Republicans won't budge on Kavanaugh documents amid Dem accusations of hiding records

Republicans won't budge on Kavanaugh documents amid Dem accusations of hiding records

Particularly concerning to Democrats are Kavanaugh's writings on the special counsel law after his experience on Kenneth Starr's team investigating President Bill Clinton.

Republicans say Democrats are seeking to review what could be as many as 900,000 pages on Kavanaugh from his tenure in the George W. Bush administration as an associate White House counsel as a stall tactic.

Republicans asked the National Archives and Records Administration last week if it could release thousands of documents relating to Kavanaugh's time in the White House Counsel's Office for Bush by August 15. The aide noted that a separate document review being conducted by a group of Bush lawyers had already given 125,000 documents relating to Kavanaugh's record to the committee on Thursday. That would give Senate Judiciary Committee members enough time to review the documents ahead of a likely hearing in September and allow for a final confirmation vote by the start of the new Supreme Court term on October 1. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have been negotiating for weeks about what documents would be requested but ultimately did not reach a consensus.

"Today, the National Archives confirmed our worst fear - that the vast majority of even the small portion of records the American public will see from Brett Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House will be pre-screened by a political operative and attorney for George W. Bush, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Donald McGahn", the New York Democrat said. Kavanaugh was nominated July 9. A source involved in the review process told CNN that the law requires the former president to be consulted about which records can be disclosed - and said the Bush team is working with law firms to turn over the documents simply so the Senate can get them expeditiously.




Grassley last week asked Bush's presidential library for the paperwork without the documents from Kavanaugh's staff secretary years. Republicans could hold confirmation hearings before receiving all the documents, but a final vote on Kavanaugh may have to wait.

National Archives General Counsel Gary Stern said in a letter to Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will hold confirmation hearings, that although some records could be produced earlier, a complete review would be completed "by the end of October". That is far more than than the 60,000 pages the Archives identified from the White House counsel's office, and the 170,000 emails he either received or sent or was copied on.

The documents being compiled are only the initial request from Republicans.

"I have told my caucus that I'm waiting, and I think a lot of them are following me", Schumer told The New York Times last month. This could potentially thwart Republican hopes for quick confirmation before the November election. In particular, Kavanaugh acknowledged playing a role in a 2005 statement Bush signed accompanying a law sponsored by Sen. Chris Coons of DE said at a hearing Wednesday that the Senate should receive even more documents than what Grassley had requested. "When the hearing is over I will want to call him".

Related Articles