Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona tried not once, but twice, to engage Brett Kavanaugh in questions arising from one of President Donald Trump’s tweets, but the Supreme Court nominee declined to respond.
Flake said he was concerned about the executive branch and asked whether a president should be able to use his authority to carry out directives for political gain. He specifically referred to Trump’s tweet against Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, where he complained that criminal charges against two Republican congressmen could hurt the party in the midterm election.
Kavanaugh said maintaining judicial independence “requires me to avoid commenting on current events.”
Flake then took Trump out of the question. Kavanaugh still declined to engage in a hypothetical he said closely resembled the earlier one.