The always desperate for media attention Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Flake says he’ll oppose judicial nominees until Mueller bill gets vote:
“I have informed the majority leader I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor until … [the bill] is brought to the full Senate for a vote,” Flake said from the Senate floor.
Flake’s threat will block the Judiciary Committee from approving judicial nominations and sending them to the full Senate without help from Democrats. Republicans hold a 11-10 majority on the panel and many of the most controversial nominees pass along party lines, meaning they would need either Flake’s vote or a Democratic senator to flip.
On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has slightly more leeway. With a 51-49 majority, Flake would need a Republican colleague to join him and every Democrat to block a judicial nominee on the Senate floor.
His decision comes after McConnell blocked Flake from bringing legislation to protect Mueller from being fired to a vote before the Senate.
The bill has been stalemated amid opposition from GOP leadership after it cleared the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis. Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) asked for consent to bring the legislation, which has stalled after being passed in the Judiciary Committee in April, to the Senate floor for a vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked his request.
McConnell didn’t explain his move from the floor but it came hours after he told reporters that he believed that Mueller should be able to finish his investigation and that he didn’t believe the special counsel was in danger of being fired.
“There’s been no indication … that Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish and it should be allowed to finish. We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation but he’s never said he wants to shut it down,” McConnell told reporters during a press conference.
This, of course, is total bullshit from this evil GOP bastard. As Sen. Flake says:
“With the firing of the attorney general … the president now has this investigation in his sights and we all know it,” Flake said from the Senate floor.
He added that Trump had accused Mueller of a witch hunt “without basis or fact.”
“How such an investigation can be the cause of controversy is beyond me. …[And] presidents do not get to determine what gets investigated and what and who does not,” Flake said.
Flake indicated on Wednesday that he believed Whitaker should recuse himself and should not have been put in the role to begin with.
“Yes. Yes, well I think he shouldn’t be in that position at all. To have oversight over the investigation, that’s what seems unconstitutional,” Flake said.
Flake warned on Wednesday that he and Coons will come back to the Senate floor to again request that it get a vote and that he will oppose any judicial nominations until it does.
UPDATE: Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell has apparently decided to give a middle finger to Sen. Jeff Flake. McConnell sets up votes on worst of Trump nominees, gives the finger to Jeff Flake over his threats:
At the end of the day Thursday, McConnell filed cloture on two of the very worst of Trump’s nominees: district court nominee Thomas Farr of North Carolina and 8th Circuit nominee Jonathan Kobes. The votes will happen when the Senate returns after Thanksgiving.
Farr has been waiting for a vote since the Judiciary Committee passed him back in January. Farr “helped draft North Carolina’s voter suppression law, defended racially discriminatory gerrymandering and may have lied to the Senate about his role in disenfranchising black voters when he worked for the late Sen. Jesse Helms.” He’s a nightmare, his history of voter suppressionextreme. And he lied to the Judiciary Committee about it. The uproar following his success in the Judiciary Committee might be why McConnell has been reluctant to have the floor vote, but it’s typical of him that he’ll use it now to give a massive “fuck you” to Flake.
Kobes is one of six Trump nominees that the American Bar Association has rated “not qualified.” He’s General Counsel for Republican Sen. Mike Rounds, which is apparently how he got the nomination. In explaining the rating they gave Kobes, the ABA wrote that “has neither the requisite experience nor evidence of his ability to fulfill the scholarly writing required of a United States Circuit Court Judge. … [H]e was unable to provide sufficient writing samples of the caliber required to satisfy Committee members that he was capable of doing the work of a United States Circuit Court Judge.” None of the writing that he did provide, they say, “is reflective of complex legal analysis, knowledge of the law, or ability to write about complex matters in a clear and cogent manner.” The ABA’s opposition to him didn’t stop Chairman Grassley; he just held the hearing before they provided their rating and didn’t allow them to testify about it. One thing for sure we know about Kobes is that he’s anti-LTBTQ and anti-choice. Because of course he is.
These are the kind of “unfit to serve” individuals that our Trump troll (now Representative) John Kavanagh celebrates being nominated to the federal courts. He is another Republican who is unfit to serve.