National Archives: We can't produce all Kavanaugh docs until end of October

Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation hearing in 2017

CSPAN Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation hearing in 2017

Grassley, in a July 27 letter, had asked to get records by August 15 from the George W. Bush Presidential Library about Kavanaugh's work in the White House counsel's office.

Asked at a news conference Thursday why the GOP wasn't interested in those records to understand Kavanaugh's role in the contentious 2005 interrogation debate, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said such requests were aimed at "delaying the confirmation of Kavanaugh".

He concluded: "As Chairman Grassley said this morning, he intends to hold a hearing sometime in September".

The National Archives letter arrived amid a larger fight over how many documents from Kavanaugh's past the committee should review before a confirmation vote. Kavanaugh already has the lowest initial net support for confirmation compared with other recent Supreme Court nominees, according to several public opinion polls. 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. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to swear on Capitol Hill, but he has had it with his Democratic colleagues' behavior toward President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

There are two separate reviews of documents happening simultaneously: One by the Bush team and another by the National Archives.

Tom Williams via Getty Images Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members standing with boxes representing roughly 1 million pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

After the Archives combs through all of the estimated 900,000 pages, more vetting would have to occur. A source involved in the review process told CNN that the law requires the former president to be consulted about which records can be disclosed - and said the Bush team is working with law firms to turn over the documents simply so the Senate can get them expeditiously. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). At Politico, Elana Schor and Burgess Everett report that Senate Republicans are nonetheless "pressing ahead on confirming ..." It would also give Democratic Senators in red states an excuse for not taking a position on the Kavanaugh nomination before they are up for reelection in early November.

Grassley says he will not ask the National Archives to release the documents from Kavanaugh's time as White House staff secretary because they are too sensitive. "What more do they need to know to vote no?" The veteran lawyer said in the letter to Schumer that his "representation of other clients in unrelated matters. has no bearing on the advice I provide to President Bush".

The Archives's stance makes it unlikely that documents from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary will be handed over to lawmakers unless Republicans agree to request them, something they have been unwilling to do so far.

Stern wrote that the the archives had reviewed 70,000 records for the confirmation process for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and 170,000 records for the confirmation process for Justice Elena Kagan.

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