Former Arizona senator to shepherd Supreme Court nominee through confirmation process

Former Arizona senator to shepherd Supreme Court nominee through confirmation process
© Getty Images

The White House announced Monday it has tapped former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) to help shepherd President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE’s Supreme Court nominee through the Senate. 

"Former Sen. Jon Kyl has agreed to serve as the sherpa for the president's nominee to the Supreme Court,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kyl has a wealth of experience in the Senate, which will be needed as the president’s nominee is expected to face an intense confirmation battle.

The Arizonan served in the upper chamber for three terms, from 1995 to 2013, and spent many years on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold confirmation hearings and then vote on whether to advance the nominee to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Kyl also has close ties to many of his colleagues from his time as the No. 2 Senate Republican leader.

After leaving Congress, Kyl went to work at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

Kyl lobbied on behalf of the conservative group Judicial Crisis Network last year during the confirmation battle for the president’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, according to federal disclosures. The group paid Covington more than $200,000 in a roughly two-month span.
 
Trump is set to announce his nominee during a prime-time television event at the White House at 9 p.m. Eastern. 

The Trump administration has relied on Kyl once before to navigate a tough confirmation battle: He served as sherpa for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE, who faced tough questions about his civil rights record and hard-line stance on immigration.

Former Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteFive possible successors to Mattis Mattis resigns, says views aren't in line with Trump's Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (R-N.H.) served as a sherpa for Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Megan R. Wilson contributed.