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 Grassley (R-Iowa).

{mosads}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 Collins (R-Maine), who is widely viewed as a potential swing vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (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 Manafort cases invalidate the election — I do not,” he said, referring to President Trump’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 Schumer (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 Mueller’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.

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination Charles Schumer Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Susan Collins
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