Democratic Senators File Multiple FOIA Requests To Obtain Brett Kavanaugh’s Documents
In a move described as “unprecedented” and a “last resort,” Senate Democrats filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in order to obtain documents relating to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his time spent as staff secretary for George W. Bush.
Democrats are seeking documents linked to Kavanaugh’s work in the White House Counsel’s office as well as his records as a D.C. appellate court judge. The senators say they need the documents to properly vet the Trump nominee’s suitability for the Supreme Court, especially since judges typically sit on the bench for life, or at least until they decide to retire.
Yet even some moderate Republicans are firing back at what’s being called a “fishing expedition” by those wishing to stall Kavanaugh’s nomination. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she doesn’t need to see more documents on Kavanaugh’s time as a member of the Bush administration in order to come to a decision, though at the moment she remains undecided.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week that “the number of pages would range in the millions, an unprecedented document dump that would take well into next year to review,” adding that “that’s exactly what Democratic leaders want and have wanted all along.”
Grassley’s concern lies with the fact that such a trove of documents could mean big delays in considering the nominee until well after the his October 1 deadline, most likely delaying the confirmation until at least next year.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Wednesday that he and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have petitioned multiple government agencies in an attempt to obtain the documents including the National Archives and Records Administration, the Department of Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency. Blumenthal noted that Democrats may even chose to take legal action if the government fails to respond to their expedited FOIA requests within the allocated 20 days.
Blumenthal said during a call with reporters said “this extraordinary step is really a last resort ― unprecedented and unfortunate ― but necessary to fully review Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination,” adding that “I regret that Chairman Grassley has left us no other choice.”