Trump's Supreme Court Pick Isn't Planning on Recusing Himself from Russia Probe Cases: Report

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's pick to be the next Supreme Court Justice, will not tell Congress that he plans on recusing himself from cases involving the president or the ongoing Russia investigation, according to a new report from ABC News.

The report comes ahead of Kavanaugh Senate hearings, where his relationship to Trump and the dark cloud of the Russia investigation is expected to be a major focus. Many have expressed concern about Trump being able to nominate a Supreme Court Justice amidst while he appears to face serious legal jeopardy.

Any serious questions regarding the president's standing with regard to criminal investigations or prosecutions may eventually find its way before the Supreme Court — and critics of the president say appointing Kavanaugh essentially lets him choose the judge in his own case.

The issue is particularly relevant in the case of Kavanaugh, who has espoused views that are very favorable to the executive branch and the power of the presidency.

Some have suggested, therefore, that it would be both prudent and morally right for Kavanaugh to pledge to recuse from any cases involving the investigation that has hung over the period of his nomination process. These calls gained steam last week when Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer, implicated him in campaign finance crimes while pleading guilty in federal court.

ABC News reports:

Kavanaugh will “pledge to be independent-minded in the event he has to make such a consideration, as all justices do," a White House official involved with the process told ABC News. It's unlikely such an assurance will placate Democrats' concerns, though their ability to block the nomination remains limited.

Supreme Court nominees don’t typically engage in hypothetical scenarios, and it is not entirely surprising that Kavanaugh would decline to offer a firm pledge to recuse himself in any case, although other nominees have done so on specific matters. But Democrats will no doubt seize on such a moment in the hearings to try to validate their claims that Trump picked Kavanaugh with an expectation he would protect him from legal jeopardy.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.