Good afternoon from Capitol Hill. And Happy Valentine’s Day!
The House is out of session for the next two weeks, but the Senate is in, still awaiting a Supreme Court nomination out of the White House. Biden, who has said he will only consider black female nominees, will reportedly begin interviewing candidates this week.
In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt taped Thursday, Biden said he’s done a “deep dive” on “about four people” who have already seen “thorough background checks” as he keeps an eye on replicating the qualities of Justice Stephen Breyer on the bench.
“I’m not looking to make an ideological choice here,” Biden said. “I’m looking for someone to replace Judge Breyer with the same kind of capacity Judge Breyer had, with an open mind, who understands the Constitution, interprets it in a way that is consistent with the mainstream interpretation of the Constitution.”
Court watchers expect those under closest consideration include Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, Judge Leondra Kruger of the California Supreme Court and Judge J. Michelle Childs of the U.S. District Court in South Carolina.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), viewed as a crucial vote for Biden on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he backs Judge Michelle Childs, who is also from South Carolina, and predicts her nomination would receive “more than 10 Republican votes.” Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), whose endorsement of Joe Biden on the campaign trail is widely believed to have swung the state Biden’s way, is also backing Childs.
The Senate is also contending with the recent stroke of Sen. Ben Ray Luján, Democrat of New Mexico. In a 50-50 Senate, the Democrats need every one of their votes assuming they have no support from Republicans. Lujan is out of the hospital and in a rehab facility “for a few more weeks,” but pledging he will be back to vote on the SCOTUS nomination.
And if you missed it over the weekend, Special Counsel John Durham investigation released a bombshell filing. The filing makes clear that the Clinton campaign funded an effort to spy on Trump both as a candidate, and later as President, in an effort to push the FBI to investigate his administration.
Lawyers for the Clinton campaign paid a technology company to ‘infiltrate’ servers belonging to Trump Tower, and later the White House, in order to establish an ‘inference’ and ‘narrative’ to bring to government agencies linking Donald Trump to Russia, a filing from Special Counsel John Durham says.
Durham filed a motion on Feb. 11 focused on potential conflicts of interest related to the representation of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who has been charged with making a false statement to a federal agent. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty.
The indictment against Sussmann, says he told then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016, less than two months before the 2016 presidential election, that he was not doing work ‘for any client’ when he requested and held a meeting in which he presented ‘purported data and “white papers” that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel’ between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.
In a statement, former President Trump said Durham’s court filing “provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia.” Over the weekend, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway called the allegations “worse than Watergate.”
The Latest from Around the Conservative Movement
- Abigail Shrier on how transgender ideology has a hold on the family court system
- More from Margot Cleveland on the Durham filing, and the potential bombshells that are still to come
- Rule social media, or be ruled by it
- Levi executive Jennifer Sey quits the company over their attempt to stifle her speech about re-opening schools post-COVID
- Maskless Super Bowl marks our return to normal
One More Thing…
Check out CPI senior fellow Cleta Mitchell’s latest podcast, “Who’s Counting,” where she interviews Wisconsin State Rep. Janel Brantjen on her no holds barred approach to curing election corruption.