First round of Kavanaugh's White House documents released

First round of Kavanaugh's White House documents released
© Greg Nash

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday publicly released its first tranche of documents from Brett Kavanaugh's work in the George W. Bush White House.

The batch being released, totaling more than 5,700 pages, is part of more than 125,000 pages given to the committee last week by the George W. Bush Presidential Library. The office of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest Grassley'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Cruz warns GOP support for expanded background checks could help elect Warren president Lawmakers applaud Trump's ban on flavored e-cigarettes MORE (R-Iowa) said they expect more of the documents to be cleared for public release over the next "several days."


William Burck, a lawyer for Bush’s legal team, noted in a letter to Grassley that due to "constraints" on National Archives staff, the legal team was in the process of determining which documents do not include privileged information and can be publicly released.

"In light of the constraints on NARA’s resources, and in the interest of expediting appropriate access to President Bush’s presidential records in furtherance of education and research about the Bush Administration, we are producing to the Committee on a rolling basis commencing today publicly releasable versions of documents that, in our view, do not contain information covered by a Presidential Records Act exemption or applicable privilege," Burck wrote in an Aug. 8 letter to Grassley.

The documents are from Kavanaugh's work as a lawyer in the Bush White House. Republicans did not request work from Kavanaugh's time as staff secretary — a decision that has infuriated Democrats.

The National Archives is conducting its own review of documents from Kavanaugh's work as a White House lawyer that will then be turned over to senators. The agency warned Grassley last week that it wouldn't be able fulfill his documents request until the end of October.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted the documents process on Thursday, arguing that Republicans were trying to hide a majority of the paperwork being given to the Judiciary Committee.

"Not only is a massively conflicted Republican lawyer, who previously worked for Judge Kavanaugh, cherry-picking what documents the Senate Judiciary Committee can see, he is now telling the Committee what the rest of the Senate and the American public can see — and Republicans are playing along," Schumer said.

He added that “we are seeing layer after layer of unprecedented secrecy in what is quickly becoming the least transparent nominations process in history.”