Dem senator cancels Kavanaugh meeting amid calls for confirmation hearing to be postponed

Dem senator cancels Kavanaugh meeting amid calls for confirmation hearing to be postponed
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Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSupreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Senate eyes sending stopgap spending bill back to House | Sondland delivers bombshell impeachment testimony | Pentagon deputy says he didn't try to block official's testimony Pentagon No. 2 denies trying to block official's impeachment testimony MORE (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday that she would cancel a meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, after Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, implicated the president in a hush money scheme.

"I am canceling, I will be canceling, my appointment with Judge Kavanaugh because I choose not to extend a courtesy to this president who is an un-indicted co-conspirator ... of meeting with his nominee," she told reporters.

Hirono also blasted Kavanaugh as "a nominee who is being nominated because the president expects him to protect [Trump]."

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), meanwhile, said that Cohen's implication of Trump in a plot to pay women accusing him of affairs constituted an effort to "influence the outcome of an election" and prevented any consideration of Kavanaugh.

"The President of the United States has been implicated in a criminal plot to violate campaign finance laws & influence the outcome of an election. Under no circumstances should we be considering his nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in just one week," he tweeted.

"Kavanaugh hearing must be immediately postponed so Judiciary Committee can continue vital investigation of Trump campaign criminality & obstruction of justice," he added.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerLGBTQ advocates slam Buttigieg for past history with Salvation Army Harris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates MORE (N.J.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenGraham, Van Hollen warn Pompeo that 'patience' on Turkey sanctions 'has long expired' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Democratic senators push EPA to abandon methane rollback MORE (Md.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyAdvocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide Protecting the future of student data privacy: The time to act is now Key Senate Democrats unveil sweeping online privacy bill MORE (Mass.) made similar calls for a delay in Kavanaugh's nomination.

Booker told reporters that Kavanaugh's nomination should be put on hold until the special counsel's investigation concludes, adding that the Senate Judiciary Committee should instead focus on "the matter of the president being credibly implicated, or alleged to be a criminal coconspirator" in campaign finance law violations.

"What I want right now is for us to, when it comes to Kavanaugh, to wait until this Mueller probe is done before we move forward," the New Jersey Democrat said.

Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to bank and tax fraud charges, telling the judge that a "candidate" had directed him personally to make two payments to either keep someone quiet or buy the rights of their story.

The comments align with Cohen's payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and his payment to secure the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal's account of an alleged affair with Trump.

The payments are now being investigated by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE's office as to whether they constituted an unreported campaign contribution to the Trump campaign.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the court in July upon the announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

Jordain Carney contributed to this report.