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
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday that she would cancel a meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border 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 SchumerDon’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win MORE (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders endorses Oakland teachers strike The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation builds for Mueller report Why Georgia is the place for black migration and politics MORE (N.J.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Senate buzz grows for Abrams after speech electrifies Dems MORE (Md.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Overnight Energy: Natural gas export project gets green light | Ocasio-Cortez says climate fight needs to address farming | Top EPA enforcement official to testify Ocasio-Cortez explains ‘farting cows’ comment: ‘We’ve got to address factory farming’ 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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.