Feinstein ‘alarmed’ National Archives is withholding Kavanaugh documents

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

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs 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 TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE's nominee to the high court, after the August recess.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (N.Y.), explaining that such a request could only be made by the Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySmall ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Hillicon Valley — Senate panel advances major antitrust bill MORE (R-Iowa).

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