Tester to persist in vetting Judge Kavanaugh despite White House delay

As President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee falls under the spotlight for his role in the Bill Clinton investigation and other matters, Sen. Jon Tester will have to wait his turn to vet the potential justice.

On a media call Tuesday, Tester said his scheduled meeting with Judge Brett Kavanaugh was postponed by the White House. Tester didn’t state the reasons why that meeting was delayed, but said he would still sit down with the Trump nominee regardless.

“The White House delayed my meeting with Mr. Kavanaugh, which was supposed to take place this week,” Tester said. “I look forward to sitting down with him, because I will and we will find out how he stands on a number of issues that are important to Montanans, because Montanans deserve an open and transparent process.”

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Kavanaugh urged prosecutors investigating President Bill Clinton in the 1990s to ask in graphic detail about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. That information came from a memorandum released by the National Archives.

Tester said he will ask the National Archives and the U.S. Department of Justice to release all of Kavanaugh’s writings and documents from his tenure as an associate with the White House Counsel’s Office.

“These documents should be a matter of public record so Montanans can see where Judge Kavanaugh stands on a whole host of issues,” Tester said. “I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, because I will.”

Tester said he’s interested in Kavanaugh’s position on a number of issues, from health care to campaign finance. Tester said he will also watch Kavanaugh’s statements during a Senate Judiciary hearing scheduled in September.

He expects to make a decision on whether he’ll support the nominee after Labor Day.

“The challenge with Supreme Court nominees in the past is they haven’t been very forthcoming with answers,” Tester said. “The jury is still out, no pun intended.”