A left-leaning group is pressuring Sen. Mitt Romney with a series of digital ads over a controversial judicial nominee from President Donald Trump.
The group, Demand Justice, is launching a series of digital ads urging Romney to vote against the nomination of Steven Menashi to the federal bench. Menashi, who works in the White House counsel’s office, is refusing to answer questions about whether he played a role in events involving Ukraine, which is at the center of the House impeachment probe.
Demand Justice is betting Romney’s criticism of the White House’s attempts to pressure the president of Ukraine to gin up political dirt on President Donald Trump’s political rivals will lead him to vote against Menashi.
The test of the ad, which will begin running on Facebook, says “Steven Menashi is asking for a lifetime appointment as a judge, but he’s refusing to answer questions about whether he helped cover up the Ukraine scandal. You shouldn’t be a federal judge if you helped cover up abuse of power.”
Among the questions Menashi is refusing to answer from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee include whether he advised that the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s interactions with the president of Ukraine should not be turned over to Congress and whether he was involved in conversations on how to handle the complaint.
“Steven Menashi may have participated in the Ukraine coverup,” says Chris Kang, general counsel for Demand Justice, “and now some Republicans want to promote him from covering for Trump in the White House to covering for him on the federal bench.”
Demand Justice says Romney’s vote on Menashi will be the first test of his stance on the growing Ukraine scandal.
"If Sen. Romney is serious about standing up to Donald Trump’s abuse of power, he absolutely cannot vote to confirm a potential accomplice to the Ukraine scandal without demanding answers," said Kang.
Menashi’s nomination was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee along party lines on Thursday and could come up for a full vote next week.
Sen. Romney’s office did not directly respond to the ad campaign when asked by UtahPolicy.com, only saying through a spokesperson, “There are several judicial nominees awaiting a vote by the full Senate, and Senator Romney is currently reviewing their qualifications.”
Romney was recently the target of a digital ad campaign from the conservative Club for Growth over his criticism of President Trump’s attempts to get foreign governments to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.