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Merkley files lawsuit to halt Kavanaugh’s confirmation

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sen. Jeff Merkley filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, citing what he believes to be unconstitutional presidential interference.

Merkley said via Twitter that he plans to sue President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The lawsuit argues that the Trump administration’s unprecedented withholding of substantial parts of Kavanaugh’s record has violated the constitutional separation of powers by preventing senators from fulfilling their constitutional duty of advice and consent on the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Merkley has asked that the courts to intervene in order to prevent the process from continuing until Kavanaugh’s full record is available for public scrutiny, the press release stated.

President Trump nominated Kavanaugh, 53, to the high court on July 9.

Merkley’s lawsuit comes after three women publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. However, he staunchly denies ever sexually assaulting anyone, and his allies have questioned the credibility of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and a second accuser based in part on what they say is a lack of corroboration. 

Attorney Michael Avenatti announced Wednesday morning that his client has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. According to a document Avenatti posted on Twitter, the woman alleges she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s.”

Trump has dismissed the two accusations as a “Democratic con job.” Later on Wednesday, he called Avenatti “a third rate lawyer” pushing “false accusations” against Kavanaugh.

After news of the third allegation came to light, Sen. Ron Wyden took to Twitter to express his thoughts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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