The National Archives is doubling down on its refusal to respond to Democratic requests for documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's White House tenure. 

Archivist David Ferriero wrote in a letter to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Feinstein grappling with vote on AG nominee Barr 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that it is the agency's policy to only respond to requests from a committee chair, all of whom are Republicans. 
 
"Accordingly, I am not in a position to change our understanding of the law or our practice in this particular instance," said Ferriero, who was appointed by former President Obama.
 
Feinstein sent a letter to Ferriero last week asking him to reconsider the Archives decision not to respond to Democrat-only requests for Kavanaugh's documents. But she faced an uphill fight after Ferriero rebuffed a similar request from Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (D-N.Y.). 
 
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Ferriero noted to Feinstein that he had consulted with his general counsel as well as the Department of Justice, which had confirmed their interpretation of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and supported the Archives "longstanding and consistent practice of responding only to requests from committee chairs." 
 
Ferriero's denial of Feinstein comes as Republicans are pressing ahead with Kavanaugh's nomination. 
 
 
Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynTrump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test MORE (R-Texas) indicated that senators would be on track to have a floor vote on Kavanaugh's nomination before the Supreme Court starts its next term, in October. 

The timeline means that a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh is likely before the National Archives is able to fulfill Grassley’s request for documents from Kavanaugh’s time as a White House lawyer.

The agency wrote to Grassley that it wouldn’t be able to complete the request, which it expects will total more than 900,000 pages, until late October. The documents would still need to go through a final review before being turned over to the committee.

But Republicans have pledged to move his nomination anyway, arguing that a legal team for President George W. Bush is reviewing the same documents and will be able to hand over the documents at a faster pace. 

The Bush legal team cleared a second tranche of documents — totaling roughly 88,000 pages — from Kavanaugh's time as a White House lawyer for public release on Sunday. 

Democrats have fumed over the GOP tactics, arguing Republicans are trying to cherry pick which parts of Kavanaugh's records get released publicly. 
 
They want the National Archives to hand over documents from Kavanaugh's work as a staff secretary for the Bush White House, arguing it would shed light on his legal thinking on controversial issues like torture or surveillance.
 
Republicans have refused to request the paperwork, accusing Democrats of going on a "fishing expedition" that could slow-walk Kavanaugh's nomination. Because Democrats are in the minority, they are powerless to force the Archives to hand over Kavanaugh's staff secretary work.
 
Senate Judiciary Democrats, in a Hail Mary move, filed Freedom of Information Act requests last week for Kavanaugh's paperwork, including documents from the three-year period he was staff secretary.
 
The National Archives is giving the request, spearheaded by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), an expedited review process as it decides what, if any, documents to hand over.