Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents

Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents
© Greg Nash

A group of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee has filed suit against the National Archives in an attempt to gain access to records related to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Joint Chiefs chairman: 'The last thing in the world we need right now is a war with Iran' Pence: 'We're not convinced' downing of drone was 'authorized at the highest levels' Trump: Bolton would take on the whole world at one time MORE's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Six Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats talk up tax credits to counter Trump law Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Ghosts of 2016 primary haunt Democrats MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisDemocrats talk up tax credits to counter Trump law Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Trump delays operation to deport migrant families MORE (Calif.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks Female senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster Trump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation MORE (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Hillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups MORE (Vt.), and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSize of 2020 field too big even for Democratic enthusiasts, poll finds Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Trump's UN pick faces Senate grilling MORE (R.I.), filed the lawsuit on Monday. The senators, who say they are being denied access to documents from Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House, additionally filed papers asking for a court to take immediate action to order the release. 

The suit comes as Kavanaugh's nomination is also under increasing scrutiny over an allegation of sexual assault against the judge from decades ago.


"The Senate and the American public have a brief opportunity to sift the record of Judge Kavanaugh’s public career before the Senate is expected to make an effectively irreversible decision that would shape the federal judiciary for decades, and the individual Senators have a unique platform to probe and publicize Judge Kavanaugh’s record," lawyers for the senators at the watchdog group American Oversight wrote in the filing. 

The requests before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia were first made in August to National Archives, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the CIA. 

The Freedom of Information Act gives agencies up to 20 days to either approve or disapprove a request for documents. It also offers 10 days to conclude if a demand for an expedited process will be granted.

The lawsuit filed by the Democrats comes a couple weeks after Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, which were marked by intense partisan feuds. Democrats have repeatedly slammed the nomination process due to the lack of documents they were granted access to. 
In addition to the fight over documents, Kavanaugh is now at the center of a firestorm over an allegation of sexual assault from his time in high school which was first revealed in an anonymous letter last week.
Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, came forward publicly to The Washington Post on Sunday and detailed her allegations against Kavanaugh for the first time.