More than 100,000 pages of Brett Kavanaugh’s records are being withheld by the White House. According to the Huffington Post, the Trump Administration is citing “presidential privilege” for their decision to withhold the documentation, which dates back to the Bush Administration. This reveal comes just before Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
On Friday, The Senate Judiciary Committee was told about the Trump Administration’s actions by former president George W. Bush’s attorney, Bill Burck. In a letter to the committee, Burck stated that the panel has compiled all the documentation needed. According to the letter, Bush advised Burck to “err on the side of transparency and disclosure, and we believe we have done so.”
However, the White House also has the authorization to review the records. The letter alleges that the Trump Administration “has directed that [they] not provide these documents.”
A total of 267,000 pages of Kavanaugh’s records from his time during the Bush Administration are being made available for the public to view.
The news of the Trump Administration’s actions had Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) fuming. Schumer, who has been a staunch critic of President Trump, said that their decision to withhold documents was “a Friday night document massacre,” and added that it “has all the makings of a cover-up…. What are they trying so desperately to hide?”
According to the Washington Post, the Presidential Records Act allows the current and former administrations to cite “privilege” with regard to “presidential documents.”
Burck further elaborated on the documents the Trump Administration has chosen to withhold, saying they were ones that concerned the nomination of judicial candidates.
“The confidentiality of which is critical to any president’s ability to carry out this core constitutional executive function,” Burck wrote. This is not the first time there has been a battle over Kavanaugh’s documents, or his nomination. The U.S. Circuit Judge, who had been a White House Staff Secretary under President George W. Bush, was first nominated by Trump on July 9. The nomination came after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his plan to retire. Since Kavanaugh counts himself as a Conservative Republican, his confirmation will shift the balance of the Supreme Court.
While Senate Republicans who requested Kavanaugh’s paperwork were only awarded two years of it, Senate Democrats were given pushback over their request to view his documents during his time as a secretary for President Bush.
“This may be the latest and most dramatic breach in the process, but we already knew it was a sham, broken at every step along the way,” said Christopher Kang, who had served as a deputy counsel under President Obama.