John Dean — Richard Nixon’s counsel who helped topple his presidency during the Watergate scandal — warned the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s could tilt the high court in President Donald Trump’s favor.
“If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, I submit we will have the most pro-presidential powers Supreme Court in the modern era,” said Dean , who served as White House counsel for nearly three years. “
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“With Judge Kavanaugh on the court, we should anticipate a majority that will find it increasingly difficult to discover any presidential actions which they do not approve.”
But Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee will counter will several high-profile legal figures of their own, including Ted Olson and Paul Clement, both former solicitor generals.
The first three days of Kavanaugh hearings have been by marked by intense partisan warfare, leaked documents, and dozens of arrests of anti-Kavanaugh protestors.
Yet despite some tense moments for Kavanaugh during more than 30 hours of back-and-forth with senators, especially over abortion, there has been little sign that the hearings have disrupted his path to confirmation, which would mark a huge victory for President Donald Trump, Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Grassley has scheduled a Judiciary Committee vote on the Kavanaugh nomination for next week, but Democrats will be able to delay that under committee rules.
In addition to Dean, Friday’s testimony also included an appearance by Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, which opposes Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Democrats also invited witnesses who testified on Kavanaugh’s views on immigration, the rights of the disabled, gun control and other high-profile issues.