Fact check: Dianne Feinstein's claims about the president's supreme court nominee

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The U.S congress member Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote a tweet  in which she said that the president’s supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, had made several past claims about the rights of sitting presidents.

Sen Dianne Feinstein on Twitter

The president’s Supreme Court nominee has said sitting presidents can NOT be prosecuted, should NOT be investigated, and should have the authority to fire a special counsel AT WILL. With the president facing serious legal jeopardy, the nomination should not be moving forward.

 

Claims: 

According to Feinstein, Kavanaugh said “sitting presidents can NOT be prosecuted, should NOT be investigated, and should have the authority to fire a special counsel AT WILL”.

Fact Check: 

During a conference at Georgetown Law School in 1998, Kavanaugh raised his hand to answer “yes” to a question asked by the moderator – “How many of you believe, as a matter of law, that a sitting president cannot be indicted during the term of office?”. Politico has covered the story here. 

 

Kavanaugh signaled sitting president couldn’t be indicted

Defenders of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are accusing his critics of distorting his views on whether a sitting president can be indicted, but they may be overlooking another key clue about his take on what’s likely to be a contentious issue at Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing.

 

In a 2009 article published on Minnesota law review, Kavanaugh wrote, “With that in mind, it would be appropriate for Congress to enact a statute providing that any personal civil suits against presidents, like certain members of the military, be deferred while the President is in office”.

He continued: “Deferral would allow the President to focus on the vital duties he was elected to perform.”

He also wrote, “Congress should consider doing the same, moreover, with respect to criminal investigations and prosecutions of the President. In particular, Congress might consider a law exempting a President—while in office—from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel.”

Help us fact check Feinstein’s claims by directly adding references and sources to this draft.

 

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