GOP Sen. Cornyn Blames Former Colleague Jeff Flake for Holding Up Trump 9th Circuit Judicial Appointments

Wednesday on radio’s “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) confirmed that then-Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) held up President Donald Trump’s appointments to the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hewitt asked Cornyn about the appointments, which will have to be made again by Trump, and Flake’s role in preventing confirmation during the last Congress. Cornyn explained that given the small margins in the U.S. Senate at the time, Flake’s support was needed.

Partial transcript as follows:

HEWITT: Pat Cipollone may not know what this means to the base. He’s a D.C. lawyer. I don’t know him, evidently a good guy. Do you know him, Senator Cornyn?

CORNYN: I met him the other day at the White House, but I hear good things about him, so I look forward to working with him. I’ll certainly talk to him and the President as well.

HEWITT: Yeah, this is like the third rail of the base. This is the 9th Circuit on the Circuit Courts is the third rail. And I can’t believe, and by the way, I think it’s fair to state, those three would have been confirmed but for Jeff Flake, am I right?

CORNYN: That’s right. Yeah, Jeff, Jeff held up voting on any of these on the floor, and as you know, our margin was so thin, we couldn’t do it without him. So yeah, you’re exactly right.

HEWITT: All right, Jeff Flake owns the disruption in these people’s lives. And people should remember that. He is not a representative of the center-right conservative judicial philosophy.

On Tuesday, Flake announced he wasn’t running for president in 2020 and that he was joining CBS as a network commentator.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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