Independent Counsel Whiplash
‘This week, even more of our colleagues have had the opportunity to meet with Judge Kavanaugh. I’m sure they’ll agree that it’s hard not to come away impressed… Of course, that hasn’t stopped far-left special interest groups from grasping at straws and trying to smear this nominee any way they can… The latest made-up controversy is an attempt this week to make hay out of comments Judge Kavanaugh made about the long-ago expired “independent counsels” statute.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court:
“Speaking of excellent nominees -- I’d like to speak for a moment about President Trump’s outstanding choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This week, even more of our colleagues have had the opportunity to meet with Judge Kavanaugh. I’m sure they’ll agree that it’s hard not to come away impressed. The academic achievement, the judicial credentials, the esteem of his peers and fellow legal professionals.
“Of course, that hasn’t stopped far-left special interest groups from grasping at straws and trying to smear this nominee any way they can. They don’t seem to care whether it’s honest or not. They don’t seem to care whether it’s accurate or not. The latest made-up controversy is an attempt this week to make hay out of comments Judge Kavanaugh made about the long-ago expired ‘independent counsels’ statute.
“But, once again, there is no ‘there’ there whatsoever. Here are the facts: Judge Kavanaugh’s apparent concerns about the independent counsel law appear in line with mainstream views that have been widely held on both sides of the political aisle. Views that were, in fact, strongly held by many of my Democratic colleagues, at least until there was an opportunity to try to make political hay.
Congress chose to let the statute expire in 1999, based in large part on constitutional concerns. My colleague the senior Senator from Illinois, the Assistant Democratic Leader, explained this well when he was fighting any attempt to renew the statute: Here’s what he said in 1999 about the independent counsel: ‘Unchecked, unbridled, unrestrained, and unaccountable.’
“My friend from Illinois punctuated his enthusiasm for the demise of the independent counsel law by saying, ‘I’d like to say to Judge Starr and all the other counsels, your days are numbered.’ I agreed with him about the independent counsel statute. A number of us, in both parties, saw it the same way. So we happily allowed the law to expire.
“This has nothing to do with special counsels, or any of the other tools that are currently in place for elected officials to be held accountable. This has nothing to do with any investigations that are in the headlines today.What Judge Kavanaugh was talking about was a law that has not existed for two decades, and which the Supreme Court upheld with only a single dissenting vote.
“The irony -- or hypocrisy -- is that our Democratic colleagues are now criticizing Judge Kavanaugh because he may hold the same views on this subject as many of them do. Or at least did, right up until to his nomination. A view that was shared, and acted upon, by members in this body, on both sides of the aisle.
“Another day, another off-base attack. Here’s how Newsweek dismissed this tempest in a teapot: ‘Law experts told Newsweek that Kavanaugh's view on independent counsels has nothing to do with special counsels or Mueller's probe and, in fact, the two types of federal investigations are completely different.’
“Yet again, the far-left special interest groups who are desperate to deny Judge Kavanaugh fair treatment are hoping the media will buy their latest made-up charge. Remember the outrage when it was learned that Judge Kavanaugh enjoys baseball? Well, I’m proud the president has chosen a nominee as strong as Judge Kavanaugh. We should put aside these unfair attacks and misrepresentations and give his nomination the fair treatment it deserves.”
Related Issues: Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations, Senate Democrats, Nominations