White House

Schumer: Trump Chose Kavanaugh as Insurance against Mueller Investigation

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks at the Milken Institute 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, April 30, 2018. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court because the president is “worried” about Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“Why did the president stick with Kavanaugh? Because he’s worried that Mr. Mueller will go to the court and ask that the president be subpoenaed,” the New York Democrat said, flanked by other Senate Democrats outside the Supreme Court. “And President Trump knows that Kavanaugh will be a barrier to preventing that investigation from going there….His views on this issue are more extreme than just about anyone else on that list.”

Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday evening, after which a slew of Senate Democrats pledged to oppose his confirmation.

Democrats are most worried about the conservative, Catholic federal appellate judge’s potential to help overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case which established a constitutional right to abortion, but they have also sounded the alarm about Kavanaugh’s views on presidential indictment.

“Having seen first-hand how complex and difficult that job [of president] is, I believe it vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible,” Kavanaugh wrote in 2009.

Special Counsel Mueller is investigating potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and has indicted several people, including former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, on various charges stemming from his team’s work.

“I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less,” Schumer promised in a statement.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Basta La Vista, Baby

Dear Reader (And especially Martha McSally’s dog), As I often note, I increasingly tend to see the political scene as a scripted reality show in which the writers don’t flesh out the dialogue so much as move characters into weird, wacky, confrontational, or embarrassing positions. It’s a lot like The ... Read More

The Brexit Crisis

After what seem like years of a phony war, British and European Union negotiators finally agreed on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU earlier this week, and Theresa May announced it in the House of Commons. The deal covers more than 500 pages of legal and bureaucratic prose, and few but the ... Read More

Friends of Elmer

Do you know what scares an American outdoorsman more than a grizzly bear? Twitter. In the late summer and early autumn, the hunting world had its eyes on the courts: The Trump administration had issued new guidance that would permit the hunting of brown bears (popularly known as grizzly bears), including in ... Read More