Donnelly becomes second Dem to agree to meet with Kavanaugh

Donnelly becomes second Dem to agree to meet with Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.) on Tuesday became the second Democrat to publicly announce that they will meet with Brett Kavanaugh, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE's latest Supreme Court nominee.

Donnelly will meet with Kavanaugh on Aug. 15, according to his office.

"Donnelly has consistently said he would carefully review and consider Judge Kavanaugh’s record, meet with him, and follow his confirmation hearing," his office said in a press release. 

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Donnelly's announcement comes after Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick MORE (D-W.Va.) said on Monday that he will meet with Kavanaugh next week, becoming the first known meeting between Trump's nominee and a Democratic senator.

Donnelly and Manchin are both running for reelection in states won easily by Trump during the 2016 presidential election and are viewed as likely swing votes in the looming Supreme Court fight. 

They — along with Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (D-N.D.) — supported Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, last year. 

But the decision to meet with Kavanaugh comes as top Democrats, including Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Christie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects MORE (N.Y.), are holding off until they get a deal to produce documents from his time working in the George W. Bush White House. 

“I have told my caucus that I’m waiting, and I think most of them are following me,” Schumer told The New York Times on Monday.

Donnelly's GOP Senate challenger Mike Braun on Tuesday immediately tried to paint the incumbent Democrat's agreed-to meeting with Kavanaugh as him "caving to pressure," though the Democratic senator had previously said he planned to meet with Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

“Donnelly had to decide if he would stand with liberals in Washington or meet with President Trump’s highly qualified nominee. ...While I strongly support this nomination, I have no doubt Donnelly will wait until the liberal wing of his party gives him permission to support Judge Kavanaugh," Braun said in a statement. 

Updated: 7:56 p.m.