A questionnaire returned by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh revealed that President Donald Trump’s office contacted him on the day of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s resignation announcement, tipping the fact that he was among the frontrunners from the beginning.
According to The Hill, the questionnaire — which was over 100 pages — dealt with questions regarding Kavanaugh’s career and legal writings, among other things.
However, part of the form, which was returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, dealt with Kavanaugh’s road to the nomination.
“Kavanaugh, a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and former associate White House counsel and staff secretary under former President George W. Bush, also provided details on the days leading up to his Supreme Court nomination by Trump on July 9,” The Hill reported.
“He wrote that White House counsel Don McGahn called him on the afternoon of June 27, the day that Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. McGahn and Kavanaugh met two days later before Kavanaugh interviewed with Trump on July 2, he wrote.”
Kavanaugh, who has been greeted enthusiastically by conservatives, wrote on the questionnaire that he spoke with Trump again July 8, one day before his nomination. That evening, he met with the president and first lady.
“During that meeting, the President offered me the nomination, and I accepted,” he wrote.
In addition to that, the questionnaire dealt with New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker’s request that Kavanaugh recuse himself from any case involving special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“To avoid the prospect that President Trump could effectively choose a judge in his own case, I request that you pledge to recuse yourself from any cases related to the Special Counsel’s investigation and any that otherwise may immediately impact the President and his associates as it relates to the ongoing criminal investigation should you be confirmed,” the New Jersey senator — who’s profoundly unlikely to vote for any Trump nominee, anyhow — wrote to Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh has a reputation for affability in Washington, but when it came to a blanket decision to recuse himself from every case that involves Mueller, his answer seemed to be a coy no.
“I recuse myself in cases as required by law, and I also recuse myself in my discretion consistent with the law from cases that present sufficient appearance issues,” Kavanaugh wrote.
“Those issues may not be sufficiently apparent to warrant recusal at the beginning of a case, and they may disappear before the end of a case.”
Kavanaugh also responded “no” when asked whether anyone in the Trump administration, Justice Department or Senate had talked with him about “any currently pending or specific case, legal issue, or question in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as seeking any express or implied assurances concerning your position on such case, issue, or question.”
While that’s not going to be terribly popular with Sen. Booker and his crowd, Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa seemed relatively pleased.
“I appreciate Judge Kavanaugh’s diligent and timely response to the broadest and most comprehensive questionnaire ever sent by this Committee,” a Saturday statement from Grassley read, according to The Hill. He added that the “voluminous materials” provided by the nominee “will provide us a very good understanding of Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and legal thinking — including how Judge Kavanaugh goes about finding, interpreting, and applying the law.”
“I look forward to reviewing this and other materials, along with hearing from Judge Kavanaugh and the other hearing witnesses, as a part of the Committee’s fair, thorough and efficient vetting process,” Grassley added.
Don’t we all. Well, probably not Corey Booker.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.