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Harris calls for judicial nominee freeze during impeachment trial

Harris calls for judicial nominee freeze during impeachment trial
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GOP senator: No indication of widespread voting irregularities, window for Trump challenges is 'closing' Biden pledges to work with mayors MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called for a moratorium on judicial nominees during President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE’s impeachment trial in the Senate, citing a similar pause during former President Clinton’s trial in 1999.

“The president is charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, and the Senate must take seriously its constitutional role in this process,” Harris said in a statement. “During the time when articles of impeachment are before the Senate, it would be wholly inappropriate to advance the president’s nominees to the federal judiciary.”

Harris’s statement notes that between the delivery of the Clinton articles of impeachment to the Senate and the Senate’s verdict on Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate Judiciary Committee did not convene any nomination hearings or advance any nominations to confirmation votes. While Senate committees cannot hold votes during impeachment trials, they are free to hold hearings.

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Harris echoed her call for a moratorium in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

The Hill has reached out to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Media and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk MORE’s (R-S.C.) office for comment. 

A spokesperson for the committee told The Hill they would not comment on the specifics of Harris's statement but noted a markup in the committee scheduled for Thursday.