Schumer: Trump's Supreme Court pick 'avoided answers like the plague'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurkey says soldier killed despite cease-fire in Syria Schumer calls for FDA to probe reports of contaminated baby food How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of wriggling out of answering questions at a closed-door meeting.

"The judge today avoided answers like the plague," Schumer said of Neil Gorsuch. "This president is testing fundamental underpinnings of our democracy and its institutions. These times deserve answers and Judge Gorsuch did not provide them." 

Gorsuch is meeting with top Democrats this week, including Schumer and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' Khashoggi fiancée meets with lawmakers seeking 'justice and accountability' for his slaying Schiff should consider using RICO framework to organize impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Absent a historic rules change, Trump's nominee will need the support of eight Democrats to help overcome a 60-vote procedural hurdle on his nomination. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Schumer noted that he spent a "great deal of time" asking Gorsuch "straightforward and direct" questions.

"Not about specific cases that could come before him or the court but about constitutional principles that would inform his decision making," he said.

Schumer noted that he asked if the "concept" of a Muslim ban could be constitutional, about the president's comments on voter fraud and his thoughts on the Emoluments Clause — which Democrats argue Trump's financial conflicts could violate. 

"He refused to say even say what the framers thought about that clause," Schumer added.