Painter Alleges Justice Kennedy Was Paid Off By Trump

Democratic Senate candidate Richard Painter alleged Justice Anthony Kennedy was paid to resign by President Donald Trump.

Credit: Painter for Senate

MINNEAPOLIS – Democratic Senate candidate Richard Painter went on a Twitter tirade this weekend, claiming Justice Anthony Kennedy may have been paid to retire by President Donald Trump.

“The circumstances of Justice Kennedy’s resignation must be investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee before any replacement is considered, Painter alleged on Twitter. “The Constitution does not give Trump the power to use underhanded means to induce Supreme Court resignations.”

Painter’s tweet was in response to a story from the New York Times which alleged “in subtle and not so subtle ways, the White House waged a quiet campaign to ensure that Mr. Trump had a second opportunity” to appoint a Supreme Court justice.

Painter did not provide factual basis for the allegations.

While claiming the “fix was in” regarding the Supreme Court opening, Painter also circled back to the primary focus of his campaign: impeaching Trump. Painter called for Trump’s impeachment saying the president “is in blatant violation of the Constitution.”

“I have had it with appeasement of aspiring dictators,” Painter wrote on Twitter.

Painter declared any senator who would “even consider” a Supreme Court nomination from Trump is an “accomplice or a coward.”

Painter also used his Twitter to attack several of Trump’s potential nominees, including Amy Coney Barrett. Painter attacked Barrett’s association with The 700 Club and the Christian Broadcasting Network, calling it a “fringe organization with very authoritarian characteristics” and “a cult of authoritarian religious extremism.”

Despite his disapproval for Trump’s potential nominees, Painter refused to name any candidates he would find more suitable. Instead, Painter maintained the Senate should not consider a Supreme Court nominee until impeachment hearings take place.

Painter, a former Republican who served as the chief ethics lawyer for the George W. Bush administration, is hoping to fill former Sen. Al Franken’s seat. Painter has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, appearing frequently on CNN and MSNBC to criticize the Trump administration.

Before Painter will be on the ballot in November he will have to face Sen. Tina Smith, Gov. Mark Dayton’s temporary replacement for Franken. Painter lost the DFL endorsement to Smith. The two will face off in the August 14 primary.

Christine Bauman