Dispatch June 28, 2018

Another Trump Supreme Court Pick Could Imperil the Russia Investigation. Here’s How.

Key questions in the Russia investigation could very likely end up before the Supreme Court – and decided by a new Trump appointee.

Trump demands loyalty pledges from those he appoints to key positions.

  • Trump has a history of demanding personal loyalty, including from those investigating him, and directing those in the highest levels of government to stop the probe – often even railing against Jeff Sessions for not doing so.
  • There’s little doubt Trump would continue the pattern and demand loyalty from a Supreme Court Justice – especially one who may be a crucial vote in any legal action related to the Russia scandal.
  • A lawyer quoted in Josh Marshall’s piece this morning sums these point up: “Never before has the selection of a Supreme Court nominee been so thoroughly compromised by the president’s profound personal interest in appointing a judge the president can count on to protect the President.”

A lot has changed since Gorsuch was confirmed. Gorsuch was nominated before the public even knew there was a Russia investigation.  We now know that Trump is the subject of a criminal investigation that could challenge his very legitimacy.

The Russian attack on our democracy continues and, worse, Trump continues to encourage it and reward it while the Republican-controlled Congress has been AWOL. The Supreme Court is the last check against this attack.

Trump and his Congressional accomplices are still working to impede the investigation at every turn. The Supreme Court is a critical check against Russia’s ongoing attack on American democracy.

Trump has created an impossible appearance of conflict for any nominee who now has the onus of proving they are not another part of Trump’s attack on the rule of law. Any nominee put forward under these circumstances must agree to recuse him or herself from any case related to an investigation of the president or his associates.