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Fired FBI director James Comey says Biden should consider pardoning Trump for the Capitol riot

Fired FBI director James Comey has said Joe Biden should consider pardoning Donald Trump for the Capitol riot even though the president ‘belongs in jail.’ 

Comey said he was ‘sickened’ by last week’s storming of the Capitol and ‘angered’ by the lax security which allowed the Trump mob to run amok, leaving five people dead.

He argued that impeaching Trump would be ‘good for our country’ and said that the ‘lawless nihilist’ should be ousted from the White House before Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

But he stopped short of calling for a prosecution for Trump, who has previously threatened Comey with ‘many years in jail’ over the Russia report.

‘I obviously think he belongs in jail but I don’t think pursuing that is in the best interest of the entire nation,’ Comey said.

The BBC’s Emily Maitlis asked whether Biden ought to pardon Trump in the same way that Gerald Ford did Richard Nixon after Watergate in 1974.

‘I don’t know, he should at least consider it,’ Comey said. ‘As part of healing the country and getting us to a place where we can focus on things that are going to matter over the next four years, I think Joe Biden is going to have to at least think about that.’ 

Comey said that, although 'Trump isn't a genius,' he would probably figure out that accepting a pardon would be an admission of guilt and choose to reject it

Fired FBI director James Comey last night said Donald Trump ‘should be in jail’ for the riot inside the Capitol but said that Joe Biden should consider pardoning him

Comey said that ousting Trump before Biden's inauguration was the right thing to do, but stopped short of calling for the president to be locked up (Trump pictured outside the White House in September, 2019)

Comey said that ousting Trump before Biden’s inauguration was the right thing to do, but stopped short of calling for the president to be locked up (Trump pictured outside the White House in September, 2019)

Comey, whose new book is out this week, said he believes that Trump ‘might figure out’ that by accepting a pardon he admits guilt and so he would probably reject it. 

After Ford pardoned Nixon, the predecessor made a statement of contrition. 

House Republicans have called Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment effort cynical, political and unnecessarily divisive.  

Comey said those who said such things were ‘not worthy of a response.’

Speaking of last Wednesday’s riot, which saw lawmakers barricaded inside their offices as gunfire sounded on the Hill, Comey called the mob ‘domestic terrorists.’

He said: ‘I was sickened as I hope not just all Americans but all human beings were by an attack on a symbol of democracy, the center of democracy for our country and a symbol for the whole world.

‘And I was also angered as a former law enforcement official. For the life of me I can’t understand why that hill was not adequately defended.

‘I think it’s going to be very important for our country to take a look back as we did after 9/11 and understand what happened and why, so it never happens again.’ 

The FBI has warned of further violence ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20, telling their staff to prepare for riots across all 50 states. 

Comey was asked whether the MAGA movement represented an extremist threat.

He replied: ‘There’s a reason the American people associate the red hats with something racist and and that they should be fearful of.

‘It’s probably an exaggeration because there’s so many millions of Americans who are not violent people they’re not racist people they’re just been people who’ve been fooled.’

Maitlis asked: ‘Would you see it as a domestic threat now?’

Comey answered: ‘Oh definitely – I’m not talking about the MAGA movement as a whole but significant aspects of – and you saw it live and on television at Capitol Hill – of those people who consider themselves devotees of Donald Trump are people that I would classify as domestic terrorists.’

Trump earlier this week declared a state of emergency in DC as the police briefed House Democrats on three plots to attack the Capitol – including one described as ‘the largest armed protest in American history.’

Thousands of National Guard troops have been drafted in to secure the Hill and the secret service has launched a massive operation to protect Biden’s inauguration ceremony. 

But Comey, who presided over the agency during two inaugurations, said he had the utmost confidence the ceremony would go ahead undisturbed.

‘This for American security services is the Super Bowl of security,’ he said.

‘We know how to secure to completely lock down a large piece of ground and I’m confident that will be done but at the same time I know the threat is real.’ 

The flash of a police munition lights up the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-incited mob on Wednesday

The flash of a police munition lights up the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-incited mob on Wednesday 

Members of Congress are seen running for cover as protesters attempted to enter the House Chamber

Members of Congress are seen running for cover as protesters attempted to enter the House Chamber

The protesters used flag poles and other objects to break doors and windows around the Capitol building

The protesters used flag poles and other objects to break doors and windows around the Capitol building  

Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a bid to block the certification of Joe Biden's victory

Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a bid to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory

He was pressed on this point and asked why it had been allowed to happen in the first place – the FBI must have been well aware that thousands of Trump supporters were heading to Washington DC.

But while Comey said he was unable to pass judgment on that, he said he believed that the current FBI director Christopher Wray may have deliberately kept a low profile over the last three years to avoid upsetting Trump.

Comey, whose firing led to the Mueller investigation, said: ‘I think the FBI director who followed me has been very careful to maintain a lower profile so that he doesn’t get fired by an erratic president and have the FBI decapitated at a critical time in our nation.

‘I bet he’s thinking that right now, this week it’s important not to let the Eye of Sauron fall on you and and have the FBI director fired.’

The Eye of Sauron refers to the evil all-seeing eye in the Lord of the Rings books by English author J.R.R. Tolkein. 

The former FBI chief said he hoped that Trump would be ignored by the Biden administration and the American people over the next four years.

‘The best decision for the United States of America will be not to grant Donald Trump the platform that prosecuting him would give him for every day for three or four years in the nation’s capital as United States versus Trump.

‘I think the better thing for our country and our new president is to push Donald Trump to the side a bit.

‘I’d rather the TV lights go out and he stand on the lawn at Mar-a-Lago shouting at cars in his bathrobe where none of us can hear that.’ 

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Fired FBI director James Comey says Donald Trump should NOT be prosecuted after office

Fired FBI director James Comey says Donald Trump should NOT be prosecuted after leaving office no matter ‘how powerful the evidence strewn across his history of porn stars and financial fraud’

  • James Comey has written a new book outlining his view of Trump’s presidency
  • He said the new attorney general should not prosecute him after office
  • The fired FBI director says the ‘trust of the American people’ must be regained
  • Comey has been a fierce critic of Trump since he was ousted in 2017 

Former FBI director James Comey has said Donald Trump should not be prosecuted after he leaves office.

Comey, who was unceremoniously fired in 2017 and has been the subject of a series of stinging attacks by Trump, said the next US attorney general should not pursue a criminal investigation, regardless of the evidence against the President.

He writes in a new book that the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller and ‘the evidence strewn across his history of porn stars and financial fraud’ should be forgotten in order for the nation to heal.

Former FBI director James Comey has said Donald Trump should not be prosecuted after he leaves office

Comey said, according to The Guardian who have obtained a copy of his forthcoming book: ‘Although those cases might be righteous in a vacuum, the mission of the next attorney general must be fostering the trust of the American people.’

Trump has been the subject of allegations of financial impropriety and tax fraud throughout his presidency, as well as facing questions over campaign finance spending after hush money was paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

But the former intelligence chief says the next attorney general must rise above the ‘partisan scrum’ to restore political order. 

Comey has been a powerful critic of Trump since he was ousted and he has subsequently faced the wrath of the President.

His new book, Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency and Trust is his second since office and will be published on January 12, eight days before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The 60-year-old’s first book A Higher Loyalty was published in 2018 and has since been adapted for HBO as The Comey Rule starring Brendan Gleeson as Trump and te Jeff Daniels as the author.

Comey was unceremoniously fired in 2017 and has been the subject of a series of stinging attacks by Trump

Comey was unceremoniously fired in 2017 and has been the subject of a series of stinging attacks by Trump

Trump turfed out the head of the FBI in May 2017 while Comey was leading the investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign had colluded with Russia.

But the President claimed the move was over Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.

He had previously led the inquiry into her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

She has since accused Comey of costing her the 2016 election because of his decision to reopen his investigation just days before the vote.

His shock firing made Trump only the second president in US history to fire his FBI director.

The former intelligence chief has been a powerful critic of Trump since he was fired and has subsequently faced the wrath of the President

The former intelligence chief has been a powerful critic of Trump since he was fired and has subsequently faced the wrath of the President

The decision formed part of Mueller’s probe into possible obstruction of justice by the president as he investigated links between Moscow and the White House.

Biden has not yet named his nominee for attorney general but Sally Yates, the former deputy attorney general, is said to be among the frontrunners.

She briefly led the department but was also ousted by Trump after she ordered the Justice Department not to defend the President’s so-called Muslim Ban executive order.

In his new book, Comey discusses his investigation of Clinton and his service under Trump.

He also heavily criticizes Trump’s second attorney general William Barr for his interference into the Mueller report.

Comey led the inquiry into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama

Comey led the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama

Barr claimed Trump had been exonerated over claims of obstruction of justice when in fact, he had not.

In his new book, Comey laments Trump’s partisanship and that of supposedly apolitical figures such as Barr, who resigned last month.

He writes: ‘The traditional blindfold on Lady Justice’ has been ‘replaced with a MAGA hat’. 

However, Comey said he does not believe Trump should be pardoned by Biden after he leaves office.

The President has reportedly been considering pardoning himself although some question whether he can do that. 

Presidential pardons do not touch state law, and Trump is currently being investigated by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance over his financial affairs.

The Trump Organization is also being probed by New York attorney general Letitia James.  

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James Comey’s wife pleaded with him not to reveal damning Clinton probe until after 2016 election


James Comey’s wife attempted to convince him not to announce that the FBI was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails until after the 2016 election, according to a new book.

Comey’s decision to reveal the bureau’s probe into the former Secretary of State’s private email server on October 28, 2016 – just 11 days before Election Day – has since been cemented as the turning point of her doomed campaign.

It didn’t matter on November 6 that Comey absolved Clinton of any misconduct. Following the shock outcome of the election on November 8, Comey was accused by Democrats of handing the White House to Trump on a silver platter.

Patrice Comey, his wife of more than three decades, says she was one of the people who tried to stop that from happening.

Speaking to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt for his new book, Donald Trump v. The United States, Patrice revealed how she pleaded with her husband in their kitchen to rethink his course of action.

‘You can’t do this this close to the election. You can’t do this to a candidate,’ she recalled telling Comey, in an excerpt posted by NBC.

James Comey’s wife (Patricia, shown left) attempted to convince him not to announce that the FBI was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails until after the 2016 election, according to a new book

Comey’s decision to reveal the bureau’s probe into the former Secretary of State’s private email server on October 28, 2016 – just 11 days before Election Day – has since been cemented as the turning point of her doomed campaign

Comey’s decision to reveal the bureau’s probe into the former Secretary of State’s private email server on October 28, 2016 – just 11 days before Election Day – has since been cemented as the turning point of her doomed campaign

Patrice was an ardent supporter of Clinton and told Schmidt how she had long dreamed about seeing a woman elected president. At the same time, she said she also believed Trump posed an existential threat to the country and wasn’t fit to assume control of the Oval Office.

She recounted how Comey came to her in their McLean, Virginia, home on October 27, 2018, and told her he had been briefed by his deputies that agents investigating the disgraced former House member Anthony Weiner had made a startling discovery on his laptop.

Weiner, who was under a criminal investigation for sending explicit message to a minor over the internet, was found to be in possession of a number of Clinton’s emails on one of the devices he used to contact the teen girl.

His wife at the time was Huma Abedin, Clinton’s senior aide. Investigators reportedly found an enormous number of emails belonging to Clinton, including some that the bureau investigators thought they had not found during their original email investigation, which was closed months before.

But to ensure the emails didn’t contain classified information, investigators would need to go to a court to obtain a warrant.

‘It’s a s***show,’ Comey reportedly told his wife. ‘They told me that there’s thousands of emails’.

The decision on whether or not to pursue the warrant rested on Comey’s shoulders. He also told his wife that he’d need to alert congress, having pledged earlier in the summer if there were any new developments in the email case, he would notify them immediately.

If not, he said it would look like the FBI hid elements of the investigation from the Republican-dominated legislative body after pledging transparency.

‘What is our relationship with Congress if we’re going to lie to them and not say something?’ he asked.

On October 27, 2019 agents investigating the disgraced former House member Anthony Weiner (pictured with then-wife and Clinton aide Huma Abedin) had made a startling discovery on his laptop. Weiner, who was under a criminal investigation for sending explicit message to a minor over the internet, was said to be in possession of a number of Clinton emails on one of the devices he used to contact the teen girl

On October 27, 2019 agents investigating the disgraced former House member Anthony Weiner (pictured with then-wife and Clinton aide Huma Abedin) had made a startling discovery on his laptop. Weiner, who was under a criminal investigation for sending explicit message to a minor over the internet, was said to be in possession of a number of Clinton emails on one of the devices he used to contact the teen girl

Patrice Comey, his wife of more than three decades, was one of the people who tried to stop it from happening.

The Comey's pictured with their grandbaby

Patrice Comey, James Comey’s wife of more than three decades, was one of the people who tried to stop him from announcing the Clinton probe until after the election

Patrice said rather than appealing to her husband about Clinton’s political fate – which she said she knew would be a losing argument – she instead grilled him with questions.

‘What the hell are Hillary Clinton’s emails doing on Anthony Weiner’s laptop? How is Huma Abedin that incompetent with emails? Why is this coming out now?’ Patrice recounted telling her husband to Schmidt.

‘It’s too close to the election. It’s too close to the election,’ she said. ‘Don’t you understand that?’

Comey reportedly grew irritated by his wife’s protests, insisting the gravity of the situation had nothing to do with timing and reiterating that he was supposed to be partisan in his decision making.

He then told his wife he had no other choice but disclose the discovery to Congress.

‘What is the alternative?’ he asked Patrice. ‘The alternative is a f***ing disaster,’ he continued, explaining how the bureau would be accused of having covered up for newly elected President Clinton if she won as projected.

‘This is going to be awful for you,’ she responded. ‘You just can’t do it.’

Comey responded: ‘I am screwed no matter what happens. If I disclose this, I’m screwed. If I don’t disclose this, I’m screwed. And so it’s freeing in a way.’

Comey’s decision to reveal the bureau’s probe into the former Secretary of State’s private email server on October 28, 2016 – just 11 days before Election Day – has since been cemented as the turning point of her doomed campaign.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton takes the stage with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016

Comey’s decision to reveal the bureau’s probe into the former Secretary of State’s private email server on October 28, 2016 – just 11 days before Election Day – has since been cemented as the turning point of her doomed campaign.

The next morning, Comey sent a letter to select members of Congress notifying them of the discovery on Weiner’s laptop and the memo immediately leaked.

Patrice said the firestorm played out exactly as she had anticipated – with Republican’s renewing their cries of ‘crooked Hillary’ and Democrats attacking her husband for abusing his power and encroaching on democratic process. 

She said she later cried down the phone to hear daughters in the early hours of November 9 when the election was called in Trump’s favour.

Patricia then went upstairs to wake Comey and tell him the news.

He reportedly sat up in bed and simply responded, ‘Oh, God.’

The FBI has not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request for comment.

In his 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty, Comey defended his decision to inform Congress of the Clinton investigation, but said he regretted not immediately clarifying the circumstances to the public. 

‘Certainly not consciously, but I would be a fool to say it couldn’t have had an impact on me,’ he wrote.

‘It is entirely possible,’ he continued, that ‘my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.’

Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President was published in September.



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Amy Comey Barrett will return to Capitol Hill today for her third day of confirmation hearings


Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett returns to Capitol Hill for a third day of confirmation hearings as senators dig deeper into the conservative judge’s outlook on abortion, health care and a potentially disputed presidential election – the Democrats running out of time to stop Republicans pushing her quick confirmation.

Today’s session is set to be Barrett’s last before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She has been batting away questions in long and lively exchanges, insisting she would bring no personal agenda to the court but decide cases ‘as they come.’

Her nomination by President Donald Trump to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has ground other legislative business to a halt as Republicans excited by the prospect of locking in a 6-3 conservative court majority race to confirm her over Democratic objections before Election Day.

‘We’re going to fill this vacancy,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the committee chairman, said late Tuesday after a nearly 12-hour session.

Graham said he appreciated that Trump had nominated a judge ‘who’s unabashedly pro-life, somebody who embraces their faith, but somebody who understands the difference between their personal views and judging.’

Barrett’s nomination has been the focus at a Capitol mostly shut down by COVID-19 protocols, frustrating Democrats who are virtually powerless to stop a judge from confirmation. They warn she will be seated on the court in time to cast a vote to undo the Affordable Care Act next month, causing millions of Americans to lose coverage during a pandemic.

Nominee: Amy Coney Barrett, on the first of two days of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, faced scrutiny from Democrats over abortion, Obamacare, the outcome of the election and same-sex marriage

Remote questions: Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate made Obamacare and abortion rights the center of her questions for Coney Barrett

Remote questions: Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate made Obamacare and abortion rights the center of her questions for Coney Barrett

 ‘People are fed up,’ said Senator. Dick Durbin, criticizing GOP priorities in forcing the Senate action as the country suffers from the pandemic and Congress squabbles over approving additional economic aid.

The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views in often colloquial language, but she refused many specifics yesterday. She aligns with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative mentor, and declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

‘Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda – I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion – and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,’ Barrett told the committee during its second day of hearings.

‘It’s not the law of Amy,’ she said. ‘It´s the law of the American people.’

Trump seemed pleased with her performance. ‘I think Amy’s doing incredibly well,’ he said at the White House departing for a campaign rally.

Trump has said he wants a justice seated for any disputes arising from his heated campaign against Biden, but Barrett testified she has not spoken to Trump or his team about election cases. Pressed by Democrats, she skipped past questions about ensuring the date of the election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power. She declined to commit to recusing herself from any post-election cases without first consulting the other justices.

‘I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,’ she said.

A frustrated Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, all but implored the nominee to be more specific about how she would handle landmark abortion cases, including Roe v. Wade and the follow-up Pennsylvania case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which confirmed it in large part.

‘It’s distressing not to get a good answer,’ the U.S. senator from California told the judge.

Barrett was unmoved. ‘I don’t have an agenda to try to overrule Casey,’ she said. ‘I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.’

She later declined to characterize the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion as a ‘super-precedent’ that must not be overturned.

Democrats had no such reticence.

‘Let’s not make any mistake about it,’ said California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, appearing remotely due to COVID concerns.

Allowing Trump to fill the seat with Barrett ‘poses a threat to safe and legal abortion in our country,’ Harris said.

She added: ‘I would suggest that we not pretend that we don’t know how this nominee views a woman’s right to choose to make her own health care decisions.’ 

‘Republicans are scrambling to confirm this nominee as fast as possible because they need one more Trump judge on the bench before November 10 to win and strike down the entire Affordable Care Act,’ she said. ‘This is not hyperbole. This is not a hypothetical situation. This is happening.’

She also connected a 2017 article by Barrett to Trump’s nomination of her – in light of his own comments about taking down Roe. 

‘My question is how many months after you published that article did President Trump nominate you to be a judge on the Court of Appeals?’ she asked.

Questions on contentious issues: Amy Coney Barrett was asked about her positions on Roe v. Wade, same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act and whether she would recuse herself from ruling on cases relating to the upcoming election but declibe to spell out any position on them

Questions on contentious issues: Amy Coney Barrett was asked about her positions on Roe v. Wade, same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act and whether she would recuse herself from ruling on cases relating to the upcoming election but declibe to spell out any position on them

The Senate, led by Trump´s Republican allies, is pushing Barrett´s nomination to a quick vote before Nov. 3, and ahead of the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court is to hear a week after the election. Democrats warn that she would be a vote to undo the ‘Obamacare’ law.

‘I’m not hostile to the ACA,’ Barrett told the senators.

The judge, accompanied by her family, described herself as taking a conservative, originalist approach to the Constitution. A former law professor, she told the senators that while she admires Scalia, she would bring her own approach.

‘You would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett,’ she declared.

Overall, Barrett’s conservative views are at odds with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon. 

Ginsburg offered a forthright defense of her position on abortion as a fundamental right for women when she was confirmed to the high court in 1993, while Barrett declined repeatedly to address whether she agrees, saying it was a ‘hypothetical’ and that she could be asked to rule on the issue. 

Barrett would be Trump’s third justice.

At yesterday’s hearing, Barrett opened up about her decision to undergo the ‘excruciating process’ of accepting President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court – telling senators she strives never to ‘impose’ her own choices on others.

She addressed her Catholic faith saying that she did not bring it to her rulings as a federal appeals judge and would not do so if she is confirmed to the high court, and said she had known that her faith and that of her family would be ‘caricatured’ as a result of being nominated.

‘I have decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multi-racial family. Our faith is important to us. They are my choices. I have never tried in my personal life to impose my choices,’ she said. She also said her family owns a gun.

‘We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail, with he knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew our family would be attacked.’ 

Underscoring the Republicans´ confidence, Graham set an initial committee vote on the nomination for Thursday, the last day of hearings, which would allow final approval by the full Senate by the end of the month.

Protesters rallied outside the Senate building, unable to come inside the hearing room. 

Family arrival: Six of Amy Coney Barrett's children arrived just ahead of her for the hearing

Family arrival: Six of Amy Coney Barrett’s children arrived just ahead of her for the hearing

'I want to be careful to say that if I'm confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett,' she distinguished

‘I want to be careful to say that if I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett,’ she distinguished

CLASH AFTER CLASH ON ABORTION AS DEMOCRATS DEMAND TO KNOW IF ROE V. WADE IS SETTLED LAW 

Barrett resisted attempts by Democrats who pressed her repeatedly on whether she believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided – which would be an obvious clue on whether she would vote to strike it down, a key aim of some conservatives but also a rallying cry for liberals. 

‘If I express a view on a precedent one way or another, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another on a pending case,’ she explained as she faced the question on Roe v. Wade by ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The senior lawmaker then asked Barrett if she agreed with the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s view that the case was wrongly decided. 

Scalia expressed the view in dissents and in speeches, and Barrett said she sees herself as inspired by his philosophy – but repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether she agreed.

‘WE WEPT OVER GEORGE FLOYD VIDEO’ 

Coney Barrett said the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May had a ‘very personal’ effect on her family and she and her children wept over his death.

Barrett was asked by Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin whether she had seen the footage of a police officer pressing a knee to the black man’s neck until he stopped breathing. 

Barrett said she had.

‘Given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,’ she said.

‘My 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who’s adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting, it was very difficult for her. We wept together.’

Personal: Coney Barrett highlighted how her children, including adopted son John Peter, wept over the George Floyd video

Personal: Coney Barrett highlighted how her children, including adopted son John Peter, wept over the George Floyd video

She said Vivian was upset about the potential to happen to ‘her brother or the son she might have,’ and that she had also to explain to her youngest daughter the presence of racism in American society.

‘My children, to this point in their life, have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence,’ she said.

Barrett made a distinction between her feelings as a person and her role as a judge, refusing to give her thoughts on systemic racism as Durbin had requested. 

She said commenting on what policies should be used to combat racism would be ‘kind of beyond what I´m capable of doing as a judge.’ 

Whether Roe v. Wade is settled law is a key liberal-conservative dispute, with liberals seeing the right to choose as just as settled as the court’s prohibition of segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, while conservatives do not, and say that they would like to see it overturned. 

That would eliminate federal abortion rights and return abortion to being potentially outlawed by some states. 

For decades confirmation hearings have seen judges asked about Roe v. Wade by both sides, with most nominees giving similar answers to Coney Barrett – although Ruth Bader Ginsburg told senators clearly that she believed in abortion rights at her confirmation hearing.

Coney Barrett did not offer any view. 

‘Senator I completely understand why you are asking the question,’ she told Feinstein as she was asked if Roe v. Wade was ‘wrongly decided.’

‘I can’t pre-commit or say: yes I’m going in with some agenda because I am not,’ she said.

‘I don’t have any agenda. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.’ 

Nor would she say ‘as a person’ whether it should be overturned. Barrett said she understands ‘why it would be comforting to you to have an answer,’ but again refused to do so. 

But she said the she would not bring her personal views to court and behave like a ‘royal queen.’  

‘Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda. I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,’ Barrett said. 

Feinstein told her: ‘So on something that is really a major cause with major effects on over half of the population of this country – who are women, after all – it’s distressing not to get a straight answer.’  

To further exhibit her qualifications to serve, which has been spouted by Republicans even before her nomination, Senator John Cornyn brought to attention the loads of material and papers laid out in front of members of the committee as they questioned Barrett.

‘Most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books and things like that in front of us. Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?’ the Republican from Texas asked the nominee.

She held up a blank notepad.

‘Is there anything on it?’ he asked.

‘The letterhead that says ‘United States Senate,” she read from the top of the notepad, provided to her by Congress.

‘That’s impressive,’ Cornyn applauded.

The senator only used 12 of his allotted 30 minutes.

Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island kicked off a second block of testimony by tearing into the process and bringing up past comments by Republicans on the committee. He said there were ‘outside forces are here pulling strings’ on the nomination.

‘We have colleagues here who supported you, this nominee, before there was a nominee,’ he said.

‘We have the political ram job that we have already complained of, driving this process through at breakneck speed in the middle of a pandemic while the Senate is closed for safety reasons,’ he continued.

‘We have some very awkward 180s from colleagues,’ he said, pointing to Graham’s infamous comment

He quoted Trump calling to ‘terminate health care under Obamacare,’ and the GOP platform calling to reverse Roe. v. Wade. Whitehouse held up a quote from Trump saying Roe would be undone automatically because he would put conservative justices on the court.

‘So don’t act surprised when we ask questions about whether that’s what you’re up to here,’ he told Barrett.

‘I KNEW OUR FAMILY WOULD BE PICKED OVER’ 

Barrett responded with a lengthy answer where she defended her own decisions inlife, vowed not to impose her lifestyle on others – and said it was her belief in the ‘rule of law’ that drove her to accept the nomination – in a remark that hinted at the steep national divides that serve as the backdrop of her confirmation fight.

‘Well, senator, I’ve tried to be on a media blackout for the sake of my mental health, but, you know, you can’t keep yourself walled off from everything, Barrett began.

‘And I’m aware of a lot of the caricatures that are floating around, so I think what I would like to say in response to that question is that, look, I have made distinct choices. 

‘I have decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multi-racial family. Our faith is important to us.’

‘All of those things are true, but they are my choices and in my personal interactions with people. I mean, I have a life brimming with people who have made different choices and I have never tried in my personal life to impose my choices on them and the same is true professionally,’ said the judge and former law professor. 

 I have decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multi-racial family. Our faith is important to us. All of those things are true, but they are my choices.

Her defense of her life choices comes after media outlets have scoured her background in the two weeks since Trump named her for the lifetime appointment. With Obamacare, abortion rights, and a potential Biden agenda on the line, some outlets have mined her biography for clues on whether she would follow the mold of her influence Justice Anthony Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas.

Barrett brought her seven children, including two who were adopted from Haiti, to the White House for the event celebrating her nomination, effectively putting them on the public stage.

The practicing Catholic had her dean at Notre Dame law school testify on her behalf. Media outlets have also scrutinized her membership of People of Praise, a charismatic religious group. Other details only emerged through the questionnaire process – like her signing on to a newspaper ad blasting Roe. V. Wade that she did not initially disclose.

But as in earlier questioning with Graham – and like many justices before her – Barrett described herself as someone who was bound by precedent and the principle of stare decisis – not as a judge who is driving to strike down Obamacare on her first weeks on the job, or to rip away precedents like Roe v. Wade, even if her allies consider it to have been wrongly decided. 

Barrett introduced her husband, children and siblings by pointing to each after Feinstein requested to share who they are with the room

Barrett introduced her husband, children and siblings by pointing to each after Feinstein requested to share who they are with the room

Each of the 22 senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee has 30 minutes to interact and ask questions of Barrett on Tuesday. Pictured are Chairman Lindsey Graham (left) and Democratic Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (right) speaking with masks on ahead of the second day of the hearing

Each of the 22 senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee has 30 minutes to interact and ask questions of Barrett on Tuesday. Pictured are Chairman Lindsey Graham (left) and Democratic Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (right) speaking with masks on ahead of the second day of the hearing

‘I mean, I apply the law and, senator, I think I should say why I’m sitting in this seat in response to that question, too. Why I have agreed to be here because i don’t think it’s any secret to any of you or to the American people that this is a really difficult, some might say excruciating process and [husband] Jesse and I had a very brief amount of time to make a decision with momentous consequences for our family. 

‘We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail, with he knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew our family would be attacked. We had to decide whether those difficulties would be worth it because what sane person would go through that if there wasn’t a benefit on the other side?

‘The benefit i think is that I’m committed to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court in dispensing equal justice for all and I’m not the only person who could do this job– but I was asked and it would be difficult for anyone, so why should I say someone else should do the difficulty if the difficulty is the only reason to say no, I should serve my country and my family is all in on that because they share my belief and the rule of law.’

Barrett spoke about her discussions with family about her high-profile nomination even as she began her second day of hearings seeking to shroud any indications about how she might rule on critical faces facing the nation.

She also revealed another detail of her background during Graham’s questioning about key court principles when he asked if she owned a gun.

‘Ah, we do own a gun,’ Barrett responded. Graham then moved on to other subjects. 

Barrett received praise from several senators, on both sides, regarding the well-behaved nature of her children as they sat still and quietly for hours during her hearing.

Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana brought over blank pads of paper and pencils for Barrett’s children for their use in the midst of the hearing. 

BARRETT QUESTIONED OVER SAYING: ‘IT SOUNDS KIND OF RADICAL TO SAY FELONS CAN HAVE FIREARMS’

While questions of the Second Amendment were not a central theme of the second hearing day, questions did arise throughout the day from several Democrats over Barrett’s decision in Kanter v. Barr while serving as judge on 7th Circuit.

In her dissenting opinion, Barrett ultimately wrote that the U.S. government should not prohibit nonviolent criminals who were convicted of a felony from legally buying a firearm after they had served their sentence.

Currently, convicted felons are stripped of their Second Amendment rights along with others – including the right to vote.

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, brought up the language of her opinion where Barrett admitted that the reasoning could appear ‘radical.’

‘It sounds kind of radical, because it is radical. In fact, no courts of appeals, except maybe the 7th Circuit, has adopted this reasoning,’ Blumenthal quipped at Barrett as she said she did not remember writing that.

Barrett’s jurisdiction in the 7th Circuit includes Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. She claimed the 3rd Circuit Appeals Court, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, might have the same reasoning.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also called out Barrett for her decision in Kanter v. Barr.

‘You said these rights belong only to virtuous citizens. I’m trying to understand what that means,’ Klobuchar said.

Barrett reasoned that nonviolent felons should be awarded the right to a firearm because it is an civic right. She argues that voting is an individual right that could still be kept from felons without violating the Constitution.

Klobuchar pushed back, claiming that arguing for the right to a firearm but against voting in the case of felons was inherently racist.

CORY BOOKER PUTS TRUMP ON TRIAL WITH QUESTIONS TO JUDGE – AND HIS TARGET LASHES OUT ON TWITTER 

Sen. Cory Booker tried to put President Donald Trump on trial during intensive questioning – and immediately drew an angry response from his target.

Trump lashed out at Booker after the Democrat cornered Barrett for 30 minutes of questions more than eight hours into her Senate appearance for her Supreme Court confirmation.  

Booker not only queried her about hot court topics like abortion and same sex marriage – but dove into topics that Trump on the spot – including his refusal at the first presidential debate to condemn white supremacy and his refusal to pledge a peaceful transfer of power.

‘I wish out president would say that so resolutely unequivocally as well,’ he told Barrett, after she did condemn white supremacy in response to a question.

When Booker was done, Trump accused him of making ‘false charges,’ called him an ’empty suit,’ and accused him of not living in Newark when he was mayor.   

‘How dare failed Presidential Candidate (1% and falling!) @CoryBooker make false charges and statements about me in addressing Judge Barrett. Illegally, never even lived in Newark when he was Mayor,’ Trump said in a pair of tweets as soon as Booker finished. 

‘Guy is a total loser! I want better Healthcare for far less money, always …protecting people with Pre-existing conditions. He has done nothing on Healthcare, cost or otherwise, or virtually anything else. An empty suit!!!’

Booker, employing a soft tone and a smile even as he repeatedly delved into fraught topics, tried to get Barrett – who held up her status as an ‘originalist’ during her hearings – to split with Trump on demanding a peaceful transfer of power. 

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) hit Amy Coney Barrett with a series of questions that put her on the spot for statements President Donald Trump either made or refused to make

Trump's comments about white supremacy and a peaceful transfer of power became fodder for Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings

Trump’s comments about white supremacy and a peaceful transfer of power became fodder for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings

Trump lashed out a Booker immediately after his questioning time

Trump lashed out a Booker immediately after his questioning time

Trump for days would only say he would agree to a peaceful transfer if there were a ‘fair’ election.

‘To the extent that this is a political context right now, as a judge I want to say out of it,’ Barrett told him.

‘In light of our founding fathers, in light of our traditions … I’m just asking you should a president commit themselves like our founding fathers I think had the clear intention … to the peaceful transfer of power,’ Booker tried again.

Barrett responded only that: ‘One of the beauties of America … is that we have had peaceful transfers of power,’ whereas many other nations don’t, she said. 

Booker then hit Trump’s Supreme Court nominee with an arcane question that is also debated by scholars: whether the Constitution permits a president to pardon himself.

It is a potential issue, as Trump investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, and the New York Times obtained Trump tax returns that experts said could open him to investigation for potentially fraudulent tax deductions.  Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the Times reported.

‘That would be a legal question. That would be a constitutional question,’ Barrett told him on the pardon. ‘I think I agree with you. That it is an issue right now that our president may seek to pardon himself,’ Booker said.

It was one of several topics Barrett sought to dodge, and it is one she might have to consider if she makes it to the high court and Trump does take the action. 

The Booker asked about Trump’s reported multi-million debts to foreign entities. ‘I think it’s disturbing that we’re having this conversation,’ he told the witness.

‘Presidents should reveal what their debts are. Especially if it’s to foreign nations,’ Booker told her.  

Booker began quoting former Trump Defense James Mattis calling Trump a ‘danger to our democracy.’ Mattis blasted Trump in June after the clearing of protesters across from Lafayette Park.

‘The legitimacy of our institutions are at stake,’ Booker said. ‘It’s not normal that the president would further cast a shadow over your nomination,’ he added. ‘It’s an illegitimate process. Most Americans think that we should wait.’

Trump’s attack appeared to revive a 2013 claim by Booker’s former opponent, although his campaign shot back that property records and other evidence established Booker lived in Newark from 2006 through 2013 while he was mayor. Booker’s campaign provided rent checks as well as payments from his security detail, which lived on a floor of a home following threats.

DEMOCRATS PRESS ON OBAMACARE 

The appeals court judge refused to get pinned down on whether she would recuse herself from the Affordable Care Act case – even though President Trump has said repeatedly he wants to take down the law. 

Democrats have made the alleged threat she represents to Obamacare the center of their strategy for the hearings, seeing her confirmation as inevitable but putting healthcare on the ballot as beneficial to them in November.

Asked if she would step aside from the case she said: ‘That’s not a question that I could answer in the abstract.’

She repeatedly tried to reassure Sen. Richard Durbin that she is not ‘hostile’ to the Affordable Care Act – although she acknowledged that in legal writings she has attacked the reasoning of a Supreme Court decision that upheld most of the law in 2012.

‘And I assure you that I am not. I am not hostile to the ACA I am not hostile to any statute that you pass,’ she said.

‘Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda. I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world. 

Texas Republican John Cornyn described the Democrats’ question as ‘ACB v. ACA.’ 

Oral arguments regarding the ACA will begin in November – after the election but two months before inauguration. 

They center on a Republican-led attempt to strike down the whole law on the grounds that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, which the Trump administration supports but which Democrats oppose.

Barrett was questioned about her past writings, including a piece in which she was critical of Chief Justice John Roberts’ previous rulings on the Obama-era law.

The appellate court judge distanced herself from those writings, saying they were not addressing specific aspects of the law which she may have to rule on if confirmed. The court is set to hear a challenge to the law Nov. 10.

Barrett told the senators, ‘I apply the law. I follow the law. You make the policy.’

Still, Barrett appeared stumped when grilled by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Virginia about particulars of the law, also called Obamacare. Barrett could not recite specifics, including that 23 million people are covered by the law or that more than 2 million people are on their parent’s health insurance. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined the hearing in-person the second part of the day and took a seat on the sidelines of the hearing room

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined the hearing in-person the second part of the day and took a seat on the sidelines of the hearing room

Fist bump: Meadows and Graham shared a 'COVID-friendly' greeting by fist-bumping each other before walking into the hearing room for Part 2 of the second day of Barrett's confirmation hearing

Fist bump: Meadows and Graham shared a ‘COVID-friendly’ greeting by fist-bumping each other before walking into the hearing room for Part 2 of the second day of Barrett’s confirmation hearing

DEMOCRATS PRESS ON ELECTION RULINGS 

Nor would she commit to recusal should the Supreme Court take up a disputed case resulting from the presidential election. Trump handed Democrats the issue when he stated as a reason to fill the court vacancy in part to settle any election disputes on the election, after repeatedly attacking mail-in ballots.

‘I have had no conversations with the president or any of his staff on how I might rule on that case,’ she told Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

‘I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,’ she said. 

The Republican president has said he expects the Supreme Court to decide the election’s outcome as he faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden. 

Barrett said no one at the White House sought a commitment from her on how she would rule on that or any issue.

‘It would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case,’ Barrett told the committee of possible election cases. 

Leahy connected Trump’s statements about getting a full court to rule on his election with the decision to ‘ram through’ Barrett’s nomination just weeks before Election Day. 

All she would allow is that ‘I commit to you to fully and faithfully applying the law of recusal,’ and that she could ‘consider any appearance questions’ – meaning the appearance of a conflict of interest even if none actually existed.   

Senator Chris Coons insisted Barrett’s impartiality could come into question if a case on deciding the presidential election ended up at the Supreme Court – and pushed the judge on whether she would recuse herself from such a case.

‘Given what President Trump said, given the rushed context of this confirmation, will you commit to recusing yourself from any case arising from a dispute in the presidential election results three weeks from now?’ the Delaware senator asked of Barrett during her second marathon hearing day Tuesday.

‘I want to be very clear for the record and to all members of this committee that no matter what anyone else may think or expect, I have not committed to anyone or so much as signaled… – I haven’t even written anything that I would think anybody could reasonably say, ‘Oh, this is how she might resolve an election dispute,’ Barrett explained.

She also said she would commit to consider all relevant factors when deciding whether to recuse herself from a case where there is an ‘appearance of bias.’

‘In describing the recusal process of the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg said that it is always done with consultation of the other justices,’ Barrett said, inciting the words of the late justice whose vacant seat she would fill if confirmed.

‘So I promise you, if I were confirmed and if an election dispute arises – you know, both of which are ifs – then I would very seriously undertake that process and consider every relevant factor,’ she continued. ‘I can’t commit to you right now…. But I do assure you of my integrity and I do assure you that I would take that question very seriously.’

 

Her remark seemed designed to assure a skeptical block of outvoted senators and the public that she would not use her powerful lifetime position to foist her religious views or conservative social beliefs on the nation.  

On Tuesday, she spoke at length after Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham tossed her a softball question, asking the appeals court judge: ‘How does it feel to be nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States?’ 

High-profile hearing: The confirmation is being held in the Senate's largest hearing room to ensure social distancing

High-profile hearing: The confirmation is being held in the Senate’s largest hearing room to ensure social distancing

Look no notes!  Coney Barrett was asked to show what materials she was relying on as she was questioned and held up a blank notebook of headed Senate paper - which is left on the desk for all witnesses

Look no notes!  Coney Barrett was asked to show what materials she was relying on as she was questioned and held up a blank notebook of headed Senate paper – which is left on the desk for all witnesses

WILL CONEY BARRETT OVERTURN GAY MARRIAGE RULING? 

Coney Barrett didn’t provide much more information on the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case, which established a right to same sex marriage when she was asked about it.

It was the subject of a fiery dissent earlier this month by conservative justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who said it should be overturned – suggesting that it could in fact be something the high court comes to rule on again.

Barrett was asked because Scalia – her mentor – firmly expressed the view that Obergefell was not constitutional.

But Barrett said that a challenge to the ruling would be about ‘substantive due process’ that was not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, after explaining her philosophy as a textualist.

She said the Supreme Court has ‘grounded’ rights in the Constitution which ‘are not expressed,’ and that this included same-sex marriage.

But she explained there also was a ‘reliance interest’ in that there are ‘people in the United States who have ordered their affairs around it.’ 

Barrett explained that any effort by a state to try to take away the rights established by the ruling must go through a multi-phase process.  

If [a state] outlawed same-sex marriage, there would have to be a case challenging it. And for the Supreme Court to take it up, you’d have to have lower courts going along and say, ‘We’re going to flout Obergefell,’ she said.

‘And the most likely result would be that lower courts, who are bound by Obergefell, would shut such a lawsuit down and it wouldn’t make its way up to the Supreme Court. But if it did, it would be the same process I’ve described,’ she said. 

She also said ‘I do not discriminate on sexual preference,’ a use of language which was different from the more normal term sexual orientation.  

Later on in the day, Democratic Senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey called out Barrett for using the term ‘sexual preference’ to describe those within the LGBTQ community. 

The Hawaii senator said even though Barrett did not give a direct response on if she agreed with her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, that same sex marriage should not be protected under the Constitution her response did ‘speak volumes.’

‘Not once, but twice, you used the term ‘sexual preference’ to describe those in the LGBTQ community. And let me make clear, ‘sexual preference’ is an offensive and outdated term,’ Hirono said.

She continued: ‘It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity.’

‘If it is your view that sexual orientation is just a preference, as you noted, then the LGBTQ community should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry,’ she said.

Hirono accused that if Barrett were confirmed she could adopt the same ‘resistant’ view as Scalia that those within the LGBTQ community do not have equal rights and protections under the Constitution. 

‘YOU WON’T GET JUSTICE SCALIA, YOU’LL GET JUSTICE BARRETT’

Barrett embraced her classification as a ‘female Scalia’ on Tuesday as questioning of the Supreme Court nominee commenced on Day 2 of her confirmation hearing – but made sure to distinguish herself from the last Justice.

‘Justice [Antonin] Scalia was obviously a mentor,’ Barrett began of the Supreme Court Justice she clerked for, adding her previous claim that ‘his philosophy is mine too.’

‘He was a very eloquent defender of originalism, and that was also true of textualism’ she said.

‘But I want to be careful to say that if I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett,’ she distinguished. ‘And that’s so because originalists don’t always agree and neither do textualists.’

Barrett arrived with her family in tow for the second day of her confirmation hearing Tuesday morning as she prepares to field questions from all 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee – each receiving 30 minutes.

Like Monday, pro-abortion and anti-Trump protesters and healthcare activists immediately gathered outside on Capitol Hill to express their opposition to Barrett’s nomination. 

Barrett would not say if she believed the court could overturn Roe v. Wade in the future

Barrett would not say if she believed the court could overturn Roe v. Wade in the future

Like the first day of the hearing Monday, demonstrators immediately gathered outside on Capitol Hill to protest Barrett's nomination

Like the first day of the hearing Monday, demonstrators immediately gathered outside on Capitol Hill to protest Barrett’s nomination

The demonstrators were met by pro-life and pro-Trump protesters holding signs with images of Barrett reading ‘Hope’.

Chairman Lindsey Graham started the day off asking Barrett to explain her ‘originalist’ views in plain English.

‘I interpret the Constitution as a law,’ she detailed. ‘I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. That meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy view into it.’

Graham, a Republican Senator from South Carolina, kicked off the day by telling Barrett she could relax and remove her white face cover and then launched a monologue claiming he wanted to distinguish between politics and judgeships.

He railed against the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats spent the majority of their time during Monday’s opening remarks claiming was at risk if Barrett were confirmed.

Six of Barrett’s seven children and her husband sat in a row over her right shoulder while her youngest child, who has Down Syndrome, remained at home for the hearings – but she assured he was watching her on TV.

The row behind her children and husband were seated all six of Barrett’s siblings.

Behind her to the left sat White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and for the second half of the day, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined the hearing room.

On Monday, all members of the committee, along with Barrett, made their opening statements. 

Democrats argued against Barrett’s nomination, claiming it’s a political move made just weeks before the 2020 election by President Donald Trump to strike down the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court level.

They also claim her religion could get in the way of her being a ‘fair’ Justice, and say her devout Catholic beliefs would lead to the dismantling of abortion rights with a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Republicans, on the other hand, said Democrats are playing politics and making a judgeship into a campaign issue. The GOP is also accusing the opposition party of creating a religious test for Barrett, which they lament is against the Constitution.

CLASH WITH KLOBUCHAR ON IN GRUDGE MATCH FROM KAVANAUGH HEARINGS 

Tuesday’s hearings featured a tense clash between the nominee and Sen. Amy Klobuchar – following Klobuchar’s televised battle with now Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his own hearing. Klobuchar had asked Kavanaugh whether he had ever experienced a blackout, after testimony about his high school drinking, amid rape and sexual assault allegations that he vigorously denied.

With Barrett, Klobuchar asked a series of questions about court cases, and tried to get to whether Barrett considered them binding precedent.

Barrett avoided substantive answers, even when Klobuchar about voter intimidation, which is already on the legal books.

‘Judge Barrett under federal law is it illegal to intimidate voters at the polls?’ Klobuchar asked.

‘Senator Klobuchar, I can’t characterize the facts in a hypothetical situation, and I can’t apply the law to a hypothetical set of facts. I can only decide cases as they come to me, litigated by parties on the full record,’ she said.

When she tried again, Barrett responded: ‘Sen. Klobuchar that is eliciting – I’m not sure if it’s elicidating [eliciting] a legal opinion from me … or just an opinion as a citizen but it’s not really something that’s appropriate for me to comment on.’

Then Klobuchar asked about a legal article she wrote, about cases such as Brown v. Board of Education that are considered ‘super precedents’ that are essentially accepted as binding.

‘Is Row a super precedent?’ Klobuchar wanted to know.

‘How would you define super precedent?’ the nominee shot back.

‘Actually, I might [have’ thought someday I’d be sitting in that chair. I’m not so I’m asking you,’ Klobuchar responded.

‘I’m answering a lot of questions about Row, which indicates that Row doesn’t fall in that category,’ Barrett explained, signaling it is outside of that category.

‘Why won’t you say that about Row v. Wade?’ Klobuchar said, pushing for a straight answer.

‘Senator I can just give you the same answer that I just did,’ Barrett told her.



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Critics slam The Comey Rule as ‘clunky, self-serious and melodramatic’ as drama debuts on Showtime


A new two-part drama based on James Comey’s memoir has been derided by critics as ‘a weak melodrama’ which is ‘self-satisfied’, and ‘does little to distinguish itself from the dreary slush pile of other docudramas based on true events or books’.

The Comey Rule, which aired on Showtime on Sunday night, is based on the former FBI director’s 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty. 

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson stars as the president and Jeff Daniels as Comey, and the show follows Comey through the ethical challenges he faced as FBI director under Trump’s presidency, amid the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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The miniseries, featuring Jeff Daniels as James Comey, is based on the former FBI director’s 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty 

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In The Comey Rule, Trump is painted as a 'mob boss' during the investigation into Russia's interference on the 2016 election

In The Comey Rule, Trump is painted as a ‘mob boss’ during the investigation into Russia’s interference on the 2016 election

James Comey's 2018 memoir has been turned into a two-part series, which began on Sunday

James Comey’s 2018 memoir has been turned into a two-part series, which began on Sunday

The first night of the two-night, four-hour event explored the earliest days in the Russia investigation and the FBI investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails, and how they impacted election night when Trump shocked the world. 

Critics were unflinching in their attacks on the show. 

The New York Times’ James Poniewozik said it was ‘not good drama; it’s clunky, self-serious and melodramatic.’

IndieWire’s Ben Travers described it as ‘weak melodrama and a jarring monster movie,’ while Slate derided it as a hagiography. 

Comey, who was fired as the FBI director by President Trump in May 2017, claimed Trump had asked for his 'loyalty' during the probe

He is portrayed by Jeff Daniels

Comey, who was fired as the FBI director by President Trump in May 2017, claimed Trump had asked for his ‘loyalty’ during the probe. He is portrayed by Jeff Daniels (right)

President Trump

Actor Brendan Gleeson plays Donald Trump

Actor Brendan Gleeson (right) plays Donald Trump in the political drama thriller

Hank Stuever, the Washington Post’s TV critic, describes the series as ‘a project nobody asked for, dropped into a highly contentious election season, as if the very lessons it hopes to impart somehow do not apply to its own sense of self-importance.’ 

He argues that the timing was wrong for HBO to broadcast the series.

‘The story’s unsettled nature is proof enough that all of this still needs time to ferment before anyone tries to make it into captivating material for TV and film,’ he writes. 

‘Other than being able to say it got there first, “The Comey Rule” could certainly have waited — until after the election, or until some other era down the road.’ 

Rolling Stone’s Maria Fontoura agreed, with a critique entitled: ‘The Comey Rule’ Will Give You 2016 Election PTSD. 

Scott Tobias, critic for Vulture, wrote: ‘In its worst moments, The Comey Rule does little to distinguish itself from the dreary slush pile of other docudramas based on true events or books.’  

On social media, Twitter users were unimpressed.

‘The casting in The Comey Rule is so bad,’ said one Twitter user, while another mocked Daniels’ performance as ‘a sort of aw-shucks American everyman’.

Another said that Gleeson’s portrayal of Trump was ‘as if he’s doing a very bad impersonation of Stephen Colbert doing his terrible impersonation of Trump.’   

Social media users were unimpressed with The Comey Rule

Social media users were unimpressed with The Comey Rule

Daniels' performance was mocked by another Twitter user

Daniels’ performance was mocked by another Twitter user

Another person took aim at Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of the president

Another person took aim at Brendan Gleeson’s portrayal of the president

The limited series follows Comey through the challenges he faced throughout his role as FBI director under Trump's presidency, amid the investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election

The limited series follows Comey through the challenges he faced throughout his role as FBI director under Trump’s presidency, amid the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election

Holly Hunter will play fired acting attorney general Sally Yates (left)

Holly Hunter in The Comey Rule

Holly Hunter plays fired acting attorney general Sally Yates (left)

According to the network, Comey’s memoir serves as just one source for the series, along with ‘more than a year of additional interviews with a number of key principals’.

The Comey Rule was described as, ‘an immersive, behind-the-headlines account of the historically turbulent events surrounding the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, which divided a nation.’

The network description also clarified that this event series is ‘not the biopic of one  man,’ but is the story of ‘two powerful figures whose strikingly different personalities, ethics and loyalties put them on a collision course.’ 

The description by HBO even calls Russia’s interference in the 2016 election a ‘deep and unprecedented penetration into American politics’. 

Holly Hunter plays Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, William Sadler stars as Michael Flynn, and Peter Coyote as Robert Mueller. 



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