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Republicans won't budge on Kavanaugh documents amid Dem accusations of hiding records

Republicans won't budge on Kavanaugh documents amid Dem accusations of hiding records

The National Archives and Records Administration said Thursday it won't be able to complete its review of almost 1 million documents regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House until the end of October.

Even before Thursday's letter from the National Archives, Republicans blasted the Democratic demands as delay tactics. That would give Senate Judiciary Committee members enough time to review the documents ahead of a likely hearing in September and allow for a final confirmation vote by the start of the new Supreme Court term on October 1. In private calls to the White House before Kavanaugh was nominated, McConnell stressed that Kavanaugh's significant paper trail could slow down his confirmation process, according to the New York Times.

Democrats have objected to what they say is a limited scope of documents Grassley and other Republicans on the committee sought from Kavanaugh's background, particularly his work as White House staff secretary in the George W. Bush administration.

And even if one is concerned about this possibility, one solution would be to have the Archives folks review any documents the Bush team says should be withheld.

"This letter confirms what we've been saying: That a group of private-sector lawyers led by a former Bush White House official who still represents President Bush will be pre-screening the vast majority of Kavanaugh's records that Congress and the American people see", Schumer told CNN. "What more do they need to know to vote no?"

Grassley said he would prefer a Kavanaugh confirmation hearing in early September, since it could take the committee two weeks to vote on the nomination because of committee rules.

However, it should be possible to get the documents to Senators much more quickly than the Archives review process permits. Grassley did not request any additional documents pertaining to Kavanaugh's time as Bush's staff secretary.

National Archives General Counsel Gary Stern pointed out that this request far exceeded past document requests for other Supreme Court Justice candidates.

But a committee spokesman said Senate Republicans are still on track for September hearings because senators will be able to obtain the documents more expeditiously through a separate process directly involving the Bush Presidential Library.

"I want to really complement the Democrats who have stood up and are willing to stand up for Judge Kavanaugh because they realize we can't keep going down this partisan, picky, stupid, dumbass road that has happened around here for so long", he said.

Any delay could mean that Kavanaugh, if ultimately approved by the Republican-led Senate, could still miss the October 1 start of the Supreme Court's term and that the final confirmation vote could take place close to the November 6 USA congressional elections.

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