GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Sunday that President Donald Trump’s pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy should not immediately recuse from the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election cycle.
“The president’s pick may end up having to rule on issues having to do with the Mueller investigation. Neil Gorsuch didn’t come up — he came up before there was a Robert Mueller special counsel. Now he exists. Do you believe this nominee needs to commit to recusing him or herself or anything having to do with the Mueller probe directly right now if it makes its way to the Supreme Court?” Chuck Todd asked Graham on “Meet the Press” on NBC Sunday.
“I‘ve been a lawyer before I was a politician. To recuse yourself is proper in some cases,” Graham told Todd. “The idea you can’t judge someone who picks you is not a good grounds for recusal. There is a difference between the case at hand and the judge. It makes perfect sense that Jeff Sessions can’t oversee an investigation on a campaign he was a part of, but I wouldn’t have a broad rule you can’t review anything about President Trump because he chose you.”
Kennedy, who announced his retirement Wednesday, has set up Trump for his second Supreme Court nominee in his first term in office — a privilege the majority of presidents never gain while in office. (RELATED: Kennedy Calls It Quits)
GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — along with some other speculative senators — are expected to be the swing votes for or against Trump’s nominee. (RELATED: Collins: ‘I Would Not Support’ A SCOTUS Nominee That Wants To Overturn Roe v. Wade)
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