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Cornyn: Kavanaugh hearing dissolving into 'mob rule'

Cornyn: Kavanaugh hearing dissolving into 'mob rule'
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate coronavirus bill delayed until Thursday Democrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill Bottom line MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, took a shot at Democrats on the Judiciary Committee during the opening statements in the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying that the hearing was being run by "mob rule." 

"This is the first confirmation hearing that I've seen basically according to mob rule. We have rules in the Senate. We have norms for decorum," Cornyn said. 

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Cornyn added that it was "hard to take seriously their claim that somehow they can't do their job ... when they've already made up their mind before the hearing." 

Cornyn's comments come as the Judiciary Committee's hearing quickly hit the skids on Tuesday as Democrats almost immediately began interrupting Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGarland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks National Sheriffs' Association backs Biden pick for key DOJ role Bipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers MORE (R-Iowa) as he tried to kick off the first day of the hearing. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) fired back that Democrats were simply asking for the "regular order." 

Democrats tried repeatedly to get a vote on adjourning or postponing the committee hearing to give them more time to review documents on Kavanaugh's White House tenure and get documents from his three-year period as staff secretary for the George W. Bush administration. 

But Grassley repeatedly shot down that motion arguing it was "out of order" because they aren't in executive session. 

Both sides appeared to seize on Cornyn's comments. 

Grassley noted that he had been accused of "having a mob rule session." 

"Now if we have a mob rule session it's because the chairman's not running the committee properly," Grassley said.  

Sen. Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers Democrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda Khashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' MORE (D-Del.), replying to Grassley, noted that the "mob" accusation came from Cornyn, a Republican senator. 

"The accusation that this is a mob rule hearing was made by your colleague by the state of Texas. I think you've been conducting this in a respectful, appropriate, deliberative way," he said.