Condoleezza Rice, Rob Portman to introduce Kavanaugh at confirmation hearing

Condoleezza Rice, Rob Portman to introduce Kavanaugh at confirmation hearing
© Anna Moneymaker

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE's Supreme Court nominee will be introduced at his upcoming confirmation hearing by Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget WANTED: A Republican with courage Companies warn Trump trade war is about to hit consumers MORE (R-Ohio) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The White House announced Tuesday in a statement that the two would speak on behalf of Brett Kavanaugh, who is set for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 4.

Kavanaugh was nominated to the court in July by the president following the announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement. He has faced opposition from Democrats in recent days over his stance on whether or not a president can be prosecuted for criminal activity. His stance on Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case, has also been scrutinized.

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Earlier this week, Democrats on the committee said that Kavanaugh appeared to have backed off his previous statement suggesting that a president could be shielded from criminal liability.

Still, the committee's 10 Democratic senators sent a letter to chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThreat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report Nursing home care: A growing crisis for an aging America  MORE (R-Iowa) on Friday urging him to delay Kavanaugh's hearing over concerns that Trump may have been implicated in criminal activity by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Cohen said in court documents last week that Trump directed him to arrange hush money payments to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Democrats pounced on the admission as proof that Cohen and Trump were involved in criminal activity as the payments are under investigation as possible unreported campaign contributions.

"Given the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the President, doubts that Judge Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, and the unprecedented lack of transparency regarding this nominee’s record, we should not move forward with hearings on September 4th," the senators wrote on Friday.

The White House has attacked Democrats over their resistance to Kavanaugh, with deputy press secretary Raj Shah calling the criticism of Trump's nominee "desperate" in a statement last week.