White House prepping Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court confirmation hearing

The White House Counsel’s Office is prepping Judge Amy Coney Barrett for her Senate confirmation hearings, where they anticipate the Supreme Court nominee will be questioned about a range of issues, including her nomination event in the Rose Garden which lead to President Trump and members of his inner circle testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

A senior administration official told Fox News that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and “constitutional experts” within the White House Counsel’s Office are preparing Barrett for the confirmation hearings, which are slated to begin Monday, Oct. 12 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and run through Thursday, Oct. 15.

AMY CONEY BARRETT CONFIRMATION HEARING TO BEGIN OCT. 12, AS SENATE RAMPS UP COVID19 PRECAUTIONS

“Barrett will be an outstanding witness and will be confirmed,” the official told Fox News.

The official told Fox News that Cipollone and the team are prepping Barrett for questions on a range of issues — including the Sept. 26 nominating event in the Rose Garden.

After the event, the president, first lady Melania Trump, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, White House adviser Hope Hicks, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, former adviser Kellyanne Conway, director of Oval Office operations David Luna, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, and Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor Greg Laurie all tested positive for COVID-19.

The official told Fox News that they could not preview how Barrett would respond to that line of questioning, but defended the event, saying it was “held outdoors” and “there was a lot of testing done beforehand.”

“We have to reopen our country,” the official said. “We take precautions but we have to reopen our country, we have to continue our duties, and we had to nominate this outstanding judge to the Supreme Court.”

A White House aide told Fox News that Cipollone “knows what she’ll be questioned on.”

“He’ll know ways to navigate those without telegraphing too much to get through the confirmation,” the aide said.

Meanwhile, the official said the White House anticipates Barrett will be questioned on issues and cases involving abortion, specifically Roe v. Wade, and the Obamacare case that is pending before the high court.

“They are going to try a million different ways to get her to discuss cases that may come before her,” the official said. “But, with the Ginsburg rule, she won’t be doing that.”

Ginsburg, during her confirmation hearings in 1993, chose not to answer questions that may hint at how she would rule on a future case. The practice has been informally named the Ginsburg rule.

The official added: “She’s committed to being a fair-minded judge, who will set aside her personal opinions.”

Meanwhile, senior officials told Fox News that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been tasked with prepping Barrett and shepherding her through the Senate.

“He knows exactly the senators we’ll need to win over, and the issues that matter to them,” one senior White House official told Fox

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Pelosi prepping House to decide election if needed: report

The House speaker sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues and reminded them of the possibility, rare as it is.

The Speaker of the House is preparing for the possibility that the House of Representatives will ultimately decide the presidential election.

If neither candidate wins the Electoral College, each state’s delegation would get a single vote, which is decided by an internal tally of each lawmaker in that designation. That means that the presidency could be decided by the party that has more delegates in the chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a memorial service for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she lies in state in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol Saturday. Ginsburg is the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a memorial service for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she lies in state in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol Saturday. Ginsburg is the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

According to POLITICO, Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats and reminded them of the possibility of this scenario, which hasn’t happened since 1876.

“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” Pelosi wrote. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”

Read More: Pelosi: New COVID-19 relief package coming soon

Republicans presently control 26 delegations over Democrats’ 22, with Pennsylvania tied and Michigan a 7-6 plurality for Democrats, and a 14th seat held by independent Justin Amash, also of Michigan.

According to the report, Pelosi has expressed worries about this rare possibility for weeks.

The concern will mean that Democrats will be spending time trying to turn particularly vulnerable House races in traditionally red states to blue. Resources are expected to be deployed to contests in Montana and Alaska.

Read More: NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017

President Donald Trump has also started mentioning this prospect at his rallies.

“And I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress. Does everyone understand that?” Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

“I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state,” he continued, “so we actually have an advantage. Oh, they’re going to be thrilled to hear that.”

November’s election has already had a number of twists and turns; this scenario is simply another possibility for which Congress is preparing. The only way to avoid sending the presidential election results to the Supreme Court or to Congress is by an uncontested Electoral College win, which would be determined by a high voter turnout.

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