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Could Brett Kavanaugh Save Trump from the Mueller Investigation?
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10 Jul 2018 05:40 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Chuck Schumer (Image source: Public domain)


Could Brett Kavanaugh Save Trump from the Mueller Investigation? Not if the Democrats can help it, put it that way. It certainly does seem like a crazy coincidence that the one judge who contends that sitting presidents shouldn't be open to "criminal investigations and prosecutions" just happens to be the judge Trump nominates to fill an empty seat on the Supreme Court.

With the pending retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a replacement is needed. Trump all too quickly made a nomination choice after saying overturning Roe vs. Wade wasn't even important to him. It seems there was something else more important to him, like perhaps saving himself.

After he helped independent counsel Ken Starr with the Bill Clinton investigation, a little more than a decade later in 2009, Kavanaugh wrote an article stating that Congress should pass a law "exempting a President — while in office — from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel."

"I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office," he wrote. "We should not burden a sitting president with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecutions." Furthermore, Kavanaugh opined that the "indictment and trial of a sitting president" would "cripple the federal government."

The interesting thing is that he is saying someone should write a law. Yet on Monday night when ( nominated him, Kavanaugh said, "My judicial philosophy is straightforward: a judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, and tradition, and precedent."

Given that, while he might not believe it's in everyone's best interests for a president to be indicted, he's stating that he would still obey the laws of the land, laws that don't include any saying that a sitting president can't be indicted.

With the question of whether or not Trump should be indicted for his alleged crime and deposed for his multiple lawsuits, Kavanaugh's words would indicate that he wouldn't support Trump. But it would be an usual case if Trump nominated someone who had no intention of supporting him.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed out that of the 253 names on Trump's list of Supreme Court candidates, "he chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal doesn't think the Senate should consider Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court until he "specifically commits to recuse himself" from any criminal investigations regarding Trump.

Blumenthal also pointed out, "Judge Kavanaugh, if he is a justice, would be the swing vote" in deciding if Trump could eventually pardon himself as president. "That's the accountability that will be lost if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed," he added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham disagrees. "It makes perfect sense to me that Jeff Sessions can't oversee an investigation of the campaign he was part of," he said. "But I wouldn't have a broad rule that you can't, you know, review anything against President Trump because he chose you." 

And this is just getting started. We haven't even started confirmation hearings yet.


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