After refusing for weeks to conduct traditional one-on-one meetings with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats have finally agreed to meet with the judge to ask that he release the entirety of his career paper trail, the Washington Post reported Friday.
Minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, had previously instructed their colleagues not to meet with Kavanaugh until Republicans complied with their demand to release documents he produced during his time in the George W. Bush White House. But, having failed to secure the documents’ release, the senior Democrats have agreed to meet with Kavanaugh next week.
“In addition to questioning Judge Kavanaugh on health care, women’s freedom, presidential power and other issues, Senate Democrats intend to demand that he call for and support the release of all of his files from his time in the Bush White House,” a senior Democratic aide told the Post. “Democrats will urge Judge Kavanaugh to ask the National Archives and President Bush to adhere to the same standard that was met for Justice [Elena] Kagan’s confirmation.”
Democrats have argued that precedent entitles them to review the entirety of Kavanugh’s written record.
“This unprecedented effort on the part of Republicans to keep hidden Judge Kavanaugh’s records from the American public, and even the large majority of senators, is a new and astonishing level of secrecy,” Schumer said in a statement.
Opponents of Kavanaugh’s confirmation are specifically interested in any involvement he may have had in crafting the legal rationale for the Bush CIA’s enhanced-interrogation program. Kavanaugh denied under oath having had any knowledge of or participation in the matter during the hearings that preceded his confirmation to a federal appeals court.