Feinstein ‘alarmed’ National Archives is withholding Kavanaugh documents

Feinstein ‘alarmed’ National Archives is withholding Kavanaugh documents
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that she is "alarmed" that Democrats have been denied requested documents from the National Archives on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Feinstein wrote to archivist David Ferriero in a letter obtained by CNN on Wednesday, criticizing him for his narrow view of the law used to justify denying Democrats the documents. Democrats are set to begin meetings with Kavanaugh, President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE's nominee to the high court, after the August recess.

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"Under your overly restrictive reading of the Presidential Records Act, minority members of the Senate Judiciary Committee now have no greater right to Mr. Kavanaugh's records than members of the press and the public," the California senator wrote.

"I ask that you reconsider the position set forth in your August 2 letter," she continued. "These records are crucially important to the Senate's understanding of Mr. Kavanaugh's full record, and withholding them prevents the minority from satisfying its constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent on his nomination."

Democrats are pushing for the federal government to release all documents created during Kavanaugh's time at the White House, roughly three years during the George W. Bush administration when he served as staff secretary. Republicans have accused Democrats of seeking to delay Kavanaugh's nomination with the request.

Feinstein argued in her letter that Democrats' request was no broader than the documents released during the nomination of Justice Elena Kagan, who was named to the Supreme Court by former President Obama.

"We are asking for no more and no less than what was provided to the Senate for the Elena Kagan nomination. It was possible then and it should be possible now. The minority party shouldn't be precluded from document requests," Feinstein said.

The letter follows the National Archives' official response to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US MORE (N.Y.), explaining that such a request could only be made by the Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business The peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff MORE (R-Iowa).

Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court last month after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in June.