Dem senator: ‘Unlikely’ Kavanaugh docs will be turned over before vote


Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.) tells Hill.TV that it’s “unlikely” a federal court will force the administration to turn over thousands of documents related to Brett Kavanaugh’s time as a White House lawyer before the Senate votes on his confirmation on Saturday. 

“We just heard, seconds ago, that our request for an emergency hearing to expedite the process has been turned down,” Merkley said in an interview with Hill.TV on Friday afternoon.

The junior Oregon senator took to a D.C. federal court this week demanding access to documents that the White House deemed protected under “executive privilege.” The documents are from Kavanaugh’s days as counsel in the George W. Bush White House.

“We are in a constitutional process where the president nominates and the Senate reviews the record of the nominee, but we can’t do that if the president uses presidential privilege to block our access to key documents,” Merkley said. 

With the Senate to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation at some point on Saturday, Merkley said “we ran out of time and the court said they couldn’t move fast enough to give it a hearing.”

–– Molly Hooper

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