National Archives: We can't produce all Kavanaugh docs until end of October

Posted August 03, 2018

"I think they will have a good sense of what is out there on Kavanaugh".

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. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that they would not be able to deliver roughly 600,000 of the requested documents until late October, days before the midterms. He said he would be able to be more specific about the confirmation hearing dates next week. Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, said while standing before a stack of dozens of cardboard boxes to showcase what the GOP says is an unprecedented disclosure of records by a Supreme Court nominee. Republicans downplayed the National Archives' announcement, in part because of the separate ongoing Bush review, with a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley signaling the committee still plans to hold confirmation hearings in September.

Senators are heading down "duma** road" on their obstructionism, Hatch charged on Thursday, according to CNN's Manu Raju.

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Once Obama announced the nomination, however, Hatch joined the rest of the Republican Party in refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Garland, saying that the nominee should be chosen after the 2016 election, and not by a president who was on his way out of office. "Mr. McConnell made clear in multiple phone calls with Mr. Trump and the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, that the lengthy paper trail of another top contender, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, would pose difficulties for his confirmation", The New York Times reported. The Bush records review team has already reviewed 125,000 pages and handed them over to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats have demanded documentation related to Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House, where he served as a lawyer and then as staff secretary, an important position that controls the flow of documentation to and from the Oval Office. They are particularly interested in whether Kavanaugh authored or edited documents relating to the Bush administration's controversial enhanced interrogation and warrantless wiretapping programs.

But Republicans have requested only a portion of the records, leading Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to accuse Republicans of having "cast aside Democratic wishes for openness and transparency". Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said at a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday.

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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".

This article has been updated with comment from the Judiciary Committee.

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