Washington — President Trump offered Judge Amy Coney Barrett the nomination to the Supreme Court three days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, according to Barrett’s questionnaire submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee and released Tuesday. But the president at that time continued to publicly assert he was weighing up to five candidates and had yet to make his decision.
In response to a section on the sprawling questionnaire focused on the judicial selection process, Barrett laid out the timeline from which she was first approached about the vacancy on the Supreme Court following Ginsburg’s death September 18. Barrett said she revealed she received a phone call on September 19 from White House counsel Pat Cipollone and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows regarding Ginsburg’s seat and spoke to the pair again the following day, September 20.During their second phone call, Barrett said Cipollone and Meadows invited her to Washington, D.C., and Mr. Trump called later to confirm the invitation.Upon arriving in Washington, Barrett said she met with Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Cipollone and Meadows on September 21.”The president offered me the nomination on that day, and I accepted, subject to finalizing the vetting process,” Barrett told the committee.While Mr. Trump offered Barrett the Supreme Court nomination September 21, he told reporters that same afternoon before leaving the White House for a trip to Ohio “five women are being looked at and vetted very carefully.” It would be another five days before he formally announced Barrett as his pick to succeed Ginsburg.The Senate Judiciary Committee’s questionnaire is required of all judicial nominees and calls for a full accounting of a candidate’s legal career, litigation, memberships and affiliations, among other background information.According to Barrett’s filing, which she also completed in 2017 after she was nominated to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, her membership to the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization, ended the same year she was appointed to the federal bench.Asked if she made “any representations to any individuals or organizations as to how you might rule as a justice” or if any such representations were made by White House officials, Barrett answered “no.”Mr. Trump announced his selection of Barrett, 48, to the Supreme Court on Saturday, setting into motion a swift and contentious confirmation battle in the Senate. Accompanied by Pence, Cipollone and Meadows, Barrett appeared on Capitol Hill for her first day of meetings with senators Tuesday. Barrett met with all Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, and is expected to meet with more GOP senators Wednesday.
Some Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are refusing to sit down with Barrett and instead claim her nomination is illegitimate. Her confirmation hearing is set to begin October 12 and span up to four days.