The Trump administration is withholding 100,000 pages of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s records from the Senate, citing executive privilege, according to a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, CNN reported.
The records are from Kavanaugh’s time working as a lawyer for former President George W. Bush’s administration. In a letter sent on Friday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, former Bush attorney William Burck said he handed over “every reviewable” document of the nearly 664,000 pages he received. Some presidential records were withheld because they are “protected by constitutional privilege,” according to Burck.
But Democrats aren’t happy. “We’re witnessing a Friday night document massacre,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote on Twitter on Saturday, a nod to Richard Nixon’s 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” during the Watergate scandal. Schumer added, “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.”
Democrats and Republicans have been arguing over the release of the documents for multiple weeks, according to the New York Times. Burck says the documents that are being withheld reflect “advice submitted directly to President Bush,” and for this reason are confidential and critical to “any president’s ability to carry out this core constitutional executive function.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said Republicans are “cherry-picking” Kavanaugh’s records, which he called a “disservice to the American people,” according to the Associated Press.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also spoke out about the documents. “This is not normal,” Klobuchar told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday morning. She added that there are “some very interesting questions about these documents,” and said the information would “bolster” her arguments about whether Kavanaugh is qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.
“I think partisanship may be getting in the way of rational thought,” Burck told the AP.