Senate GOP: Cohen plea won't delay Kavanaugh hearing

Senate GOP: Cohen plea won't delay Kavanaugh hearing
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Senate Republicans are quickly shooting down a Democratic demand to delay Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's hearing in the wake of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's guilty plea.

"Calls to delay the hearing are just the latest tactic from opponents who decided to vote 'no' weeks ago, frantically looking for anything that sticks. The hearing will begin as planned on September 4," said George Hartman, a spokesman for Sen ate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin On The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage MORE (R-Iowa).

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He added that Justice Stephen Breyer's conformation "occurred when President Clinton’s records had been subpoenaed by a grand jury. Obviously, we are nowhere close to that situation today."

GOP senators both on and off the Judiciary Committee have also brushed off calls for the hearing to be delayed past early next month.

"I don't see a basis for delaying them," said Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTexas GOP rep opposes Trump’s use of national emergency to get border wall GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration Talk grows that Trump will fire Dan Coats MORE (R-Maine), who is widely viewed as a potential swing vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Overnight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot Graham cursed at acting DOD chief, declaring himself his 'adversary' MORE (R-S.C.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, added that he would "strongly oppose" any delay of Kavanaugh's hearing.

“Senator Schumer may believe that the Michael Cohen and Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Five things to know about Trump confidant Tom Barrack Trump has publicly criticized Russia probe more than 1,100 times: NY Times MORE cases invalidate the election — I do not," he said, referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE's former campaign chairman, who was convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud the same day Cohen pleaded guilty.

Democrats immediately seized on recent developments in the federal cases of the two men to try to delay Kavanaugh's conformation.

Cohen in his guilty plea on Tuesday referred to the president as an unnamed co-conspirator.

"It's a game changer. It should be. ... In my view, the Senate Judiciary Committee should immediately pause the consideration of the Kavanaugh nomination," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor, while acknowledging the decision essentially rests with Republicans. 

Democrats have raised concerns that Kavanaugh has a broad view on executive authority and would try to protect Trump from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation.

Lanny Davis, Cohen's lawyer and an opinion contributor for The Hill, has said that Cohen's decision implicates the president in wrongdoing.

"Very clearly, there is no dispute that Donald Trump committed a crime," he told MSNBC's Morning Joe. "No dispute, because his own lawyers said to the special counsel in a letter that he directed, that's the word they used, Michael Cohen to make these payments."

The White House maintains that Trump did nothing wrong.