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

Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation hearing in 2017
CSPAN Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation hearing in 2017

03 August, 2018

Democrats slammed the decision to press forward with a review of documents they say had been "pre-screened by a political operative and attorney for George W. Bush".

The Archives will be able to deliver about 300,000 of the requested docs detailing Kavanaugh's tenure in the George W. Bush administration by August 20.

Grassley last week asked Bush's presidential library for the paperwork without the documents from Kavanaugh's staff secretary years.

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". "That's because Senate Republicans plan to rely on the documents provided by the Bush legal team and not wait for the National Archives to complete its review process".

Manchin's remarks mean he did not commit to voting for or against Kavanaugh ahead of the confirmation hearing that could take place as soon as September, with the goal of replacing retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy before the next court session begins on October 1.

But during his 2006 confirmation hearings to serve on a federal appeals court, Kavanaugh acknowledged playing a role in presidential statements that Bush employed with frequency to accompany legislation he signed into law.

Dozens of protesters filtered into the Senate office building on Wednesday and lined the hallways outside senators' offices in an attempt to stop Republican senators from meeting with Kavanaugh.

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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.

Republicans have protested that the number of documents is more than the number requested for the previous five Supreme Court nominees combined. Bush. Instead, the GOP has only requested documents from his time in the White House counsel's office from 2001 to 2003. They are particularly interested in whether Kavanaugh authored or edited documents relating to the Bush administration's controversial enhanced interrogation and warrantless wiretapping programs.

"The committee will receive documents in an even more rapid fashion from the Bush Library as the Archives continues its statutory document review", spokesman Taylor Foy said in a statement.

He also noted that the Democrats have asked for every email from the White House that even mentions Kavanaugh's name during his time working there - a request Grassley calls "unreasonable".

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

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

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