Cornyn: Kavanaugh hearing dissolving into 'mob rule'

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

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynAbbott bows to Trump pressure on Texas election audit Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook Democrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight 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 GrassleyGrassley announces reelection bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B 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 CoonsDems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee Biden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Senate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' 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.