Lies, Lewd Texts, ‘Sexualized Relationship’ At Center Of Trump-Appointed Fed Judge’s Abrupt Resignation

Joshua Kindred during his Dec. 4, 2019 Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing (Credit: still image from Senate Judiciary Committee video of the hearing/TPM illustration)
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A Trump-appointed federal judge in Alaska abruptly and with no explanation resigned from his position last Wednesday. 

Court documents made public Monday reveal that former U.S. District Judge Joshua Kindred’s resignation came after he was asked to voluntarily resign in response to a judicial investigation that found he had “an inappropriately sexualized relationship” with one of his law clerks during her clerkship and while she was an assistant district attorney and engaged in misconduct that was “pervasive and abusive.”

Kindred also repeatedly lied about his misconduct during the investigation and “created a hostile work environment for his law clerks by engaging in unwanted, offensive, and abusive conduct, and treating the law clerks in a demonstrably egregious and hostile manner,” according to the 30-page court order — which was filed in May but was made public on July 8. The report reveals behind-the-scenes details of an out of control work environment created by Kindred, who was accused of repeatedly speaking with “no filter” about his sex life and receiving nude photos from a federal prosecutor whose office had frequent business before him.

“We conclude that Judge Kindred’s misconduct was pervasive and abusive, constituted sexual harassment, and fostered a hostile work environment that took a personal and professional toll on multiple clerks,” the report read.

At the center of the scathing report is an unnamed law clerk. The report details the allegations behind two inappropriate “sexual encounters” between the female clerk and the former judge, as well as the contents of 278 pages of text messages between the two over an 11-month period. 

According to the report, “only a small fraction of [the texts] had any relationship to her legitimate job duties.”

Some of the texts include Kindred sending “communications, such as telling the clerk that he missed her” while she was away and “stating that ‘[w]ork is so much better when you are here.’”

In other instances, Kindred also texted the former clerk saying, “you’re legitimately one of my best friends and favorite human beings in the world” and “Nothing is real until I talk to you about it. But why am I so needy? What’s wrong with me?”

The report claims the former judge’s misconduct continued even after the clerk began her new job as an assistant district attorney for the District of Alaska. 

“About a week after [the former clerk] left her clerkship … Judge Kindred asked her if she would like to get drinks,” according to the report. Halfway through the evening, Kindred told the former clerk “there’s always been something between us, right?”

“At the end of the night, Judge Kindred offered to drive the clerk home but

said that he needed to stop by the courthouse and asked her to come upstairs to his

Chambers,” the report said. “He asked her to sit on the couch with him, but the clerk sat on the couch across from him. The law clerk reported that, at some point, Judge Kindred kissed her and grabbed her buttocks.”

When asked about the night in question during the investigation, Kindred told investigators that the clerk was the one who asked him to meet up for drinks and she was the one who initiated the kiss that took place in his chambers. 

“These denials were belied by documentary evidence and, as revealed later during Judge Kindred’s testimony to the Judicial Council, by Judge Kindred’s own admissions,” the report reads.

The second incident detailed in the report took place on October 7, 2022, when Kindred was moving out of his home. During a pizza party before the move, the report describes Kindred as repeatedly asking the law clerk to sit with him on the couch despite her declining to do so.

Later, after the clerk left the party, the report states, “Kindred texted her, and she

told him that they needed to talk in person, so she asked Judge Kindred to pick her

up. Initially, they were talking in his truck outside her house, but it was cold, so

Judge Kindred suggested they go to his temporary apartment.”

Immediately after arriving at the apartment Kindred went to one of the bedrooms and kept shouting to the clerk to “come to the bedroom … as he was lying on the bed,” the law clerk reported to investigators. He then asked the clerk to lie down with him, the report reads. 

The clerk recalled that she initially sat on the corner of the bed but later, at Kindred’s insistence, lied down.

“[H]e started putting his hands on me. And so I remember the first time he like grabbed my boob, and I like grabbed his like forearm, and I remember thinking like he felt

really strong and I tried to like pull his arm off of me,” the former clerk recalls. “I just remember thinking like there’s nothing I can do about this, like this is about to happen. . . . I remember him saying something about like “Finally,” like – because I remember just feeling like, yeah, finally, like you win like the game. Like I always felt like this – like this thing that he couldn’t touch and finally he felt like he could touch. . . . He took my pants off. I’m pretty sure I was still wearing a shirt. . . . And then he performed oral sex on me.”

“Based on the results of its investigation, the Committee determined that the law clerks and other witnesses were credible and that Judge Kindred had been dishonest with the Committee,” the report concluded.

After the report was made public,, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) responded saying  it was “more than appropriate” that Kindred resign.

“Based on the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit’s Order and Certification, it is more than appropriate that Mr. Kindred tendered his resignation,” Murkowski posted on X Monday. “Judges need to be held to the highest of standards and Mr. Kindred fell well short of that mark. I will be working quickly to advance a replacement nominee for consideration.”

While he did voluntarily resign, Kindred could still face a rare judicial impeachment if the judicial conference decides to submit a report to Congress. If it comes to it, similar to a presidential impeachment, it would be done through a vote of impeachment by the House and a trial and conviction by the Senate.

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Notable Replies

  1. Who in these times thinks he can get away with shit like this? The resignation is a small part of this guys penance. He threw away a LIFETIME cush job that asked him to work about 20 hours a week. He will be a pariah in legal circles and not just for what he did but for doing it in a way that got him caught.

    This guy was way to stupid to be a Judge.

  2. Credit for resigning as a federal judge, but is he now considering a run for congress in the future? No ethical or moral standards required for representing the cult. He’s pretty much a bog standard repub in that regard.

  3. Trumplicans

  4. Well, it’s clearly a case of “Kindred” spirit run amok!! It is pervasive in the MAGAt club…

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