McConnell pushing Trump toward 2 potential Supreme Court picks: report

McConnell pushing Trump toward 2 potential Supreme Court picks: report
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Ky.) reportedly told President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE that Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman are the two possible Supreme Court nominees who are most likely to be approved by the Senate, The New York Times reported Saturday.

McConnell, according to the Times, did not back any nominee explicitly, but told Trump and White House counsel Don McGahn that Brett Kavanaugh has generated a massive number of documents during his 12 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and in other roles, which he fears Democrats could seize on to delay a confirmation vote.

Kavanaugh also worked as White House staff secretary for former President George W. Bush and as an assistant to independent counsel Ken Starr, whose investigation of former President Clinton ultimately led to his impeachment.


The volume of papers Kavanaugh has produced over the years reportedly reaches into the millions. McConnell, sources told the Times, advised Trump that Democrats could seize on Kavanaugh's lengthy paper trail as a way to delay his confirmation vote until after November's midterm elections.

Republicans fear they could lose control of Congress in the midterms and risk failing to confirm a second conservative justice to the high court.

Aides for Trump and McConnell declined to comment to the Times.

The newspaper reported that McConnell also told the president he could lose the support of Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 Overnight Energy: House to vote on anti-carbon tax measure | Dem says EPA obstructed 'politically charged' FOIA requests | GOP looks to overhaul endangered species law MORE (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts MORE (Maine) if he picks Amy Coney Barrett, a social conservative who some think may be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Trump had not yet decided on who he will tap as his nominee as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Times.

McConnell said last month that the Senate would vote this fall on Trump's Supreme Court nominee after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement.

Democrats quickly charged McConnell with hypocrisy after the announcement, noting that he blocked a vote on former President Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Judge Kavanaugh and Justice Kennedy do not have conflicts of interest Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination MORE in 2016, arguing that it was too close to an election.

Trump is scheduled to announce his Supreme Court nominee on Monday night.