In conversations with some senior Republican allies on the Hill, the White House is indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee, multiple sources said.
All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the President, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change but the expectation is Barrett is the choice. He is scheduled to make the announcement on Saturday afternoon.
“The machinery is in motion,” one of the sources said. In previous nomination announcements, the White House had multiple rollouts planned in case the President made a last-minute decision to switch to another candidate. But one source said it would be surprising if there were a change since allies are already being told.
Since Barrett was on the President’s shortlist the last time there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court she has been viewed as a front-runner since Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was announced a week ago.
“She was the plan all along. She’s the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court’s jurisprudence in the years and decades to come,” according to a former senior administration official familiar with the process.
It’s a little curious that these Republican sources on Capitol Hill would go to CNN with their leaks, but anything is possible in 2020.
President Trump is scheduled to announce his nominee at 5 P.M. Saturday.