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 TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Six Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSeven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Iowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Booker aide sounds alarm about campaign's funding MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSeven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Fracking ban could have unintended consequence of boosting coal Poll: Voters back Medicare expansion, keeping private insurance MORE (Calif.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocratic senators introduce bill to block Trump 'public charge' rule Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator MORE (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyFight over Trump's wall raises odds of 'continuous' stopgap measures Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg courts critics on Capitol Hill | Amazon makes climate pledge | Senate panel approves 0M for state election security Senate committee approves 0 million for state election security efforts MORE (Vt.), and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Senate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court 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.