WASHINGTON — When Top court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate panel vetting his nomination tomorrow to start his weeklong confirmation hearing, President Trump won’t take attendance — but he’ll be an important focus.
So will special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe, as Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats ready a rapid-fire distinctive line of questioning for Kavanaugh about his views of executive power — such as the federal appellate judge’s past writings opining that presidents probably should not face the “burden” of cooperating with criminal investigations and prosecutions.
“There’s a serious question whether or not this president, in the opportunity, will end the Mueller investigation, a thing that most Republicans as well as overwhelming many Americans say has to be serious mistake,” Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), said yesterday on “Fox News Sunday.” “We ask, of course, Judge Kavanaugh, whats your opinion?”
The constitutional limits of executive power — including whether presidents must observe federal subpoenas or maybe if they usually are called to testify maybe indicted — haven’t yet been settled via the high court, making Kavanaugh’s opinion of the matter a point of keen interest for Democrats. But you are unlikely to secure a satisfying answer: For decades, Supreme Court nominees have demurred when questioned during confirmation hearings about matters that could appear ahead of the court.
Kavanaugh will take the same approach when grilled on other hot-button issues, including abortion, affirmative action, federal regulatory authority, the death penalty, immigration and voting rights.
Still, Democrats, facing the all-but-certain confirmation in the federal appellate judge, showed a willingness to combat yesterday when they battled the White House over the past weekend over its decision to withhold roughly 100,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s tenure in President George W. Bush’s White House with a claim of executive privilege.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer referred to as move, announced in the holiday weekend prior to the confirmation hearing is scheduled to commence, a “Friday night document massacre.”
The privilege claim “has all of the makings of the cover up,” Schumer said inside of a statement. Durbin along with other Democrats used the Twitter hashtag #WhatAreTheyHiding to join up their ire inside of a preview of what’s to return at Kavanaugh’s hearing.
Republicans shot back, saying they offered committee Democrats waivers to be able to comprehend the documents and just one — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — began the offer.
“They didn’t make an appearance to observe them,” tweeted Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
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