Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A new book on Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process discloses that the White House held a secret mock hearing for Kavanaugh after allegations of sexual assault against him broke — which leaked to the press before it was even finished.

What they're saying: In the forthcoming book — "Justice on Trial," out Tuesday — the Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino and The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway write that Kavanaugh's team was wary of leaks, but that those leading the confirmation effort argued that the advantages of broadening the group involved in his preparation were "worth the risk."

  • So former White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders, along with a number of others, played the parts of various senators in a mock hearing.
  • But soon after Kavanaugh left the room and the team began discussing his performance, "someone interrupted the discussion to announce that the media were already reporting that Kavanaugh was mooting with the press team," the authors write.
  • "Later the Washington Post cited three sources who reported that 'Kavanaugh grew frustrated when it came to questions that dug into his private life, particularly his drinking habits and his sexual proclivities.' They added that he declined to answer some questions altogether, which made it sound like he had something to hide."
  • "Their suspicions about the discretion of the broader group confirmed, the core Kavanaugh team resolved to get rid of any nonessential aides."

Go deeper:

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Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

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Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence no longer plans to attend the Senate's final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Pence aide confirmed to CNN and Politico on Monday. On Sunday, Senate Democrats' claims that his presence after possible exposure to the coronavirus would be a "violation of common decency."

Driving the news: Five of Pence's aides were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, including his chief of staff, who is currently quarantining. Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure, which goes against CDC guidelines.

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