Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shaw wouldn’t deny that Trump cut a deal with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire by allowing him to pick his replacement.
BERMAN: There’s a suggestion — and again, I don’t know whether if it’s true or not, but there’s a suggestion that there was a deal made that Anthony Kennedy said, you know what? I’ll retire if you can promise to me that Judge Kavanaugh fills my shoes. Or the converse was that the White House made clear to Judge Kennedy that if you go, Judge Kavanaugh whom you respect and know well as your clerk, he will be your replacement. Did anything like that happen?
SHAH: John, again, I’m not going to read out private conversations that may have occurred between the president and Justice Kennedy but the president didn’t make a decision until Sunday in which he called Judge Kavanaugh. And the judge’s record speaks for itself. He’s been on the president’s publicly disclosed list since last November and it’s very clear that in over 300 opinions, he is an individual who supports applying the law to the facts and as it was originally intended.
BERMAN: So you’re not — I just want to be clear because I’m going to move on. You’re not ruling that out? You’re not ruling out those conversations took place?
SHAH: What I’m saying Justice Kennedy can speak for himself. The president spoke last night with clarity about why he chose Judge Kavanaugh.
The idea that the White House got Justice Kennedy to retire by assuring him that they would pick Kavanaugh to replace him is a trampling of the Constitution, and it makes a mockery of the Supreme Court. The Kavanaugh nomination reeks to high heaven and it needs further investigation. Judge Kavanaugh can’t be confirmed to the Supreme Court having been nominated under such dubious circumstances.
If Trump cut a deal for Kennedy to retire, then the process has been corrupted, and the chosen nominee is disqualified.
One Republican vote is all it will take to end this mockery of our system of governance. The American people must stand up and demand a qualified and objectively chosen nominee, not a political bribe be added to the Supreme Court.
Update: The term bribe in the initial story and text has been changed to accurately reflect additional developments.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association