At this point it’s obvious that the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is almost certainly something that our children are going to read about in their history books. One way or another, it looks to be the fulcrum upon which the Trump Presidency is set to pivot and at its center is Senator Jeff Flake.
Michael Cohen’s guilty plea is enough on its own to charge President Trump as a participant in a conspiracy to defraud the United States, circumvent campaign finance law, and illegally influence an election. The only reason Trump has not already been named and indicted as a conspirator is that it’s not entirely clear if the President can be indicted.
Should the Justice Department hand down an indictment, it will fall to the Supreme Court to determine if the mantle of the Presidency confers some sort of immunity. If Kavanaugh is on the Court it seems very likely that he’ll tilt the Court’s opinion against the Justice Department. If Kavanaugh is seated, the President will likely be immune to indictment.
But before Kavanaugh can be confirmed as a Justice, the Senate has to vote in his favor. Before the Senate can vote in his favor, the Judiciary Committee must issue a recommendation prior to discharging his confirmation to the whole of the Senate.
Senate Judiciary consists of twenty-one Senators: ten Democrats and eleven Republicans. A joint statement by the Judiciary Democrats, issued earlier today, states the following:
All 10 @JudiciaryDems: “Given the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the President, doubts that Judge Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, and the unprecedented lack of transparency regarding this nominee’s record, we should not move forward with hearings." pic.twitter.com/gCmbz661pV— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) August 24, 2018
That’s 10 votes. They need 11 to recommend against confirmation. And that’s where Senator Jeff Flake enters the picture.
Flake is one of the eleven Republicans on the committee. He has said that he is retiring at the end of his term and, back in July, Flake suggested that he was undecided on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Flake has taken a harsher stance than most of his fellow Republicans on Trump, suggesting that he has “debased” the Presidency and drawing return fire from the Tweeter in Chief.
If Flake votes to recommend against confirmation, then Kavanaugh will face the Senate without the Judiciary Committee at his back. The partisan divide will still be there and the vote will still take place — the Judiciary Committee can’t outright block a nomination — but a confirmation in defiance of the Committee’s recommendation will be a hard fight, even in a majority-Republican Senate.
If Flake can be persuaded to oppose Kavanaugh in light of the President’s criminal behavior, he could take the first step down the long, hard road of rehabilitating the Grand Old Party from the disaster that has been the Trump Presidency.
Tell Congress What You Think
While there are plenty of other Republicans who can stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, Flake has a unique position right now. If you live in Arizona, today, your voice is louder than most. If you’re elsewhere, however, you should still tell your Senators what you think about Kavanaugh and any other issue on your mind. You can write to your Senators by sending the word Resist to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to make a difference.
Dispatches from the Resistance
Arizona is rising. Here’s what Resistbotters from the Grand Canyon State have written to Senator Flake:
More on Kavanaugh
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