tv Sen. Durbin on Meeting with Judge Kavanaugh CSPAN August 24, 2018 6:36am-6:56am EDT
his book "where did you get this number?" about how polls worked and what to watch for in the elections. and precision medicine, and how it can improve strategy, talking to stephanie delaney from the national institutes of health. journal" liveton at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> senate minority whip dick durbin spoke to reporters after his meeting with supreme court nominee judge brett kavanaugh. his remarks are about 15 minutes.
>> i just than an hour with supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh and there are several observations about the conversation and how it relates to his ultimate fitness to serve on the supreme court. is withant to start this chart. what you are looking at is a chart that reflects years that brett kavanaugh served in the white house. this. is the time the administration agreed to provide us with documentation which indicates what happened when he was in that capacity. i believe we are up to some 260,000 pages. inever, what you see here the black is what i call the black hole and brett kavanaugh's record, some 35 months of service as they have secretary of the president of the united states which is the republicans refuse to share with the american people and allow this committee to review.
the specifically with judge kavanaugh and he said he did not establish the standards of disclosure of these documents. but i asked him during the time he was serving as the president's staff secretary about issue that he worked on, those issues included, for example, the bush administration's endorsement in 2000 four of a proposal to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. -- what theughts thoughts and writings of brett kavanaugh on the subject the important to view in light of his nomination? the partial-birth abortion ban act enacted in november 2003. andiraqi war and abuses abreu grade. the supreme court nomination of john roberts, harriet miers, and samuel alito. cases that came to the supreme court on critical issues relating to the paintings of others. warrantless wiretapping of american citizens which is specifically called was an issue he had discussed specifically
with the president. national security letters of the patriot act, second amendment gun laws, affirmative action. the list goes on. the point i am making here is d of artie live-month perio time where he was staff secretary of president bush was rife with issues of great constitutional moment. it is the reason why the american people have a right to know what he said, how he advised the president, what he wrote. those are things the republicans are hiding from the american people and keeping secret. this man, billut berger, who is he? well, a former staff secretary, attorney in washington. and even with don mccann in the room, i said, is he an official employee? bill berg is the final filter of documents from the archives to congress and the american people and he is deciding, this private
lawyer is deciding what the american people will see when it comes to brett kavanaugh's record. that is unacceptable. i have been on this committee a number of years. we have had an number of supreme court nominees before us. the standard of disclosure established by senator jeff sessions of alabama, the ranking republican at the time on the committee -- and the standard leahy hasi patrick been trampled on and ignored by republicans when it comes to their own nominee, brett kavanaugh. what is in these documents the republicans did up to share with the american people? what did mr. cavanaugh say or do or right during that time that we ought to know before he becomes the swing vote on the united states supreme court for more than a generation. the second issue i raised goes back to an earlier time when he came before the committee under oath and i asked him questions about his role when it comes to the detention of combatants. and i didd to say -- not bring my glasses.
this may be a struggle in this light situation. i asked him about his role and i was noti did not -- involved and was not involved in the questions about the roles of -- of rules governing detention of combatants, so i do not have the involvement with that issue of combatants." i paraphrase that because i did not bring my glasses. -- when hea letter told me under oath he had no involvement it later turns out he did have involvement. in fact, he volunteered at one of these meetings how he felt justice kennedy. when i asked him today he tried to draw a distinction between
those combatants which were being held by the cia, those held by the department of defense, and others. he did not make that distinction when he made that statement earlier. it was an acknowledgment today from him that he was involved in conversations involving enemy combatants. why is this important? it is important because as you remember, it was the front and center issue in this country literally for months, if not, years. senator up with mccain's torture act passing with over 90 votes in the united states senate to prohibit conduct that had taken place during the bush administration years. this was a front and center constitutional issue in america. the the american people have the right to know what brett kavanaugh's wall was in deciding the parameters of this issue? i think it goes without saying that they do. the last point i want to raise -- timely because of the events of this week, the prosecution and conviction of paul manafort and guilty plea arrangement from
cohen.: -- the vulnerability or culpability of a sitting president of the united states. that is an issue where brett kavanaugh has changed his position dramatically. involved in ken starr's commission investigating president clinton. he was dramatically and personally involved in it, is a you know from reading the document. a few years later he wrote an article for the university of law review where he reversed and came to the conclusion that a sitting president should not be subject to either indictment or investigation of prosecution. i him about this. it is a timely and important question. issue ofnow if this legal culpability is going to rise to the highest levels, but i would like to know how a new member of the supreme court of use it. he tried to draw a distinction university of minnesota long review did not have anything to do with the constitutionality of such a decision. he was, in his words, making a
recommendation to congress that members -- that a president should not be prosecuted or investigated during the course of his time in office but only after he leaves office. that is much different than what we met -- read at the long review. there is no clarity in the position as to whether or not president trump in this circumstance would be investigation to investigation of prosecution. it is an unanswered question and there were many others we did not have a chance to get into. i am not going to make an announcement today about my vote on brett kavanaugh. i know this will be the first question. i will go through the committee hearing and i hope for the good of this nation and for the reputation of the senate and the senate judiciary committee that our chairman grassley and the republican leadership of the senate will acknowledge that this is a travesty. for us to allow 35 months of public effort -- records on this nominee to be hidden from the american people is a
constitutional travesty. the senate cannot perform its constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a supreme court nominee when so much has beenon is -- concealed. we have a right to know, and more importantly, the american people have a right to know. >> weren't you really on the same page -- he said repeatedly the proper remedy is impeachment. aren't you trying to delay his nomination until you potentially hold control of senate again? .> no let's put this in proper context. i think impeachment is the most serious penalty imposed are the constitution on a political basis, that we would remove the chief executive of the united states by congressional act shin is jolting a constitutional mandate or opportunity as anything. and i think it needs to be taken very seriously. i have not proposing or suggesting impeachment at this point.
i think we need to let the facts, for the mueller investigation and draw conclusions. the meantime, the question is whether this president or any president is subject to investigation and prosecution for crimes that may not reach the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. that is before us in the question an article written by judge kavanaugh. i believe what we found in the clinton situation, the president local and situation, he was subjected to subpoena and the position and they went forward in that regard. but when it comes to the impeachment side, i think that is a separate issue. you know something about parliamentary procedure. 17 nominees last night. i know you guys called for a delay of the hearing because some of the concerns about manafort. -- whyid, if you really not let them burn through all tot time so that the period
debate in september. [inaudible] >> i don't know what the strategy is going to be. i have not talked to senator schumer then -- since the cloture motion that was filed in 17 nominees. but i want to make clear, if we use every single minute of every single hour of every single day under the roles there will come a time when there will ultimately be a vote. if the american people are still monthsdark about 30 five of this man's public service at a level of government, shame on us. simply delaying it for days or weeks does not answer the basic thetion -- what is it about documentation coming from brett kavanaugh in these 35 months that republicans are so afraid to show us? [inaudible]
what was the pushback? >> that's what he gave me. the best that he could do was ae notion that he was not dressing the constitutionality of such a proposal but simply a suggestion to congress. most of us who have read the article did not come to that same conclusion. he will face that question again, i'm sure, before the senate judiciary. your message -- you and senator schumer, the democrats who are considering voting for kavanaugh? i you trying to tell them not to vote for him? you want a unified body of no votes question mark >> you covered the senate. i think you understand at least how the democratic caucus works. i know, having served as a whip for a number of years, any attempt to pressure colleagues to vote one way or the other on historic at this
moment fails. they will make their individual decisions personally and political. that's the way it should be. all i can do is share with them my feelings. in terms of disciplining them into a vote, that doesn't work. in the wake of the -- how potent or inflammation -- influential you think the argument you guys are making about executive authority when it comes to the votes of your moderate or republicans? >> i would say this. as a matterelieve of principle in america that no one is above the law. politiciansuding who serve in congress and the president of the united states. if you stick to that fundamental principle, then there has to be accountability. what we saw happen this week in -- youa and new york know, it was disquieting,
jolting to think that the president's personal attorney would enter a plea agreement. the think the president's campaign chairman would be found guilty of eight counts of felonies. all of those things suggest that it is a matter of great severity, great seriousness. , i will saypoint again, the mueller investigation should be completed. automatically saying i don't see a reason to delay the kavanaugh hearing -- do you get a sense that this is getting through to them? >> maybe a trip home will change their views. maybe it will change ours. but i think it should be postponed at least until that documentation is produced. >> [inaudible] >> here is what the voters say. the voters don't pay a lot of i found. to this,
a lot of things we dwell on in washington that don't pop through back home. that the do believe senate has a constitutional responsibility to carefully review nominees. i think it is clear today when documents are being concealed and hidden, there is a reason. they could be produced. it would take more time for the hearing, and maybe that's the reason why senator maccallum -- moveor mcconnell wants to more quickly. but they should be produced. if there is nothing in there, so be it. when elena kagan produced $170,000 documents, 99 part -- 99% of everything that happened when she was at the white house, she did not assert executive pre-lit -- privilege. shea sotomayor -- they say just came up with her judicial opinions. they asked her to produce minutes of the meeting of the puerto rican legal defense fund, and they produce them.
we have been open and past.arent in the why are republicans refusing to do the same? that is the question the american people i think clearly understand. of --ressing the question heavy-handed prosecutors, piling on charges. saying, you face decades of jail. sing like a bird. what on earth does that have to do with the -- it hasn't think specifically to do with the nomination. what all of us hope is that the system of justice will find the truth. whatever the motive of the person testifying, we want them under oath to tell the truth, period. if they are being encouraged to
do it by lessening a sentence, that is understandable, but the question is the final product that they present to the court, is it truthful? that is the bottom line. i don't know that the kavanaugh nomination has a direct impact that i would say that if this case progresses and goes to higher levels of the government, the position of the supreme court justice on the accountability of the president of the united states is an essential question. one last question. the president making comments about african countries. tweetesident sent a asking the secretary of state to study -- >> south african question mark seizures. >> i have fallen behind in my tweets.
i hope you are, too. i don't know. thanks, everybody. >> one of the most qualified nominees ever picked for the supreme court. and he has contributed a great deal to his community and the legal profession besides being on the d.c.ng judge circuit court of appeals. kavanaugh has a special obligation to make his views on this topic clear, given the president's a litmus test that he would only a point just -- judges that would overturn roe.
on that obligation, judge kavanaugh fail spectacular. >> i look forward to watching judge kavanaugh's confirmation hearing and after a thorough and the review of his nomination i am confident that judge kavanaugh would be an excellent addition to the nation's highest court. >> watch day one of the senate confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh live, tuesday, september 4 on c-span3. watch anytime on www.c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. senator then sasse spoke on the floor in support of attorney general jeff sessions. he warned the attorney general should not be fired by president trump.