Democrats slam White House for withholding documents on Supreme Court nominee

Adjust Comment Print

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT said Republicans are "cherry-picking" Kavanaugh's records, which he called a "disservice to the American people", according to the Associated Press.

White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah responded on Twitter to Schumer by saying that the Senate Judiciary Committee requested access to "non privileged" presidential records.

The disclosure comes days before Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, which are slated to begin Tuesday, and intensifies a battle between Grassley, who says he has produced a record number of documents, and Senate democrats who question the review being led by lawyers for the Trump administration and Bush.

Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said in an interview aired on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House's citation of privilege on the documents was the first time that had occurred.

The White House's decision was disclosed in a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday ahead of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings next week. Republicans have not requested documents from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary and have only requested papers from when Kavanaugh worked as a White House lawyer.

Hurricane Maria death toll lifted
He said financial instability and a fragile infrastructure made Puerto Rico especially vulnerable to such calamities. In December, The New York Times estimated 1,052 "excess deaths" occurred after Maria.

He added the remaining documents not included also presented functions of the executive office, which are traditionally kept confidential as part of a president's constitutional privileges.

The constitutional limits of executive power - including whether presidents must comply with federal subpoenas or if they can be called to testify or be indicted - have yet to be settled by the high court, making Kavanaugh's views on the matter a point of keen interest for Democrats.

Most Senate Democrats have said they'd like to delay the nomination, but they don't have the power to do so. But the privilege was never formally asserted. "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". But Burck's team of 50 lawyers have led a separate process because the sheer volume of Kavanaugh's papers would make it essentially impossible for Archives officials to finish reviewing the documents in time to get Kavanaugh confirmed by October 1, when the Supreme Court convenes for its fall term. What are they trying so desperately to hide?'

Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest ME news.