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Dem senator 'anxious to hear' if Supreme Court pick thinks Trump can pardon himself

Dem senator 'anxious to hear' if Supreme Court pick thinks Trump can pardon himself
© Greg Nash

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellHillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Congress moves to ensure the greater availability of explosives detecting dogs in the US Overnight Energy — Presented by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance — Trump ends law enforcement program at wildlife refuges | Pruitt canceled trips he already had tickets for | Senate panel approves new parks fund MORE (D-Wash.) on Sunday said she is “anxious” to hear if President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE’s Supreme Court nominee thinks the president can pardon himself.

“I’m so anxious to hear whatever this nominee has to say,” Cantwell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press." “Is the president able to pardon himself?”

Cantwell said she was concerned about whether a potential nominee would "fight to protect" special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE in his investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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“I want to know what he thinks of the Mueller, the process of how far the Mueller investigation needs to go,” Cantwell said of the future justice. “Will they fight to protect that?”

“These are monumental questions,” Cantwell added. “This is a person who wants 40 years on the court, or probably 40 years. I want at least 40 minutes to hear what they have to say about these important issues,” she said.

Cantwell's comments come days after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, leaving room for Trump to nominate a second conservative to the bench.

Trump said he will nominate someone from a list of 25 nominees he released in November, but Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Conservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns MORE (R-Maine) said on Sunday that Trump has added five judges to that list.

Kennedy's replacement will shape the court’s future, likely tilting the scale to the right for the foreseeable future.

Trump said he will name his pick on July 9. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEx-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Democrats slide in battle for Senate MORE (R-Ky.) said the Senate will vote on the nominee this fall.