Some Kavanaugh documents from Bush White House made public

Published on Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:40

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The first documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time in George W. Bush’s White House were released Thursday as the Senate begins to review the judge’s unusually lengthy public record for confirmation hearings this fall.

The 5,700 pages from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House counsel’s office were posted on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s website after being compiled by a lawyer representing the former president.

But Democrats and others scrutinizing President Donald Trump’s nominee quickly cried foul, saying Republicans are “cherry-picking” from the initial cache of 125,000 Bush documents.

Kavanaugh’s five years in the Bush White House, as White House counsel and staff secretary, are subject to a fierce dispute between Senate Republicans and Democrats about the scope of documents being made available. The battle over the paper trail has come to dominate the debate over confirming the 53-year-old appellate judge to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The thousands of papers released Thursday are being pored over by activists and media organizations for insight into Kavanaugh’s legal thinking, but it’s unclear how revealing the papers will be. One of the initial pages was a discussion of lunch plans.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee has promised the most transparent process yet. The panel eventually plans to make available more than 1 million documents on Kavanaugh, including his 300 court cases as an appellate judge.

But Democrats complain that Bush’s lawyer has been able to selectively review and release documents on an expedited basis without full oversight from the National Archives and Records Administration.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the GOP’s unusual process of tapping Bush’s lawyer, Bill Burck, to conduct an initial review and release of the documents is a conflict.

“We are seeing layer after layer of unprecedented secrecy in what is quickly becoming the least transparent nominations process in history,” Schumer said.

Kavanaugh’s extensive time in public service means there’s a long, voluminous record of documents.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:40. Updated: Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:42.