Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh will not commit to recusing himself from cases involving the president or the special counsel investigating Russian election interference at his Senate confirmation hearings next week, ABC News reports.
According to unnamed sources with knowledge of Kavanaugh's preparations, the judge won't give a firm commitment to recusing himself from any case that involves President Donald Trump, who nominated him to the Supreme Court, or special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation into Russian election interference has lead to multiple guilty pleas from Trump associates.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday that she and other members of her party on the panel plan to press Kavanaugh on recusing.
"He doesn't believe a sitting president should be investigated or prosecuted — in other words, is above the law," she said, according to ABC.
In an article written for the Minnesota Law Review in 2009, Kavanaugh wrote that a president should be able to carry out his responsibilities "with as few distractions as possible," in regards to lawsuits or investigations while in office.
"Pledging a decision on a particular matter or case — including the decision whether to hear the case — for political reasons, like obtaining confirmation votes, would violate the bedrock constitutional principle of judicial independence," deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah, who is managing the administration's confirmation strategy, told the news network.
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