Dem senator 'anxious to hear' if Supreme Court pick thinks Trump can pardon himself

Dem senator 'anxious to hear' if Supreme Court pick thinks Trump can pardon himself
© Greg Nash

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenators share their fascination with sharks at hearing Poll: Majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Protests and anger: Washington in turmoil as elections near MORE (D-Wash.) on Sunday said she is “anxious” to hear if President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE’s Supreme Court nominee thinks the president can pardon himself.

“I’m so anxious to hear whatever this nominee has to say,” Cantwell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press." “Is the president able to pardon himself?”

Cantwell said she was concerned about whether a potential nominee would "fight to protect" special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE in his investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.


“I want to know what he thinks of the Mueller, the process of how far the Mueller investigation needs to go,” Cantwell said of the future justice. “Will they fight to protect that?”

“These are monumental questions,” Cantwell added. “This is a person who wants 40 years on the court, or probably 40 years. I want at least 40 minutes to hear what they have to say about these important issues,” she said.

Cantwell's comments come days after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, leaving room for Trump to nominate a second conservative to the bench.

Trump said he will nominate someone from a list of 25 nominees he released in November, but Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBudowsky: Collins, Murkowski and Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing NRA will spend M to support Kavanaugh for Supreme Court: report MORE (R-Maine) said on Sunday that Trump has added five judges to that list.

Kennedy's replacement will shape the court’s future, likely tilting the scale to the right for the foreseeable future.

Trump said he will name his pick on July 9. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHill.TV poll: Majority of Republicans say Trump best represents the values of the GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report Republican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' MORE (R-Ky.) said the Senate will vote on the nominee this fall.