Democrats going to court this week over Kavanaugh documents

Democrats going to court this week over Kavanaugh documents
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats will move forward this week with suing to get access to documents tied to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told reporters that Democrats would file a “legal action” later this week to try to force the Trump administration to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that senators filed last month for Kavanaugh's records. 

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"We are going to be going to court sometime this week to compel compliance with our FOIA request. ... We intend to do whatever is necessary to enforce this action in court,” Blumenthal told reporters at a press conference in Connecticut.

Blumenthal added that he will be "leading that effort in filing legal action later this week." 

The action comes after Democrats sent FOIA requests to multiple departments and agencies last month, including the National Archives and Department of Justice, requesting paperwork from Kavanaugh's decades of work in Washington, including his time as a White House lawyer and staff secretary for President George W. Bush. 

Though Republicans have requested paperwork from his time as an associate counsel, they've refused to ask for documents from his three-year tenure as staff secretary.

Democrats argue that the time period is crucial for understanding Kavanaugh's thinking on controversial issues including torture and surveillance.

"I’ll be joined by other colleagues because the process of screening and cherry-picking and sanitizing the documents that have been submitted so far really is a disservice to the American people as well as the United States Senate, and even to Brett Kavanaugh himself," Blumenthal added on Tuesday. 

The court battle would be the latest escalation of a weeks-long firefight over Kavanaugh's nomination. 

Blumenthal and other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee tried, unsuccessfully, to postpone Kavanaugh's hearing before the panel last week arguing they needed more time to collect and review documents from his White House tenure.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerEx-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report CNN editor: Booker's 'groping incident' 'different' from Kavanaugh allegation Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (D-N.J.), a member of the committee, also rankled Republicans when he released emails from Kavanaugh's time as a White House lawyer that had been marked "committee confidential," meaning they hadn't been cleared for public release. 

Democrats had hoped the Trump administration would comply with their FOIA request but Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) and Blumenthal warned late last month that they were willing to sue if necessary. 

“We stand ready to sue the National Archives for Judge Kavanaugh's full records if necessary. ... With this suit we could finally shine some sunlight on Kavanaugh’s records,” Schumer told reporters last month.