by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Senate should halt its consideration of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee after Tuesday’s guilty verdicts against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and guilty pleas from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Democrats insisted late Tuesday.
Democrats have long argued that Republicans are trying to rush Trump’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, through the Senate confirmation process. But Tuesday’s surprising verdict and guilty pleas — along with Cohen’s claim that Trump instructed him to violate campaign finance laws — gave Democrats a new way to justify a complete halt to Kavanaugh’s consideration.
“A president who’s also an unindicted co-conspirator should not get to make lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court,” Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., argued Tuesday night.
Kavanaugh has slowly been meeting with Democratic senators in a bid to win confirmation by September, in time for the Supreme Court’s next term that starts Oct. 1. But he made Democrats nervous when a 2009 law article he wrote surfaced last month in which Kavanaugh indicated opposition to the idea of indicting a sitting president.
That was noted by several Democrats Tuesday night, especially after Cohen told a courtroom that Trump told him to violate campaign finance laws. Several lawmakers immediately worried that Kavanaugh might help prevent them from the legal attacks against Trump that might come next.