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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 TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Six Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Kamala Harris rallies voters in South Carolina MORE (Calif.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoKavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Chris Cuomo: Presumption of innocence didn't apply to Kavanaugh because it wasn't a court case Lindsey Graham hits Dem senator: 'The Hirono standard is horrific' MORE (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP MORE (Vt.), and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Democrats won’t let Kavanaugh debate die Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight 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.

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"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.