President Trump said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer must “pay a severe price” for threatening Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
“There can be few things worse in a civilized, law abiding nation, than a United States Senator openly, and for all to see and hear, threatening the Supreme Court or its Justices,” he tweeted. “This is what Chuck Schumer just did. He must pay a severe price for this!”
There can be few things worse in a civilized, law abiding nation, than a United States Senator openly, and for all to see and hear, threatening the Supreme Court or its Justices. This is what Chuck Schumer just did. He must pay a severe price for this!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2020
Speaking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said Schumer wasn’t protected by congressional “immunity” since he made the comments at a pro-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court.
"As far as Schumer is concerned, it was a terrible thing he said. I was amazed by it and if that were a Republican you would see really bad things happening," the president said. "It is very unequal justice, and it is a disgrace that he was able to say something like that."
"He wasn't shielded by the halls of Congress like Schiff was when he lied about my phone call," Trump added.
Schumer said Gorsuch and Kavanaugh “released the whirlwind and you will pay the price!"
"You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” he added.
Schumer’s spokesman later tried to claim the comments were “the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said”—but anyone can watch the video of his remarks and see for themselves they were not misconstrued in any way.
Noticed Schumer's spox said his comments threatening Gorsuch, Kavanuagh were a "deliberate misinterpretation" and that he was threatening "Senate Republicans," not SCOTUS.— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 5, 2020
Here are Schumer's complete remarks. His threats against Gorsuch, Kavanaugh were accurately reported. pic.twitter.com/m5Ski6ryqd
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts Jr. even rebuked Schumer over the threat.
"Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous. All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter," Roberts said in a statement.
Update: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will address Schumer's comments Thursday on the Senate floor.
“Contrary to what the Democratic leader has tried to claim, he very clearly was not addressing Republican lawmakers or anybody else. He literally directed the statement to the justices, by name,” McConnell will say, reports Politico Playbook. “And he said, quote, ‘if you go forward with these awful decisions,’ which could only apply to the court itself. The minority leader of the United States Senate threatened two associate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Period.”