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Old 12 July 2018, 05:44 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,332

I mentioned this in another thread, and I'm partially cutting and pasting, but it's for a very different point.

Kavanaugh was once a zealous advocate of impeachment for Bill Clinton, including advocating for articles of impeachment for lying to staff which caused them to perpetuate the lies, and misleading the public, and refusing to cooperate with the Starr investigation by being interviewed. Then he worked in a high level position in the George W. Bush white house. (Staff Secretary, which is in many ways similar to the Chief of Staff position, but less well known.)

That apparently drastically changed his perspective. In 2009, which means it was after Obama's election, he published a law review article taking the position that presidents should be immune from all suits, prosecutions, and even investigation while in office. (I have not personally read it, and don't know the details, but this is how It's been described.)

I happen to not agree with either of those positions, and I think it marks him as fundamentally an extremist to have shifted from one to the other. But, more importantly, I also think this may be a huge, I mean, YUGE!, reason for his nomination, and it might offer the slimmest of hope that he could be rejected. I think Dems should focus almost all efforts on this idea that presidents should be, in a practical sense, above the law, and that even investigations should not be allowed. I think even a number of Republicans have said, for example, that the Russia investigation should be allowed to run its course.

It is a very dangerous opinion, and an extremely dangerous time for a Justice of the Supreme Court to hold it. I think the general public might be alarmed by it as well. It seems like potentially a very important point to focus on, and potentially less divisive and polarising than abortion, so that it doesn't just fall into the pattern of Democrats trying to obstruct a nominee from the other party.

I am very interested to hear how far he would take it. For example, the Russia investigation originated as a counter-intelligence investigation. That includes identifying potential foreign agents who may have been trying to influence the election via campaign officials -- wittingly or unwittingly. So the original investigation included looking into what contacts campaign officials had with known or suspected foreign agents, without necessarily any suspicion that the campaign officials had done anything wrong, or knowingly collaborated. That kind of investigation is crucial to national security. At the same time, such an investigation could, conceivably, require a president to be interviewed by law enforcement, or testify before a Grand Jury. I am curious if Kavanaugh would say that the president could decline to cooperate with that kind of investigation -- which, by it's nature, could certainly reveal wrongdoing by the president. And not just decline to participate, but should he be able to shut it down or put it on hold?
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