Sen. Jeff MerkleyPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Wolf in July Fourth salute: ‘God bless abortions and God bless America’ Graham: Trump’s Supreme Court picks ‘all winners’ Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill Trump supporters, GOP lawmaker MORE for nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying he did so to protect himself in the ongoing Russia probe.Jeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Defense: House passes 5B defense spending bill | Pentagon moving forward on Trump military parade | Mattis vows ‘ironclad’ support for South Korea’s defense Senate passes legislation to legalize hemp as agricultural commodity Duckworth joins women’s Capitol protest with baby MORE (D-Ore.) on Monday laid into
Merkley suggested Trump picked Kavanaugh because of the judge’s past writings that argue a president should be shielded from ongoing investigations.
.@realDonaldTrump is terrified of Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE . It’s no wonder he chose Kavanaugh as his #SCOTUSPick. He’s someone who argued that Sitting Presidents should be immune from prosecution and not be indicted & POTUS has the sole power to appoint and fire special prosecutors at will
– Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 10, 2018
Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerClash looms over ICE funding Pence delivers pep rally for ICE agents amid Dem attacks No one can use Mueller probe to hold up Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-N.J.) also criticized the selection for the same reason.
On PBS News Hour, the 2020 hopeful told host Judy Woodruff that President Trump “literally selected the one person who has a pretty good written record of saying, ‘Hey, if you’re a president under investigation, I don’t think you should be allowed to be under criminal investigation.”
Trump tapped Kavanaugh, 53, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of the month.
Prior to serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Kavanaugh worked as a White House aide under former President George W. Bush, and for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated former President Clinton in the 1990s.
In his legal writings, Kavanaugh has argued the president should be shielded from the demands of criminal and civil investigations because they interfere with his official duties.
Even before Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh, Democrats had expressed concerns over the nominee’s role in any decisions involving special counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Some lawmakers suggested Trump’s nominee would have a conflict of interest in any court cases related to the investigation.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), argued Sunday that the Supreme Court may ultimately have to weigh in if Trump refuses to comply with a subpoena in the Mueller investigation, as his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has suggested.
Leonard Leo, who took a leave from the conservative group the Federalist Society to aide Trump with the Supreme Court pick, dismissed Democratic calls to delay the confirmation process until after Mueller concludes his investigation as a “red herring.”