We’re witnessing a Friday night document massacre. President Trump’s decision to step in at the last moment and hide 100k pages of Judge Kavanaugh’s records from the American public is not only unprecedented in the history of SCOTUS noms, it has all the makings of a cover up. https://t.co/TgBAjOBRrW— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 1, 2018
President Donald Trump’s administration is withholding over 100,000 pages of his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh’s record. The documents submitted pertain to the work Kavanaugh did at the counsel’s office during George W. Bush’s White House tenure in the early 2000’s. But the records of Kavanaugh’s service as Bush’s staff secretary are being withheld.
According to a letter sent to the Senate Judicial committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Kavanaugh’s service documents are being withheld after the White House and Department of Justice determined them as being protected under constitutional privilege.
“After completing this review, the Department of Justice and the White House have identified certain documents traditionally protected by constitutional privilege that have not been included in our productions to the Committee on that basis. Accordingly, the White House, after consultation with the Department of Justice, has directed that we not provide these documents,” read the letter.
William Burck, a lawyer responsible for reviewing documents submitted in the presidential library when Bush was in charge said that he submitted “every reviewable" document he received to the committee, except for those that were a part of the “presidential records protected by constitutional privilege.”
As per the letter, the most necessary documents were submitted. However, those that weren’t, reflected, “functions within the Executive Office of the President the confidentiality of which has traditionally been considered at the core of a President’s constitutional privileges, including: advice submitted directly to President Bush; substantive communications between White House staff about communications with President Bush; and substantive, deliberative discussions relating to or about executive orders or legislation considered by the Executive Office of the President."
According to Burck, 27,110 documents (101,921 pages) were withheld after being protected with legitimate privilege.
Democratic senators disputed Grassley’s refusal to produce documents from Kavanaugh's years serving as staff secretary in the White House from 2003 to 2006 for review.
A total of only 267,000 pages of Kavanaugh’s service during the Bush years were being made public.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer referred to this act of withholding documents as “unprecedented” and “a Friday night document massacre.”
It is pertinent to note that the Republicans are keeping a huge chunk of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee’s document right before his selection. The hearings are scheduled to begin from September, 4 – Republicans ideally want their nominee to be confirmed before the mid-term elections.
Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, Eduardo Munoz