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Mike Braun: Hoosiers Support Brett Kavanaugh, Joe Donnelly Still Waiting for Permission from Chuck Schumer

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh walks to the office of Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., for a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
SEAN MORAN

Mike Braun’s campaign told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Friday that Hoosiers support President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, but Sen. Joe Donnelly continues to wait for permission from Chuck Schumer.

A poll by North Star Opinion Research released on Friday found that 46 percent of Hoosier voters want Kavanaugh approved as the next Supreme Court justice, whereas only 32 percent of Indianans do not want him confirmed.

Sen. Donnelly became the second Senate Democrat to meet with Kavanaugh last week. Donnelly faces increasing pressure from his Republican challenger, Braun, to vote to confirm Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

A recent poll found that Braun leads Sen. Donnelly 49 percent to 47 percent among registered voters.

Braun’s campaign suggested that despite Kavanaugh’s strong support in Indiana, Donnelly still has to wait for permission to support the Supreme Court nominee from Schumer.

Josh Kelley, Braun’s campaign spokesman, told Breitbart News on Friday, “Hoosiers support President Trump’s nominee, but career politician Joe Donnelly is still playing partisan tricks: waiting for permission to support Judge Kavanaugh and refusing to answer questions on his Democrat colleagues’ calls to delay hearings until a Democrat Congress can impeach President Trump.”

Schumer suggested in July that vulnerable Senate Democrats should hold off on their decision whether to support Donnelly as long as possible.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, “All Chuck ever says in caucus [meetings], it’s pretty well known: ‘Keep your powder dry. Don’t commit. Stay as neutral as you can, as long as you can.”

The Hoosier Democrat also dodged questions this week over whether he would support Democrats’ call to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation. In response to reporters’ questions, Donnelly responded “no comment” and “give my office a call” when asked about his party’s call to delay the nominee’s confirmation.

Sen. Donnelly previously broke with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and voted with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court last year.

The Indiana Republican Party filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Donnelly last week for allegedly using taxpayer-funded resources for campaign activities.

Kyle Hupfer, the Indiana GOP Party Chairman, said last week that Donnelly “directed his official taxpayer-funded staff to film his meeting with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and then to post video, with no audio, on their official YouTube page so his campaign and outside entities could use the footage.”

Sen. Donnelly blocked the press from filming his meeting with Kavanaugh and had his office film the meeting instead, which Indiana Senate Republican candidate Mike Braun’s campaign said could have been used for campaign ads and raises “serious ethical issues.”

Kelley said last week, “Career politician Joe Donnelly blocked cameras from his meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, but that didn’t stop him from secretly filming the meeting so his buddy Chuck Schumer and other liberals could use the footage for political ads.”

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