In a flurry of tweets on Tuesday evening, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for a delay of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation vote in light of the FBI investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Warren claimed Republicans are using the Supreme Court vote as way of distracting from the ongoing FBI probe, leading the Senate to “pretend there’s no cloud over” President Donald Trump.
On Monday, FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the bureau is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether associates of Trump had any contact with Moscow.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez have also called to delay the confirmation vote.
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“I’d like to point out that it is the height of irony that Republicans held this Supreme Court seat open for nearly a calendar year while President Obama was in office, but are now rushing to fill the seat for a president whose campaign is under investigation by the FBI,” Schumer said on Tuesday, calling it “unseemly to be moving forward so fast on confirming a Supreme Court Justice with a lifetime appointment” given the FBI investigation. His remarks provoked speculation that Democrats may try to obstruct a vote just as Republicans prevented Merrick Garland, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, from getting a confirmation hearing.
Warren asked her colleagues in the Senate to oppose Gorsuch’s nomination in an op-ed in the Boston Globe on Monday, arguing that his elite education and eloquence should not distract from his conservative ideology. “Gorsuch has taken positions that are even more extreme than his extremely conservative colleagues. When it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is more radical than Scalia was,” she wrote. If confirmed, Gorsuch will fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year. “Gorsuch is charming and intelligent. He has an impressive legal pedigree,” Warren wrote. “But this is not a Miss Congeniality pageant or a contest for the nominee with the fanciest degrees. This is a vote for a justice who will sit on the highest court in our nation for the next generation and decide cases that will touch every human being in this country.”
At a town hall in Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday, Warren said Trump has “delivered one gut punch after another to hardworking” American families in the first months of his presidency. She is often mentioned as a top Democratic presidential contender for 2020; Trump said on Saturday that running against Warren would be “a dream come true.”