Democrats slammed the Trump administration on Sunday for refusing to release thousands of documents related to US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Reuters reports.
Nominated by President Trump in the wake of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, Kavanaugh worked in the White House under former President George W. Bush - whose lawyers pored over extensive records from that time period and concluded in a Friday letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that 27,000 of them were protected under "constitutional privilege."
The White House directed them not to hand them over to the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of Bush’s lawyers said in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will host the hearings scheduled to start on Tuesday. -Reuters
Meanwhile, another 102,000 pages of Kavanaugh-linked materials were not turned over for other reasons. That said, the committee has been able to review more than 415,000 pages on Kavanaugh’s background, the lawyer said in the letter.
In a Saturday press release, the Senate Judiciary Committee said that they had "expanded access to confidential material beyond that for any other Supreme Court nominee."
Taking issue with the withheld documents on Fox News Sunday was Dick Durbin, the #2 Senate Democrat from Illinois , who said that the White House citing privilege over the documents was the first time this has occurred in US history.
“There has been more concealment of documents that are concerning his public service and his position on issues than ever in the history of the United States ... If he’s so proud of his conservative credentials, show us the record,” Durbin said.
Judiciary Committee member Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) parroted Durbin in a Sunday appearance on Meet The Press, saying "This is not normal."
In a Saturday tweet, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said that the decision to withhold the records was "not only unprecedented in the history of SCOTUS noms [sic], it has all the makings of a cover up."
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
Republicans in the Senate and the President of the United States are colluding to keep Judge Kavanaugh’s records secret, and trying to hide their actions from the American people by doing it on the Friday night of a holiday weekend.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 1, 2018
What are they trying so desperately to hide?
Republicans hit back, defending Kavanaugh's qualifications for the Supreme Court.
“Democrats have more than enough information to understand that this is a highly qualified jurist that should be the next Supreme Court justice,” Said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in an interview on ABC’s This Week.
To be confirmed, Kavanaugh needs to win a majority of the 100-seat Senate. Most Republicans - who hold a slim majority, are anticipated to back him.
Perhaps Trump should just release evrything - along with all of the heavily redacted or otherwise unreleased documents related to the Russia investigation.