Kavanaugh: Trump isn't above the law

Kavanaugh: Trump isn't above the law
© Greg Nash

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said a president isn't "above the law" during the second day of his Senate confirmation hearings.

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Push for cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill | Court lets Dems defend ObamaCare | Flu season not as severe as last year, CDC says Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears MORE (R-Neb.) pressed Kavanaugh on the topic, rattling off concerns from protesters throughout the day that he would protect 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, in the event of possible charges against the president, if confirmed to the Supreme Court.

"The president is subject to the laws. No one is above the law in the United States, including the president of the United Sates," Kavanaugh told Sasse.


Sasse then used a hypothetical president from the "purple" party that gets drunk and hits someone with their car to press Kavanaugh if he thought that hypothetical president would be "immune" from being sued or charged with a crime.

"No one has ever said, I don't think, that the president is immune from civil and criminal process. So, immunity is the wrong term to even think about in this process," Kavanaugh said.

He added that the debate was about "timing."

"The only question that's ever been debated is whether the actual process should happen while still in office," Kavanaugh said.

Democrats have previously pressed Kavanaugh on his position on presidential immunity, including whether the president would have to comply with a subpoena or sit for a deposition. Kavanaugh's view on the topic is one of the most controversial of his confirmation process, due to the ongoing federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

Kavanaugh wrote in a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article that lawsuits or criminal investigations against sitting presidents should be deferred until they are out of office.