Schumer's Delight at Kavanaugh's Comments from 1999

One can imagine Senator Schumer’s expression when an aide pointed out what he had found on Judge Kavanaugh’s participation in a panel discussion on the landmark case United States v. Nixon. Eyes glowing with predatorial glee as he cackles heartily and then points peremptorily at his underlings saying something like: Get me every fricking word on this. Now!

So why would Schumer, or James Hohmann who outlines the issue at his Daily 202 newsletter courtesy of the WaPo, be so interested in what Kavanaugh said in a panel discussion back in 1999, a decade before he was appointed to the D.C. Circuit?

Kavanaugh presented the opinion, a theoretical, that the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Nixon, was a power grab by the Judiciary at the expense of Executive power. Yes, Watergate in a sense brought the issue of executive power to a head because of the infamous "dirty tricks" that occurred during the 1972 presidential campaign. And Nixon was eventually charged with covering up the burglary at Watergate rather than being a participant in the event. Here's part of what Kavanaugh reportedly said:

"Nixon" took away the power of the president to control information in the executive branch by holding that the courts had power and jurisdiction to order the president to disclose information in response to a subpoena sought by a subordinate executive branch official. That was a huge step with implications to this day that most people do not appreciate sufficiently. ... Maybe the tension of the time led to an erroneous decision

What did United States v. Nixon involve then? Special prosecutor Leon Jaworsky - who replaced the fired Archibald Cox - had ordered Nixon to turn over tapes and other documents of meetings that the then-president had held with some of the accused in the Watergate burglary and cover-up. It was a showdown between executive privilege and judicial independence. Or supremacy if one feels that the precedent set in US v Nixon was a mistaken one.

But that's the problem with a case like Watergate. It revolved around some very corrupt practices that Nixon's team had used to ensure his landslide victory against McGovern. Tactics that perhaps were not even necessary. But the early 70's came hard on the heels of the late 60's which were a period of anger and confrontation in a country torn by cultural and demographic divides. Sound familiar? Special prosecutors became a fixture of American politics with the independent counsel statute being enacted in 1978, four years after Nixon's final helicopter ride.

Is Kavanaugh within the purview of legal reasonableness to question the unanimous Supreme Court Decision? Of course he is. But this is now a perfect target for the opposition with fingers pointed in alarm at Mueller and any possible attempt by President Trump to shut down the probe that his own Deputy AG put in place.

In other words, the narrative will now be: Kavanaugh's going to let Trump off the hook!!

There's one small problem here, however. Nixon was complicit - at least to the extent of helping cover up the facts - in a criminal act by people on his campaign team, an act directly related to the presidential campaign of 1972. There has been not a shred of evidence of similar conduct by anyone in Trump's team. Not even Manafort, whose unsavory lobbying for thugs and despots might have run afoul of regulations governing such representation but which had zero to do - unless some facts prove otherwise - with the 2016 presidential campaign.

So while Democrat Senators refuse to even meet with Judge Kavanaugh until they've dug up every possible piece of information on everything he did or said at every single moment of his whole bleeding life, the media story for now will be he is a risk because he is favorable towards overturning Judicial independence (supremacy might be a better term) in order to pave the way for Trump to shut down the Mueller probe.

Two birds with one stone, they hope. Abortion and Impeachment goals wrapped up in one panel discussion from nearly 20 years ago. This confirmation process will set new standards of partisan short-term maneuvering. And that's hardly the best way to confirm - or deny - a Supreme Court Justice.

Posted by Keeley at July 25, 2018 1:07 PM
Comments
Comment #429430

Wait until the rest of the Cohen tapes come out before making your silly pronouncements. Kavanaugh is “the most partisan judicial nominee ever”. Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushes somehow had more executive privileges than the Democrats according to Kavanaugh. You should at least read the comments by the legitimate posters here if you want to ignore the drunks, convicts, and dotards. You can skip the middle “independent” column which is infected with viruses and inaccessible by tablet. If they aren’t going to clean up this site, I’m going to see if Wordpress will shut it down.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 25, 2018 1:53 PM
Comment #429431

The green column has an issue on phone or tablet to not see the issue click on the 3 dot at top of page and then click on Desktop site. You will not see the issue. But you have to do it everytime you want to read anything in the green column.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 25, 2018 2:07 PM
Comment #429432

The release of the Cohen tapes which are covered by attorney client privilege, is illegal. All involved in their release should be prosecuted.

Posted by: dbs at July 25, 2018 2:12 PM
Comment #429435

Yes, one WOULD have to imagine Schumer’s delight. Because there’s no evidence that it exists.

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