Schumer asks national archivist for sensitive Kavanaugh records

Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) has asked the national archivist for documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s service as White House staff secretary, doing an end-run around the GOP chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the process.

Schumer on Tuesday accused Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of breaking precedent by making what he considered a partisan request of the National Archives for only some documents related to Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary under former President George W. Bush.

“They are concealing records,” Schumer said of Grassley and his Republican colleagues. “What does Judge Kavanaugh have to hide? What are our Republican colleagues to afraid of revealing?”

{mosads}“I called the archivist myself yesterday. I made a request of him that even if the Bush Library, even if the Republican lawyers, even if Chairman Grassley says don’t give up the records, he should have the strength, the courage and the fidelity to what an archivist is about to give us those records,” he said.

The archivist, David Ferriero, said he would consider the request.

“He’ll get back to us at the end of the week, hopefully with a positive answer,” Schumer told reporters.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the Senate requested all of the records related to Justice Elena Kagan’s service in the Obama administration when she was nominated to the Supreme Court in 2010.

Schumer said that Republicans have flip-flopped on the standard they insisted on for Kagan.

“When it comes to judicial nominees, our Republican colleagues do an 180-degree about face in their headlong rush to send a nominee to the court without careful review,” he said.

“Chairman Grassley has broken all historical precedent and has made a partisan request to the National Archives, requesting only a small portion of Judge Kavanaugh’s time in the White House,” Schumer added.

Kavanaugh served nearly three years as Bush’s staff secretary, from 2003 to 2006, handling many sensitive internal White House communications.

Republicans have agreed to share the documents Kavanaugh worked on when he served in the White House counsel’s office but they have drawn a line at his work while staff secretary, arguing that he merely handled paper flow instead of authoring policy.

Kavanaugh served in the counsel’s office before taking the staff secretary’s job. 

Tags Charles Schumer Chuck Grassley Mazie Hirono Supreme Court
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