Kavanaugh's views of presidential power drawing questions

Staff Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's past writings that a president should not be distracted by lawsuits and investigations could become a flashpoint in what's already shaping up to be a contentious confirmation battle.
With special counsel Robert Mueller investigating whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, questions about whether a chief executive can be subpoenaed or indicted could potentially reach the Supreme Court. Though there's no indication at this point that will happen, it's sure to be a major topic of questioning at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing as the Senate weighs whether to confirm him to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Democrats opposing Kavanaugh are already weighing in, saying the past writings — particularly a legal article he wrote on the separation of powers in 2009 — suggest he would be inclined to side with Trump.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that he "seems exactly like the kind of man President Trump would want on the Supreme Court if legal issues from the Mueller probe arise."
A look at Kavanaugh's past statements on presidential powers:
INVESTIGATIONS AND LAWSUITS INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT
Kavanaugh was a key player in the investigation that led to President Bill Clinton's impeachment, but a decade later he wrote that the experience, coupled with his time working for President George W. Bush, had persuaded him that presidents should not have to face criminal investigations, including indictments, or civil lawsuits while they are in office. He said Congress should pass a law temporarily protecting presidents from such distractions in office...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition.

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