Barrett says Trump offered her Supreme Court nomination three days after Ginsburg death
President Trump offered Judge Amy Coney Barrett the Supreme Court nomination on Sept. 21, Barrett wrote in her questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The disclosure highlights how quickly Trump made up his mind about whom he would nominate, even amid speculation publicly and privately from administration officials that he was still considering a handful of names including Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, who was viewed as a fierce contender for the nomination.
Barrett, as part of her confirmation process, turned over a 69-page response to the Judiciary Committee, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill. The paperwork comes as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is gearing up to start hearings on her Supreme Court nomination in less than two weeks.
“I had meetings with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Mr. [Pat] Cipollone and Chief of Staff [Mark] Meadows in Washington on Monday, September 21, 2020. The president offered me the nomination on that day, and I accepted, subject to finalizing the vetting process,” Barrett wrote in her questionnaire response, referring to the White House counsel.
Barrett added that she was first contacted by the administration about the vacancy on Sept. 19 by Cipollone. She then talked to Meadows and Cipollone on Sept. 20, when she was invited to the White House.
Barrett was viewed as an early front-runner for the Supreme Court nomination after being considered but passed over in 2018 when Trump picked then-Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.
Barrett is viewed as a favorite of conservatives, with administration officials and GOP senators lobbying the White House to pick her to fill Ginsburg’s seat.
But Trump delayed an announcement until Saturday, more than a week after Ginsburg’s death.
Sources previously told The Hill that both Barrett and Lagoa were under serious consideration. But Trump only met with Barrett, helping solidify her status as the front-runner.
“She’s one of the people that’s very respected, but they’re all respected,” Trump said of Barrett after their meeting. “She is certainly one of the candidates, yes.”
Brett Samuels contributed.