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Jones: Hit pause button on Kavanaugh confirmation hearings

By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama on Friday repeated his call to hit the “pause button” on confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in order to review his voluminous record.

The Alabama Democrat said his chief concern was having time to see the full documents from Kavanaugh’s past work, including his time as President George W. Bush’s staff secretary. The National Archives and Records Administration has estimated that a review of records from his time in the White House won’t be completed until the end of October, but Republicans want to hold hearings in September.

“I want to make sure I’ve got all the evidence in before I make a decision,” Jones told reporters Friday after visiting Montgomery’s Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, which was partially destroyed by fire over the weekend.

The state’s junior senator said a pause on the confirmation hearings would also give this week’s events “a chance to settle out,” referring to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s plea deal and the conviction of Trump’s former campaign chair.

Jones said he has not made up his mind on the Trump nominee, despite pressure building on him from people and groups both opposing and supporting the appointment.

During the stop in Montgomery, Jones criticized Trump’s attacks on the Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump has criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe.

“In all candor, it makes me sick,” Jones, a former U.S. attorney, said when asked by reporters about the attacks on the Department of Justice.

Jones, who occupies the Senate seat previously held by Sessions, said he did not agree with Sessions “on a lot of his polices,” but said Sessions did the “correct thing” in stepping aside from the investigation involving Trump.

“Jeff Sessions did the absolute correct thing morally, professionally, ethically and legally by recusing himself and we cannot overlook that fact,” Jones said.

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