Cory Booker: Trump Nominated Brett Kavanaugh for ‘Get out of Jail Free Card’

Sen. Cory Booker reacts to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice.
Twitter / @ABC7Annalysa, Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) speculated Monday evening President Donald Trump selected Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his second Supreme Court nominee to protect himself against special counsel Robert Mueller.

Transcript as follows:

ABC7’S ANNA-LYSA GAYLE: Can you tell us about what your thoughts are on this nominee? Are you looking forward to considering him?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: Well, first and foremost, we need to understand that this was the only pick amongst his entire list that has explicitly said that a president should not be a subject of a criminal investigation. It’s almost as if the president said, “let me find the person that’s most going to protect me” — under an investigation that’s already led to over 70 charges, over 20 individuals, corporations have been charged, five guilty pleas, one sentencing.

So we have an ongoing investigation that is a bi-partisan supported investigation as we saw throughout the Senate committee and a president who is saying, “I now have a chance to make sure the Supreme Court gives me a get out of jail free card or indemnifies me against many issues that might come against me.”

This is a time in American history where we could literally have the Supreme Court deciding “can a president in any way pardon himself?” “Can a president stop a criminal investigation?” “Can a president fire key people who are doing this investigation?”

All those things could end up before the Supreme Court. He now has put somebody there who has writing [sic] that basically said very clearly, “the president should be free of such investigations.” That, to me, is a massive conflict of interest. We in the Senate who are concerned about avoiding a constitutional crisis, who believe in the rule of law, we should not let his nomination go forward until this investigation is complete.

GAYLE: He has about four people on his shortlist. Would you have considered any of those four people?

BOOKER: Again, right now the nominee is Kavanaugh and I’m speaking to that. This is a situation where I’m actually surprised that President Trump selected the one person who has writings in ways say to him, “hey, you should not be investigated. A president should not have to endure a criminal investigation or be the subject of such investigation.” It is stunning to me that this president would be so overt about his desires to protect himself from criminal prosecution.