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One Simple Test for Any Lawmaker Voicing Outrage Over Trump's Deference to Putin: Stop Brett Kavanaugh

"If you're serious about taking action after Trump's comments at Helsinki, you should commit to #StopKavanaugh and #SaveSCOTUS."

Local politicians, activists and others participate in a protest to denounce President Donald Trump's selection of Brett Kavanaugh as his nomination to the Supreme Court on July 10, 2018 in New York City. In an announcement on Monday evening, the president chose Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose retirement was announced less than two weeks ago. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As the American public and U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle continue to process and express outrage at President Donald Trump's bizarrely deferential and "pathetic" performance alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, progressive advocacy groups were quick to highlight one substantive step senators can and must take to check the president: block his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"A reminder to every single Republican senator currently outraged about the Helsinki Summit: If you care about this, you should be ready to #StopKavanaugh. His record shows he's ready to shield Trump from accountability for any of this."
—Indivisible

Pointing to Kavanaugh's view—just one of his many odious positions—that presidents should be "shielded from civil suits and criminal investigations," Indivisible and other prominent organizations began to pressure both Republican and Democratic senators claiming to be appalled by Trump's behavior at the Finland summit to move beyond "substance-less" tough talk and take action to block Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"A reminder to every single Republican senator currently outraged about the Helsinki Summit: If you care about this, you should be ready to #StopKavanaugh," Indivisible wrote in a tweet on Monday, arguing that Kavanaugh's confirmation could imperil Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. "His record shows he's ready to shield Trump from accountability for any of this."

Tweeting directly at Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Tuesday after she denounced the Trump's remarks at his joint press conference with Putin—during which the U.S. president unequivocally accepted the Russian leader's claim that he did nothing to interfere with the 2016 presidential election—Indivisible wrote, "If you're serious about taking action after Trump's comments at Helsinki, you should commit to #StopKavanaugh and #SaveSCOTUS."

Indivisible tweeted a similar message to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, of Arizona and Tennessee respectively, were called out following their critical reactions to the president's remarks in Finland:

And advocacy groups didn't limit their pressure campaign to Republicans. As Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin noted, "31 Senate Democrats are still not on the record opposing Kavanaugh, a judge who believes Trump can't be indicted while in office."

If the Senate Democratic caucus fully unites against Kavanaugh, Republicans can only afford to lose one GOP vote if he is to be confirmed, given that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is not expected to vote as he receives treatment for brain cancer.

But, Levin concluded, "we're NEVER going to get Collins or Murkowski against Kavanaugh if we can't even get safe blue state Dems onboard. Hell, we're not going to get Heitkamp, Donnelly, or Manchin onboard if we can't lock up these safe Dems ASAP."

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