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Durbin Says He Hasn't Taken Position on SCOTUS Pick — Also Has Doubts About Election Security

Dick Durbin speaks with reporters outside his house in Springfield
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks with reporters outside his Springfield home in this file photo from 2017.

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he has some tough questions for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. But he also says he hasn’t made up his mind.

Durbin has some experience with Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The Democratic senator questioned him at a confirmation hearing more than a decade ago, and says one of his answers was later “in doubt.”

Durbin says he wrote by-then Judge Kavanaugh a letter on the discrepancy but never heard back.

That said: “I might say that for those who are jumping to the conclusions that they’re for or against him, I am not in that position,” Durbin said. “I have many questions to ask, and we are now assembling the evidence from his public service.”

Durbin says that’s not just from Kavanaugh’s 12 years on the federal bench, but also his many years as a lawyer in the executive branch of the government. He says that part of Kavanaugh's career could yield up to one million documents.

Doubts On Election Security

During a Q&A with reporters outside his Springfield home Sunday afternoon, Durbin also said he’s not confident that the upcoming election will be secure from Russian interference.

“I agree with Dan Coates, the director of National Intelligence. He believes the Russians are trying again to make a mess of our election, and I don’t think this administration is taking it seriously,” Durbin said.

Durbin's comments come two days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian military officers. Their alleged offenses include stealing emails from the Clinton campaign and breaking into the Illinois voter database.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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