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 Devi HarrisRand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill Minority caucuses call for quick action on police reform Markey, Harris, Booker to introduce resolution calling for elimination of qualified immunity MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called for a moratorium on judicial nominees during President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests 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 GrahamHouse Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police brutality next week McCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony 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.