Kavanaugh declines to answer question on whether he's talked about Mueller probe with people at Trump's attorney's firm

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh late Wednesday declined to say whether he had discussed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Russia investigation with anyone from a law firm founded by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE’s personal attorney. 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris: Trump administration ‘targeting’ California for political purposes Gillibrand to appear on Fox News Monday night Harris on Smollett: 'I'm sad, frustrated, and disappointed' MORE (D-Calif.) grilled Kavanaugh in a tense exchange on if he had spoken with anyone at Kasowitz Benson & Torres, the firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, telling the nominee:  “Be sure about your answer, sir.”

Kavanaugh dodged answering the question directly, instead asking Harris if she was talking about a specific person.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Is there a person you’re talking about? I’m not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm,” he said. “I’m not remembering [any conversation].”

“How can you not remember whether or not you had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm?” Harris, a longtime prosecutor and former attorney general of California, asked. “This investigation has only been going on for so long.”

At one point, Kavanaugh asked the senator directly what person she had in mind.

“I think you’re thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us,” Harris replied.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support MORE (R-Utah) defended Kavanaugh, suggesting Harris give the nominee a list of names.

“Washington is full of law firms, law firms are full of people,” he said.

After a brief interruption from protesters and senators discussing procedural rules for the hearing, Harris continued to press Kavanaugh, who ultimately said he couldn’t answer her question without a “roster of people” who worked at the firm.

A unidentified Democratic aide told Politico that some Democrats "have reason to believe that a conversation happened and are continuing to pursue it." Harris said that she plans to follow up in written questions for Kavanaugh, according to Politico.

Trump hired Kasowitz to represent him in the Mueller probe in May 2017, but he stepped aside from the post just two months later, when he was replaced by Ty Cobb. Kasowitz represented Trump in the Trump University fraud case and is also representing him in the defamation lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant who has accused Trump of sexual misconduct.