Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh smiles during a meeting with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a member of the Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The Senate GOP leadership wants to have the confirmation process for Kavanaugh completed in time for him to join the high court at the start of its new term in October. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Democrats fault Kavanaugh comment on independent counsel law

July 18, 2018 - 12:07 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats opposing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's nomination are seizing on remarks he made in 2016 saying he would like to put the "final nail" in a Supreme Court precedent upholding an independent counsel law as constitutional. Republicans say Kavanaugh's writings and speeches are being taken out of context.

The independent counsel law took the hiring and firing of prosecutors away from the executive branch, but it expired in 1999 and does not apply to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The ongoing probe falls under the Justice Department.

But Democrats have highlighted Kavanaugh's views on executive power and presidential investigations as they battle his nomination. They have warned that Kavanaugh may be unwilling to protect the Russia investigation or force President Donald Trump to comply with a subpoena.

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