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 TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Six Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Jussie Smollett case shows media villainizing Trump and his supporters, without proof — again MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Harris calls idea of Trump trusting Putin over US intel ‘height of irresponsibility and shameful’ Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report MORE (Calif.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph Leahy‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire How the border deal came together Winners and losers in the border security deal MORE (Vt.), and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech 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.