McConnell defends Court nominee’s writings
WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Republican pushed back forcefully Thursday on warnings from Democrats that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh might be willing to thwart the Russia investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor that Democrats are reading too much into writings from Kavanaugh, in which he said investigations of sitting presidents are a distraction.
McConnell called the Democratic claims “outlandish” and a “conspiracy theory” and said they are throwing “catnip for their far-left base.”
Kavanaugh wrote a decade ago that investigations of presidents can hurt their ability to govern. He had first-hand experience, having served on the Kenneth Starr team that investigated president Bill Clinton.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called Kavanaugh’s views on dealing with potential executive wrongdoing “dangerous.” “If he’s the swing vote on any kind of rational check on this president, I worry. We should all worry,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
In the article Democrats are citing, Kavanaugh wrote that the Supreme Court’s conclusion in Clinton v. Jones that presidents are not constitutionally entitled to a deferral of civil suits “may well have been entirely correct.” But he added that the court did say Congress is free to provide a temporary deferral, and indeed, “may be wise to do so” so the president can focus on his elected duties.