Sheldon Whitehouse

GOP Mum on ‘Sex Crimes Prosecutor’ for Kavanaugh Hearing
Outside counsel remained an enigma just days before she will question Supreme Court nominee and accuser

Protesters on Capitol Hill show their support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As an extraordinary Senate hearing closes in, Republicans are keeping mum on who will question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who accuses him of sexual assault.

And they cranked up the pressure by scheduling a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination for Friday, less than 24 hours after the pair will testify.

Republicans Push Back Against States Seen as Too Pro-Regulation
GOP favors independence by state governments unless they don’t like a state’s decision

Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming and ranking Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware talk before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hears from acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in early August, the energy and environment community was watching.

It was Wheeler’s first appearance since his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, resigned after months of ethical, spending and personnel scandals. Washington was eager to see how Wheeler would right the agency.

Senate Scrambles for Next Move With Kavanaugh Nomination in the Balance
Growing number of senators say accuser, judge should be able to have say

The Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh hung in the balance on Monday as senators sorted out the chamber's next move in light of sexual assault allegations against the judge. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most important of those voices was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who said Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor, deserves to be heard after coming forward publicly with the allegation over the weekend.

“So I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” Grassley said in a news release.

Kavanaugh Set to Advance Amid Democratic Objections
Supreme Court nominee mostly evasive in follow-up answers to Judiciary panel

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, is on track for a Judiciary Committee vote next week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to hold a committee vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh at a specific time, 1:45 p.m., on Sept. 20. The vote was 11-10 along party lines over the objections of committee Democrats who said it would prematurely cut off debate.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee still had a lot of questions for Kavanaugh after last week’s confirmation hearing — they asked more than 1,200 written follow-up queries. But the nominee didn’t provide many revealing answers late Wednesday when he turned in 263 pages of responses in which he tried to provide more thoughts on one of the more dramatic moments of his confirmation hearing, brush aside questions about his finances, and clean up answers about abortion, his independence from political pressure and other topics.

They’re Crying in the Cyber Wilderness
Attacking American institutions has become a lot simpler since 9/11

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats spent the summer warning that a democracy-withering cyberattack is “just one click of the keyboard away.” Is anyone listening? (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Seventeen summers ago, 19 men had to make their way physically into the country, train to fly planes while avoiding scrutiny, and then crash them into buildings in order to pull off a devastating attack on a superpower.

In the years since then, attacking the United States and its institutions has become a lot simpler: a few strokes on a keyboard can now disrupt elections or shut off a power grid.

Kavanaugh Would Not Be Trump’s Justice, Experts Testify
Despite high marks, Sen. Blumenthal again raises ‘judicial independence’ concerns

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn in during his confirmation hearing. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

American Bar Association officials told the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh received the highest possible marks in an assessment of his qualifications for the job, including keeping “an open mind.”

After studying his record and conducting a list of interviews, the organization determined the nominee would be an independent justice even as Democratic senators worry about his ties to the Trump White House.

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Harris Lands First Blow on Kavanaugh — But It Only Grazes Him
Senator accuses nominee of remembering conversation but not wanting 'to tell us'

From left: Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., confer during the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:14 a.m. | ANALYSIS — It took almost 12 hours Wednesday before a Democratic senator, Kamala Harris of California, landed more than a glancing blow on the Teflon chin of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And even then, she wasn’t able to put President Donald Trump’s second high court pick on the canvas.

The late-night exchange lasted nearly 10 minutes, left Kavanaugh with a dumbfounded facial expression several times, and led Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee to break in with a helping hand.

Kavanaugh Dodges Question on Pre-Existing Condition Provision
Protections were a key part of the 2010 health care law

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced senators again on Wednesday as his nomination hearing continued. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, on Wednesday declined to say whether he would vote to overturn a statute requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

The Barack Obama-era 2010 health care law includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but the Trump Justice Department has said it would not defend the provision. Democrats have signaled they view any effort to save it as a solid midterm campaign message.

Facebook, Twitter Testify: Here Are the Lawmakers Who Own Their Stock
Members of Congress have invested more than $7M in three tech giants

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is the only senator who will question representatives from Facebook and Twitter who also holds stock in one of the companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will question representatives of tech giants Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The chamber’s Intelligence Committee also invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page but rejected the company’s counteroffer to send Google’s chief legal officer.

Roll Call found 32 members of Congress have stock ownership in the three companies. These stocks are held in trust funds, IRAs and brokerage accounts for the members, their spouses or their dependent children. In total, members of Congress have invested more than $7,000,000 in the three tech companies subject to scrutiny in Wednesday’s hearings.