Democratic congressional candidate Carolyn Long pressed Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, Tuesday on President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, arguing the selection could be a move to protect Trump from future legal consequences.
“Brett Kavanaugh has stated in the past that he believes the President should be free from investigation and criminal prosecutions while in office, but that only an act of Congress could provide those protections,” Long said in a statement. “(W)ould Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler vote to give President Trump immunity from the law, while in office, and quite possibly under an ongoing investigation?” The assertion stems from a 2009 article in which Kavanaugh argued for deferring legal actions against the President until after he leaves office, though there has been dispute over whether he believes the executive can’t be indicted or that existing law should be changed to make that the case.
“Kavanaugh’s articles from 1998 and 2009 are no smoking-gun evidence that he would vote to dismiss an indictment against Trump,” Washington Post fact-checkers wrote. “To say Kavanaugh is Trump’s ‘get-out-of-jail free card’ is an extreme distortion of what he’s written.” Long’s attack accepts that Congress would have to change the law to grant Trump immunity, and questions whether Herrera Beutler would vote to do so. The incumbent said in 2016 she would not vote for Trump, angering some conservatives in a district that voted heavily for him. She has both praised and challenged Trump’s decisions since he took office; she has not weighed in on the selection of Kavanaugh in a press release or on Twitter.