News & Politics

Senate Dems Use Michael Cohen Plea in 'Desperate and Pathetic' Attempt to Stop Kavanaugh

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

At least ten Democrats in the U.S. Senate have refused to meet with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, following the criminal verdict against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the plea deal involving former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denounced this as “desperate and pathetic.”

“This is a desperate and pathetic attempt by Democrats to obstruct a very highly qualified nominee. The hearing date has been set for September 4th, and Judge Kavanaugh will be there,” Huckabee Sanders said in a press briefing Wednesday.

Democrat after Democrat pledged not to meet with Kavanaugh, however. Most cited the Cohen plea, in which Trump’s former lawyer said the $130,000 payment to silence former porn star Stormy Daniels was made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”

“I will not take a meeting with Brett Kavanaugh,” Sen. Ed Market (D-Mass.) tweeted. “He has been nominated by someone implicated, and all but named as a co-conspirator, in federal crimes. His nomination is tainted and should be considered illegitimate.”

“As an unindicted co-conspirator of a federal crime, President Trump should not be allowed to appoint someone to a lifetime position on the highest court in our land – a court which may very well adjudicate on this matter,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared.

“Trump’s personal lawyer has sworn under oath that POTUS directed him to commit a federal crime,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), another Senate Judiciary Committee member, added. “The Senate must reject any SCOTUS nominee from a president who is an alleged criminal co-conspirator—especially when that nominee may rule to protect Trump from any accountability.”

“The possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the president, combined with existing doubts that Brett Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, demand that his hearing should be delayed,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, tweeted.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) joined in the chorus. “In light of yesterday’s events, the Senate should delay hearings on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” she tweeted. “There must be checks and balances on this President.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also used the Cohen plea to oppose Kavanaugh. “Judge Kavanaugh’s refusal to say a POTUS must comply w a duly issued subpoena & Mr Cohen’s implication of POTUS in a federal crime make the danger of Kavanaugh’s nomination to the SCOTUS abundantly clear,” Schumer wrote. “It’s a game changer & Chairman Grassley should delay confirmation hearings.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) proved a bit more colorful in her announcement. “I have cancelled my meeting with Judge Kavanaugh,” she tweeted. “[Donald Trump], who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter, does not deserve the courtesy of a meeting with his nominee — purposely selected to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole.”

The Hawaiian term “okole” refers to a person’s behind, derrière, or posterior. It has the force of a less polite three-letter word.

In June of last year, however, Hirono referred to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito as “the three horsemen of the apocalypse.” She warned that “they’re waiting for the fourth one to come along so that they can go on their trend toward what I call extremism.”

Hirono opposed the “extremism” of allowing President Trump’s lawful executive order restricting immigration from countries of terror concern, most of which were majority Muslim. The Supreme Court eventually upheld the president’s power to enact this falsely labeled “Muslim ban.”

According to Democrats like Hirono, justices applying the original meaning and intent of the Constitution counts as “extremism.” Liberals have long pushed the “living Constitution” doctrine that justifies courts effectively rewriting the Constitution by reading “new rights” into the text.

For this reason, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) spoke up in defense of Kavanaugh.

Brett Kavanaugh is an extremely qualified Supreme Court justice, and Democrats are merely seizing on recent news to block the duly elected president from filling an empty Supreme Court seat.

“I strongly oppose any postponement of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “Senator Schumer may believe that the Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort cases invalidate the election – I do not.”

Graham got to the heart of the matter. When Justice Anthony Kennedy retired from the Supreme Court in June, the duly-elected president, Donald Trump, had the responsibility to nominate a successor. Whether or not Trump is guilty of conspiring in a federal crime, he is the president and his nominee should be taken seriously.

Kavanaugh has suggested that presidents should be immune from criminal prosecution, but in doing so, he called for Congress to pass a law to that effect. As an originalist, he will not reinterpret the Constitution to suit his fancy, like a liberal justice would.

Even with many Democrats refusing to meet with Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is likely to prevail, as every Republican is likely to vote for his confirmation. If push comes to shove, Trump could nominate another, perhaps Judge Don Willett or Judge Amy Coney Barrett.