinction of when I'm at school and when I'm here," she told CBS News, remarking that "this is what I do in my spare time."

Asked what she perceived as her brother's biggest challenge, Biden Owens swiped back at some of the debate stage attacks on her brother.

"Joe wants to win this primary and win the presidency on the basis of his vision, and moving forward, and what his plans are," Biden Owens explained. "I don't think there are a lot of people who want to go back and re-litigate section 453 of some bill. His biggest challenge is not to be pulled back in by that. Not to be pulled in by somebody who wants a t-shirt opportunity."

Before headlining an office opening in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Biden Owens stopped Monday morning at Nevada non-profit SafeNest, where she toured one of the charity's facilities for victims of domestic violence.

"I know we Bidens are accused of talking a lot and I've already done that," she joked at a roundtable with community advocates, discussing then-Sen. Biden's landmark Violence Against Women Act.

"But we're good listeners too. Tell us what you need. My brother will be here himself in two weeks, but I'm a good messenger," she added.

Biden has deployed a handful of surrogates to Nevada in recent weeks, including an Olympic figure skater and a former Obama labor secretary, as more campaigns have begun to ramp up their own presence in the state. 

Minutes away from Biden's new office, Pete Buttigieg's campaign manager Mike Schmuhl also Monday was inaugurating their third location in the state. Schmuhl pledged "to get Pete here more and more" as the South Bend mayor looks to catch up to Nevada's heavyweights: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden.

"To go from five volunteers in January to the strength that we have now, we're over 400 staff across the early states and we're only going to get stronger," said Schmuhl.

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