Donnelly becomes second Dem to agree to meet with Kavanaugh
Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) on Tuesday became the second Democrat to publicly announce that they will meet with Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’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.
Donnelly’s announcement comes after Sen. Joe Manchin (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 Heitkamp (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 Schumer (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.