Recuse is a dirty word in Trumpland

Recuse is a dirty word in Trumpland

by digby

Greg Sargent wrote yesterday about the coming collision between the Mueller investigation and the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It's about the probable need for Kavanaugh to recuse himself from any case pertaining to the Russia probe due to his well known past writing about presidential power which was certainly known by the president's men before Kavanaugh was chosen. Read the whole thing. It's a fascinating read.

I would just remind everyone of a piece I wrote a while back about how the Democrats might weaponize this issue to stop this nomination:

The Washington Post reported several months later that Trump had nearly withdrawn the Gorsuch nomination before it even came to a vote:

Trump, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions, was upset that Gorsuch had pointedly distanced himself from the president in a private February meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), telling the senator he found Trump's repeated attacks on the federal judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing."

The president worried that Gorsuch would not be "loyal," one of the people said, and told aides that he was tempted to pull Gorsuch's nomination — and that he knew plenty of other judges who would want the job . . .

When Sen. Lindsey Graham asked whether the president might be subject to prosecution, Gorsuch reportedly answered, “No man is above the law, no man.” At some point in all this, the Post reported that Trump got livid:

"He's probably going to end up being a liberal like the rest of them," Trump told Republican leaders, according to a person with knowledge of the comments. "You never know with these guys."

The president wasn't just venting. It was serious enough that McConnell had to do some significant hand-holding and cajoling to prevent Trump from yanking Gorsuch from consideration.
Considering his mercurial nature, it's also possible Trump himself could destroy the nomination with some ill-timed tweet or a temper tantrum. He no longer listens to anyone, so it's doubtful that McConnell would be able to talk him down a second time. So perhaps another strategy for Democrats would be to press the nominee as aggressively as possible in public hearings about all the potential Trump crimes in detail and dare him to be "disloyal" while the president is watching.

Since it's absolutely true that no man should be able to choose his own judge, they could ask if the nominee plans to recuse himself from any of these potential Trump cases. We know how Trump feels about his minions' recusing themselves. He's said many times that if Jeff Sessions had told him he was going to do that, he would have withdrawn Sessions' nomination as attorney general. Maybe the president would well and truly sabotage himself this time.

Push for recusal, Schumer. Push hard. He might just pull the nomination...