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 SasseRepublicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration  Trump faces growing Senate GOP backlash on emergency declaration MORE (R-Neb.) pressed Kavanaugh on the topic, rattling off concerns from protesters throughout the day that he would protect President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report 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.