National Archives Says Kavanaugh Doc Request Could Go On Through October

National Archives Says Kavanaugh Doc Request Could Go On Through October

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that they'll move forward with the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's pick to the Supreme Court, even if they will not have time to review documents pertaining to his work in the George W. Bush administration.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority. As the Washington Post reported, Kavanaugh spent two years in the White House counsel's office and three years as staff secretary.

It appears it won't be sooner.

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". He estimated that the archives could complete its review of a third of those by August 20 - that would be White House counsel emails "from" Kavanaugh - and the remaining 600,000 by the end of October.

Yet in a potential complication for Republican hopes to hold confirmation hearings next month, the National Archives warned Thursday that it would not be able to fulfill the GOP's request for documents until October.

"In the end, the committee will have reviewed significantly more records than ever before for a Supreme Court nominee", touted the Judiciary aide. But Democrats have criticized that process and the lawyer leading it - former Bush lawyer Bill Burck - as political.

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

Democrats also want the National Archives to release documents relating to Kavanaugh's job as White House staff secretary, a position in which he acted as a gatekeeper for all information that reached Bush's desk. But with Senator John McCain battling cancer back home in Arizona, a single Republican defection could sink Kavanaugh if all Democrats stand in opposition. Those documents now need to be reviewed by relevant stakeholders before being submitted to the committee, he said.

According to the National Archives, there are roughly 560,000 pages of paper records related to Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary and another 475,000 emails either sent or received where Kavanaugh was copied.

Grassley still plans on a September confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh, even with the letter from the National Archives, committee spokesman Taylor Foy said.

"I think it's more than enough for the Democrats to make a rational decision about supporting Judge Kavanaugh", Sen.

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". The almost 1 million-page paper trail related to Kavanaugh's time at the White House greatly exceeds that of both Justice Elena Kagan (170,000) and Chief Justice John Roberts (70,000), according to the archives. They cover Kavanaugh's time in the White House counsel office and his nomination to be a judge.

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