On Tuesday, the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh began. The Washington Post reports that the hearing, “quickly devolved into a political brawl… as Democrats loudly objected to the proceedings as rushed.”
According to Fox News, the hearing was interrupted 63 times before the group recessed for lunch and interruptions prolonged the commencement of the hearing by an hour and 15 minutes. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley was tasked with making the opening remarks at the hearing and after a long period of interruptions decided to proceed with the opening statements over the shouts of protesters.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn described the scene saying, “this is the first confirmation hearing subject to mob rule.”
The Washington Post reports, senators wanted to cut off the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh because of the 42,000 pages of documents sent to the Judiciary Committee on Monday from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House under George W. Bush.
Republican senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jeff Flake of Arizona spoke positively about Kavanaugh but questioned the Trump administrations integrity. The pair wondered about the Presidents recent comments on the Justice Department and how Kavanaugh would handle cases involving presidential power.
On Monday, President Trump spoke out against the timing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ indictment of two Republican members of Congress on corruption charges being that midterm elections are coming up. The two Senators voiced their concern about the administration at the hearing saying, “That is why a lot of people are concerned about this administration and why they want to ensure that our institutions hold,” Flake said. He added that “many of the questions you will get on the other side of the aisle and from me will” center on separation of powers.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) later asked, “What are we trying to hide? Why are we rushing?”
Leahy was referring to the documents on Kavanaugh’s career that have been withheld without explanation from the public and Congress altogether. Senators have reviewed around 200,000 pages which cannot be made public record and the White House is withholding another 100,000 pages from Congress. Reportedly, the documents “would be covered by presidential privilege.”
According to Fox News, Capitol Police have arrested around two dozen protestors who were disrupting the hearing and others were escorted out of the room.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Mark Wilson/Staff