WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said consideration of Supreme Court-nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be delayed, given Tuesday’s guilty plea of President Donald Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee should immediately pause the consideration of the Kavanaugh nomination,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech Wednesday.
Schumer added: “The majority of the Senate still has not seen the bulk of Judge Kavanaugh’s record. At the very least, the very least, it is unseemly for the president of the United States to be picking a Supreme Court justice who could soon be, effectively, a juror in a case involving the president himself.”
The request for reprieve comes as Democrats are trying to obtain documents related to Kavanaugh’s tenure as White House staff secretary during the administration of President George W. Bush.
The hearing is scheduled to begin on Sep. 4 and is expected to last three or four days, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has said.
Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud.
Cohen testified that Trump ordered him to pay hush money to two women, believed to be adult film actress Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both women allege they had affairs with Trump. The president has denied the allegations.
Also on Tuesday former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted in a Virginia federal court on charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to disclose a foreign bank account.
Both cases are part of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into potential collision between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Trump has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” and has stringently denied collusion. Trump tweeted Wednesday that Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations that “are not a crime.” Trump tweeted that he feels “very badly” for Manafort.
The Senate Judiciary Committee released a statement Wednesday saying the hearing will proceed as scheduled.