Tags: Donald Trump | appeals court | nominee | scrutiny | donald trump | white house | lawyer

Court Nominee Faces Scrutiny Over Job as Trump WH Lawyer

Court Nominee Faces Scrutiny Over Job as Trump WH Lawyer
(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By    |   Monday, 16 October 2017 08:16 AM

President Donald Trump's nominee for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to face additional scrutiny for his work as deputy counsel in Trump's White House, according to Politico.

Greg Katsas will likely face questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing over what role he had in such issues as the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the travel ban, and attempts to undo Obamacare.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that this president and this administration have taken some of the most troubling actions by any president in history and Katsas has an obligation to be forthcoming with the Senate as to what his fingerprints are on," said Dan Goldberg of the Alliance for Justice, which opposed the confirmation of Katsas, Politico reported.

Katsas has not addressed questions about what he has worked on since his appointment in January. "I am responsible for providing legal advice to senior staff in the White House Office, including the president and the counsel to the president, managing legal issues involving executive-branch agencies, interviewing and recommending candidates for various executive and judicial appointments; and supervising approximately 15 associate counsels to the president," he wrote in the Senate Judiciary Committee's standard questionnaire.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told Politico that she expected more specifics from Katsas during the hearing. "Given the range of issues he may have worked on, Mr. Katsas' tenure as a high-ranking lawyer in President Trump's White House Counsel's office is of significant interest to the Judiciary Committee."

"If confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, Greg Katsas could hear cases involving issues he was involved in the White House counsel's office, so it is critically important that he answer senators' questions pertaining to that work," Feinstein added.

Conservatives said they expect Democrats to take on Katsas over Trump's White House decisions. "The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will not forgo a chance to play politics and will ask him about Russia and every conceivable political brushfire — because he's there," said Leonard Leo, an outside adviser on judgeships and legal positions, Politico reported. 

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network said it was not likely that Katsas played a "significant decisional role" in any major issues.

Katsas also will be limited in what he can reveal during the hearings, due to ethical rules on confidential legal advice, according to Politico. 

The Harvard lawyer has been considered a potential choice for a judgeship for years. He was a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and served in George W. Bush's administration.

Leo said he hoped that the hearing could focus on Katsas' qualifications. "It's not an oversight hearing of the executive branch."

Democrats are likely to press Katsas over his role in the White House because he has never held a judgeship, according to Buzzfeed.

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President Donald Trump's nominee for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to face additional scrutiny for his work as deputy counsel in Trump's White House, according to Politico.
appeals court, nominee, scrutiny, donald trump, white house, lawyer
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2017-16-16
Monday, 16 October 2017 08:16 AM
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