Durbin: White House is saying 'American people have no right to know' Kavanaugh’s background by withholding documents

Durbin: White House is saying 'American people have no right to know' Kavanaugh’s background by withholding documents
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday that the Trump administration was violating a "tradition of the Senate" by withholding more than 100,000 pages of records related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time as a White House lawyer.

Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday” that by keeping those documents under wraps, the White House is telling the American people they have “no right to know” about Kavanaugh's background.

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“If we’re lucky, we will see 6 percent of all of the documents that could be produced to reflect on Kavanaugh’s position on issues,” he said. “He is saying and the White House is saying, ‘The American people have no right to know.’ ”

Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold its first confirmation hearing on Tuesday for Kavanaugh.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE nominated Kavanaugh in July to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced he was retiring.  

The Trump administration has invoked presidential privilege to withhold more than 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time serving under the Bush administration.

Durbin said Sunday that the lengths to which records concerning Kavanaugh’s public service and position on issues have been concealed are unprecedented.

“If he’s so proud of his conservative credentials, show us the record,” Durbin said. “Stand before us. Trust the American people and they’ll trust you.”

In all, 267,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh's time in the Bush administration are being released to the public.

Trump's Supreme Court pick faces a wave of Democratic resistance over concerns about his views on issues such as abortion rights and the legality of a special counsel to investigate a sitting president for criminal liability.