Politics

Sen. Hirono Backs Out of Kavanaugh Meeting, Accuses Trump of Protecting ‘His Own Okole’

Hawaii Democrat says Trump ‘is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter’

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, has canceled a meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because she said President Donald Trump doesn't deserve the courtesy as an "unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono has canceled her meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in light of Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas potentially implicating President Donald Trump in a crime

Trump, “who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter, does not deserve the courtesy of a meeting with his nominee — purposely selected to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole,” Hirono tweeted Wednesday. 

Okole is the Hawaiian word for butt. 

Hirono was tweeting what she had said earlier during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“These are certainly not the times for this committee to consider a Supreme Court nominee of this president, especially a nominee who thinks the president should be immune from investigation,” she said during the hearing. “We cannot abandon common sense in this dangerous time for our democracy.”

Kavanaugh has met with more than half of the 100 senators but has only recently started meeting with Democrats.

Hirono is the first senator to cancel a meeting with the nominee amid growing scandals surrounding the Trump administration. It was not immediately clear if other Democrats will follow suit. 

Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to campaign finance, bank fraud and tax evasion charges. During his hearing Cohen said he “at the direction of” Trump in the summer of 2016 made payments to two women “for the purpose of influencing the election.”

His guilty pleas came in the same hour that an Alexandria jury convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud.

Lanny Davis, one of Cohen’s attorneys, told NBC News that Cohen believes Trump committed a felony.

“There is no question having plead to a felony yesterday and saying that Mr. Trump directed him to do what he did, that Mr. Trump would be guilty of  the same crime, as I tweeted yesterday,” he said. “One could not be true without the other being true.” Davis said he personally believes Trump has committed more felonies than Cohen has accused him of “based on the law of conspiracy.”

Todd Ruger contributed to this report. 

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