Congressman Floats Gorsuch Conspiracy Theory

Democrat lawmaker suggests 'disheartening' comments part of intentional, coordinated strategy

A California congressman on Thursday floated a conspiracy theory — with no evidence — that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s reported statements regarding President Donald Trump’s criticism of the judiciary were coordinated to make him appear independent.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) set Washington on fire Wednesday when he leaked that Gorsuch told him that Trump’s attacks on judges were “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) saw a sinister plot at work.

“There may be something quite calculated in these statements and their willingness … to have these comments published.”

“There may be something quite calculated in these statements and their willingness … to have these comments published,” he told CNN anchor Kate Bolduan.

Schiff suggested a larger scheme.

“It may have been quite calculated in terms of what Judge Gorsuch said,” he said. “It may have been very well choreographed. He may have had a very specific intention to use those terms knowing that, essentially, they would be leaked to the press. That might have been part of the confirmation strategy.”

CNN anchor John King later picked up on the theme.

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“Are we being had here?” he asked his panel.

King suggested that Gorsuch’s comments would help him.

“Will President Trump tolerate criticism from his own Supreme Court nominee if that criticism in the long run helps the president get his Supreme Court nominee confirmed?” he asked.

LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham asked Republican strategist Ed Rollins on her nationally syndicated radio show Thursday if the White House could be running some sort of game.

“I hope not,” he said. “I hope he’s doing the courtesy calls that every judicial appointment has to make. I don’t want a judge with a preconceived strategy. I don’t want a PR strategy. I want a good jurist who reads the Constitution, who understands the Constitution and basically enforces the Constitution.”

Rollins said he does not want a justice like Anthony Kennedy or John Roberts. And he criticized Gorsuch for making the comments in the first place.

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“His comments were totally inappropriate about the president,” he said. “I certainly would not have answered that question. I would have advised him not to answer that question.”

For his part, Trump held firm on Thursday to his contention that Blumenthal mischaracterized Gorsuch’s comments. White House press secretary Sean Spicer elaborated, arguing that Gorsuch was talking in generalities, not in response to Trump’s comments about the “so-called” federal judge who put his temporary travel ban on hold.

“Ask Sen. Blumenthal about his Vietnam record,” Trump told reporters at the White House, alluding to false statements the senator made during his 2010 campaign. “He misrepresented that just like he misrepresented Judge Gorsuch.”