MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and other “Morning Joe” panelists hammered Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and other Senate Democrats for agreeing to proceed with confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.
Senate Judiciary Committee hearings begin Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee, just hours after the release of 42,000 new documents related to Kavanaugh’s prior legal work for the executive branch.
“I do not understand what these Democrats are thinking,” Scarborough said. “I don’t understand their lack of fight.”
“This process is illegitimate,” he continued. “It started illegitimately, as you said, with Merrick Garland, and now the Republicans have basically hidden 150,000 documents from Democrats that they have been begging for over the past several weeks. No judge in America would allow an opposing side to dump 150,000 documents on another party in a lawsuit the day before hearings started or a trial is started. I’m completely baffled. why do Democrats — why are they even showing up? They should not show up.”
MSNBC contributor Sam Stein grilled Whitehouse over the Democratic strategy for opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“Senator, if there’s no committee confidential and you believe this is illegitimate, why not put out the 42,000 documents yourself?” said Stein, also the political editor for The Daily Beast. “You can post them online. Doesn’t the public deserve to see the same documents?”
Whitehouse agreed Senate Democrats could do that, but he said they had not decided whether to dump those documents online.
“I don’t understand, just walk me through this,” Stein said. “I hear from a lot of frustrated progressives who do follow this very closely. They hear you guys say this is illegitimate, they hear you guys note that the president is (implicated in) a co-conspirator crime, that there’s an investigation going on and that this shouldn’t proceed.”
“Yet the Democrats on the committee are not taking the most aggressive steps, they are not stepping out of the hearing as (host) Joe (Scarborough) illustrated and not releasing the documents that are supposedly committee confidential,” Stein continued. “What is the disconnect here? Why are you guys not fighting this more aggressively if you think this is such an existential threat?”
Whitehouse insisted there was no reason to step outside the normal process for debating Supreme Court nominations.
“I can’t speak for others, but I think the committee process is the best place to make these points,” the senator said. “I don’t think Americans, frankly, respect people very much who walk out of their jobs when there’s a fight to be had, and I think it’s important we take this forum and have that fight.”
“Other people disagree, and I think that’s a very fair disagreement,” Whitehouse added. “I’m not criticizing them, but my feeling is when there’s a fight in front of you, go have it.”
Scarborough said Senate Democrats should delay the hearings until they had a chance to review the new documents.
“I don’t understand why the Democrats are showing up,” Scarborough said. “They have been talking about this lack of transparency from the very beginning.”
He said a lifetime Supreme Court nomination was too important to rush into without reviewing all relevant information.
“This Kavanaugh appointment, which could fundamentally alter the balance of the Supreme Court for the next generation, and the Republicans refuse to be transparent about it,” Scarborough said. “You know, I would certainly recommend everybody around me not show up for the hearing.”
“If they think it’s like a banana republic,” he added, “if they think they have been lied to, if they think the documents have been kept from them — they did a document dump on Labor Day, 42,000 documents — you don’t participate in a process that is that flawed. You review the documents and say, we’re going to review the documents and we will see you on Wednesday or Thursday.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘extremely serious’ about running for Arkansas governor
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is seriously considering a run for Arkansas governor, according to three sources close to the outgoing White House press secretary.
Sanders and her associates have privately discussed the possibility for months, sometimes jokingly, but those sources said she seems quite interested in running for the position her father, Mike Huckabee, held from 1996 to 2007, reported Politico.
“She’s extremely serious,” said one of those people, who has recently spoken to Sanders about a possible campaign.
‘Credible evidence’ links Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Khashoggi murder, UN inquiry says
There is "credible evidence" linking Saudi Arabia's crown prince to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, an independent UN rights expert said Wednesday, calling for an international investigation.
In a fresh report, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard said she had "determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi Officials' individual liability, including the Crown Prince's."
John Cornyn has never lost an election. He’s trying to convince Texas Republicans that his streak is in jeopardy in 2020.
“We are, I think, no longer the reliably red state we have been,” says the U.S. senator, who has emerged as a top target for Texas Democrats in 2020.
John Cornyn is an enigma.
It may not be his own doing. After all, it should be counterintuitive to describe the most powerful Texan to serve in the U.S. Senate since Lyndon Johnson as a shrinking violet.
But Cornyn is an outlier within a generation of larger-than-life Texas politicians who have become national fixtures for smiling in mugshots, blowing up their own party’s national conventions in a hail of jeers, livestreaming road trips, bragging about snuffing out a coyote while jogging, or filibustering while wearing pink sneakers or reading Dr. Seuss.