National Archives may not finish reviewing Kavanaugh documents before end of October

National Archives may not finish reviewing Kavanaugh documents before end of October

The heightened tensions over President Donald Trump's nominee came as the first batch of documents were turned over to the committee from George W. Bush's team Thursday, totaling more than 125,000 pages during Kavanaugh's time serving in Bush's White House counsel's office from 2001-2003.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority.

The Archives's stance makes it unlikely that documents from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary will be handed over to lawmakers unless Republicans agree to request them, something they have been unwilling to do so far.

It appears it won't be sooner. He wrote that the Archives would be able to review emails received from Kavanaugh - about 49,000 emails, or 300,000 pages - by roughly August 20 and that the rest of the pages would be reviewed by the end of October.

Republicans are calling Democrats' request for more documents a delay tactic, but the letter from the National Archives shows that Kavanaugh's confirmation may be delayed even without Democratic action.

"It's just incredible to me that they make such a farce out of this", Hatch, R-Utah, said at news conference with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Sen. But Democrats have criticized that process and the lawyer leading it - former Bush lawyer Bill Burck - as political.




And even if one is concerned about this possibility, one solution would be to have the Archives folks review any documents the Bush team says should be withheld.

"Those are documents that presumably our colleagues have looked at, but they haven't found much in it to build a case against the nominee so now they've made a decision to take it down a different path, which I believe is more of a stall tactic than anything else", said Tillis. The archives can prioritize their review of those records. Still, a spokesperson for Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he still plans on holding confirmation hearings in September. "As a result, I expect the committee will be able to undertake its thorough review process along the same timeline set in previous Supreme Court confirmations", Foy wrote in an email.

But a committee spokesman said Senate Republicans are still on track for September hearings because senators will be able to obtain the documents more expeditiously through a separate process directly involving the Bush Presidential Library.

Democrats already have objected to what they say is a limited scope of documents Grassley and other Republicans on the committee sought from Kavanaugh's background, particularly his work as White House staff secretary in the George W. Bush administration. Sen.

Asked at a news conference Thursday why the GOP wasn't interested in those records to understand Kavanaugh's role in the contentious 2005 interrogation debate, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said such requests were aimed at "delaying the confirmation of Kavanaugh".

Stern wrote that the the archives had reviewed 70,000 records for the confirmation process for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and 170,000 records for the confirmation process for Justice Elena Kagan.

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