Source | Originally Posted at: | https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/09/politics/brett-kavanaugh-documents-released-senate-judiciary-bush-team/index.html | | | https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180727134923-george-w-bush-03012017-large-169.jpg |
In a letter obtained by CNN, the Bush representative said that the Bush team made the determination about which documents would not violate privileged communications and are “publicly releasable” to the committee.
The Judiciary Committee released the first batch of documents from Kavanaugh’s time in Bush’s office. Nearly 5,800 pages have so far been released Thursday afternoon and the Committee expects to release more than 125,000 pages total over the next “several days.”
The release will not include documents from Kavanaugh’s time serving as White House staff secretary from 2003-2006, as Democrats have demanded. Republicans have said such records would not be useful in determining how Kavanaugh would rule as a Supreme Court justice.
In a letter sent Wednesday night to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Bush representative, William Burck, said that they had asked the National Archives and Records Administration whether public release of the documents “would be appropriate.”
But NARA informed Burck that the agency is “unable to conduct the requested review at this time,” citing resources devoted to complying with the broader request for records from Kavanaugh’s time in the counsel’s office from 2001-2003.
Burck said that “in the interest of expediting appropriate access” to Bush records, the Bush team is releasing documents that “in our view do not contain information covered by a Presidential Records Act exemption of applicable privilege.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, slammed this response, saying the Bush lawyers could be shielding additional records from public view. He called the process of clearing and releasing the records the “least transparent in history.”
“Every day, Republican obstruction of Kavanaugh’s record gets worse and worse,” Schumer said. “Not only is it a massively conflicted Republican lawyer, who previously worked for Judge Kavanaugh, cherry-picking what documents the Senate Judiciary Committee can see, he is now telling the Committee what the rest of the Senate and the American public can see — and Republicans are playing along.”
There is currently a dual process to provide documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee from Kavanaugh’s time serving in the Bush White House and working under the independent counsel Ken Starr.
The National Archives is determining which documents are screening the records, but has said it would need until October to provide the documents. But Grassley wants to hold confirmation hearings in September, with the GOP eager to confirm Kavanaugh before the November midterms when control of Congress is at stake. A legal team assembled by Bush is assessing which records to provide to the committee and do not violate privileged communications in the hopes of meeting GOP demands to complete the confirmation process.
This story has been updated and will continue to update with additional developments.