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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Political Editors / Feb. 9, 2017

Vetting Richard Blumenthal’s Background

A lying liar promises to vet Neil Gorsuch. That’s rich.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, faces the usual hurdles for a Republican nominee and then some. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said of Gorsuch, “It is important that every aspect of his background be critically and closely scrutinized.” Fair enough, though we know what that usually means for Democrats — nasty personal destruction, complete with charges of racism, sexism, etc.

But it’s Blumenthal whose background deserves the scrutiny. He lied about his military service in Vietnam, and when his lies were exposed, he brazenly lied about the lies. “My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward,” he insisted in 2010, “out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam.” No such thing. Blumenthal repeatedly claimed to have “served in Vietnam” when in fact he received five deferments and never went further west than Washington state — to organize a Toys for Tots drive. But by all means, let’s trust him to vet Gorsuch’s background.

On a final note, Blumenthal met with Gorsuch and reported that the SCOTUS nominee objected to Donald Trump’s words about “so-called judges,” calling that characterization “demoralizing” and “disheartening.” Trump responded via Twitter, “Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” By all accounts, Gorsuch did use those words (and rightly so), leaving an apparent contradiction between Trump’s tweet and reality. So once again, Trump has stepped in it with his Twitter account. He’s directly contradicted his nominee, which will come up again in confirmation hearings. Media-generated perception will be that Trump demands fealty from the judicial branch. Instead, the focus should be what Democrats do to destroy nominees.

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