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Watch: Coverage Of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

For coverage of the Sept. 27 testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, click here.

It's day four of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

VPR will begin carrying live NPR coverage on the air starting at 9:30 a.m. There will be a break for Vermont Edition at noon, and then we will return to the confirmation hearing coverage until at least 3 p.m.

WATCH via PBS NewsHour stream:


Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018

Catch up on online coverage of Thursday's hearings from NPR:

Sen. Patrick Leahy called into question the credibility of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at hearings being held by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kavanaugh has testified that, as assistant White House Counsel in 2002, he was not aware of emails that were stolen from Leahy outlining the Democrats' strategy for upcoming judicial hearings.

Leahy released "committee confidential" documents Thursday, which he says show that Kavanaugh received the stolen emails.

"I find it impossible to reconcile what you're regularly being told — that your testimony that you received nothing stolen, had no reason to suspect anything was stolen — when frankly as we now know, Republican staffer Manny Miranda stole things and some of the things he stole went directly to you," Leahy said during the hearing.

Kavanaugh said he believed Leahy's documents represented the common flow of information between committee staffers and that they didn't raise any "red flags."

"Judge, I was born at night but not last night," Leahy responded to Kavanaugh, "and if I found, if I had something that somebody said 'we've stolen this' or ... 'don't tell anybody we have this,' I think it would raise some red flags."

Leahy also wants documents released that he says will outline Kavanaugh's role in developing torture and detention polices by the Bush administration.

— Bob Kinzel, VPR

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018

Catch up on online coverage of Wednesday's hearings from NPR:

Sen. Patrick Leahy was unsuccessful in his effort Wednesday to learn if U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh believes that presidents have the authority to pardon themselves if they've been convicted of a crime.
During the second day of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, Leahy posed this question to the nominee: "President Trump claims he has an absolute right to pardon himself — does he?"

“The question of self-pardons is something I have never analyzed,” Kavanaugh said in his response to the senator.

In addition, Leahy asked: “Does the president have the ability to pardon somebody in exchange for a promise from that person they wouldn't testify against him?”

In response, Kavanaugh told Leahy that “I'm not going to answer hypothetical questions of that sort.”

“I hope for the sake of the country that remains a hypothetical question,” Leahy said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says GOP leaders are blocking the release of key information concerning allegations of sexual assault brought against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Credit Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press
Sen. Patrick Leahy - the senior-most member of the Senate Judiciary Committee - questions U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Leahy is also calling for the release of emails that he says could play a pivotal role in the Senate Judiciary Committee's review of Kavanaugh.

The senator wants to know if Kavanaugh, while acting as assistant White House Counsel under former President George W. Bush in 2006, was aware that GOP staffers hacked into Leahy's computer and stole emails relating to upcoming judicial confirmation hearings.

Kavanaugh insisted he was not aware of the stolen emails until the New York Times published an article about them.

Leahy suggested that the public release of emails related to the theft might show something different.

"Without them being public," Leahy said, "it's not fair to me and it's not fair to Judge Kavanaugh that I can't hand him the actual documents which I think would refresh his memory. I would ask again, can we make those public?”

Leahy wants the emails released immediately so that this issue can be addressed by the committee later this week.

— Bob Kinzel, VPR

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018:

Catch up on online coverage of Tuesday's hearings from NPR:

The Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings Tuesday on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Kavanaugh.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is the most senior member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, delivered his opening statement at the hearing on Tuesday morning. He began his statement by saying:

"I have served in the Senate for 44 years, a span that includes 19 nominations to the Supreme Court. I have never seen so much at stake with a single seat. And I have never seen such a dangerous rush to fill it. President Trump promised that he would only nominate judges to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Judges who would dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Judges who would re-shape our judiciary. If that is not judicial activism, I do not know what is."

Leahy went on to extensively critique the handling of records requests during the Kavanaugh vetting process, telling the nominee:

"Judge Kavanaugh, there are so many things wrong with this Committee’s vetting of your record that it is hard to know where to begin. Indeed, you should not be sitting in front of us today. Your vetting is less than 10 percent complete. In critical ways, our Committee is abandoning its tradition of exhaustively vetting Supreme Court nominees."

Find Leahy's full opening statement text here.

From left, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy at U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Tuesday.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
From left, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy at U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Tuesday.

Listen to VPR all week for updates and coverage of the hearings, and listen to the hearings online.

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