Demonstrating his lack of judicial independence before he faces his Senate confirmation hearing, Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh immediately began lying for the man who nominated him as he addressed the nation Monday night.
Accepting Trump’s choice to serve, Kavanaugh announced, “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked to more people from more backgrounds to seek input for a Supreme Court nomination.”
The fact that Kavanaugh used his first public appearance as a Supreme Court nominee to actively lie on behalf of Trump is deeply disturbing and immediately raises questions about his suitability for the job.
There’s widespread speculation that Trump, who’s the center of a sprawling special counsel investigation, okayed the choice of Kavanaugh as an act of self-preservation because the judge has written that the President of the United States should not be disturbed with criminal inquiries.
“I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office,” Kavanaugh wrote in 2009. “We should not burden a sitting President with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecutions.”
Supreme Court nominees often use the announcement of their selection to praise the president who chose them. But to blatantly lie about Trump the way Kavanaugh did, by laughably portraying the president as a serious, hands-on chief executive, is likely unprecedented.
Journalists immediately mocked Kavanaugh’s almost comically untrue claim about Trump’s selection process.
“This seems…obviously false? Weird to start of[f] by saying something that is not true,” tweeted MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “I don’t know how anyone — much less a judge — could make this assertion as fact,” noted CNN’s Jake Tapper.
And CNBC’s Christina Wilkie provided a fact check: “Trump chose names off a list given to him by an interest group, then he interviewed four candidates in under 2 hours last Monday.”
The fact is that during the 2016 campaign, Trump’s top legal adviser, Don McGahn, helped put together a list of right-wing Supreme Court candidates with input from radical conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, who Trump was expected to chose from if elected president.
There’s no evidence that Trump had any input on the list. And in his public comments, Trump has indicated he has, at best, a vague understanding of the law and judicial philosophies.
So no, Trump didn’t make history by launching an exhaustive search for his Supreme Court pick. Instead, he did the opposite and farmed the task out to radical conservatives.
Kavanaugh’s comments are simply signaling his loyalties for the man who nominated him.
Published with permission of The American Independent.