Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Archives Can't Deliver Reams of Kavanaugh Docs Fast Enough for GOP

Archives Can't Deliver Reams of Kavanaugh Docs Fast Enough for GOP

Grassley's committee communications director Taylor Foy told TPM in an email, asked about NARA's letter, "Because the George W. Bush Presidential Library has agreed to facilitate an open and transparent process, following the Archives' established nonpartisan document review guidelines, the committee will receive documents in an even more rapid fashion from the Bush Library as the Archives continues its statutory document review".

"To help expedite the Committee's access to records, President Bush has expressed his willingness to make available directly to the Committee copies of records that the team of lawyers has reviewed and that he has approved for disclosure", Burck said in the letter to Schumer.

The documents being reviewed by the National Archives do not include papers related to Kavanaugh's three years as staff secretary to the president, which Democrats have demanded.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority.

"Those are documents that presumably our colleagues have looked at, but they haven't found much in it to build a case against the nominee so now they've made a decision to take it down a different path, which I believe is more of a stall tactic than anything else", said Tillis. But they don't contain the broader cache of files being sought by Democrats from Kavanaugh's time as Bush's staff secretary.

The Judiciary Committee will still be able to get most of the documents through a separate process that allows lawyers for Bush to review whether any paperwork is privileged and should be withheld from Congress. 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.

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".

The rebuff from the National Archives comes as the fight over work from Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House has emerged as a lightning rod in the Supreme Court fight.

Schumer added: "This unprecedented process appears to be designed intentionally by Republicans to deny the Senate and the American people the information they need to evaluate this critically important nomination". The archives can prioritize their review of those records. 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.

Senate Republicans have yet to schedule a confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh. 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. "And that's exactly what I plan to do, just as I have for other Supreme Court nominees, including Justice Gorsuch".

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