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 TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Six Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden team discussed 2020 run with O'Rourke as VP: report Pollster says likely Dem 2020 nominee has not emerged in national conversation yet O'Rourke doubles support in CNN poll of Dem presidential race MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden team discussed 2020 run with O'Rourke as VP: report Pollster says likely Dem 2020 nominee has not emerged in national conversation yet O'Rourke doubles support in CNN poll of Dem presidential race MORE (Calif.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoRubio: ‘I don’t know’ if Nauert has 'detailed knowledge' to succeed as UN ambassador Overnight Defense: Nauert tapped for UN envoy | Trump teases changes to Joint Chiefs of Staff | Trump knocks Tillerson as 'dumb as a rock' | Scathing report details Air Force failures before Texas shooting Dem senator slams Nauert's lack of 'qualifications' for UN ambassador MORE (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyShutdown would affect 800K federal workers, Senate Dems say Oval Office clash ups chances of shutdown Senators dumbfounded by Trump vow to shut down government MORE (Vt.), and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDems ask if Trump aide Bill Shine is breaking ethics laws Senators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe Dems vs. Trump: Breaking down the lawsuits against Whitaker 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.