National Archives rebuffs Dems request for Kavanaugh documents

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The National Archives letter arrived amid a larger fight over how many documents from Kavanaugh's past the committee should review before a confirmation vote.

"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.

"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.

So far Manchin is the only Democrat who has met with Kavanaugh, with many stating they will outright oppose Kavanaugh because of what they believe could put at risk the abortion-legalizing Roe v. Wade decision and the dismantling of government-run health care, or Obamacare. 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.

Sen. Chuck Schumer objects that the Bush records team might withhold documents the Archives would be willing to produce.

But Ferriero added that after consultations between the National Archives general counsel and the Justice Department they determined that a documents request "must be from the chair (or the committee itself), unless specifically delegated by the committee to the ranking minority member". They cover Kavanaugh's time in the White House counsel office and his nomination to be a judge. 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.

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However, it should be possible to get the documents to Senators much more quickly than the Archives review process permits. The archives can prioritize their review of those records.

"In the past, I think 170,00 or 180,000 pages was considered by Sen".

The documents at issue, sought by Trump's fellow Republicans, relate to Kavanaugh's service from 2001 to 2003 as a White House lawyer under Republican former President George W. Bush.

"We all understand what's going on here", Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, told CNN.

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who's challenging Heitkamp this fall, doesn't have a formal say in Kavanaugh's confirmation but voiced his support for the judge shortly after Trump announced the pick last month. The signing statement suggested that Bush could circumvent the law.

The agency, which is tasked with preserving and documenting government records, said Thursday in a letter that it would not be able to comply fully with the request from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) until the "end of October".