Sunday Talk Shows

Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Sunday railed against the lack of disclosure of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's past White House work, suggesting that some of the withheld information could change the course of his confirmation proceedings.

Klobuchar said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that she plans to stress during Tuesday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the circumstances of Kavanaugh's nomination are "not normal."

"You have a nominee with excellent credentials, with his family behind him, you have the cameras there, you have the senators questioning, but this isn't normal because we are not able to see 100,000 documents that the archivist has just - because the administration has said we can't see them," Klobuchar said.

She noted that there are close to 150,000 confidential documents she's been able to see but that are restricted from the public.

"I think you could ask some very interesting questions about these documents, that I'm unable to even say because I'm not able to make them public," Klobuchar said.

Asked if anything she's seen makes Kavanaugh unqualified for the job, Klobuchar said the documents "strongly bolster the arguments that I could make."

A Twitter account for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted shortly after Klobuchar's interview that the Minnesota Democrat was the lone member of her party to work with Grassley to request specific confidential Kavanaugh documents be made public for use at this week's hearing.

The committee released four documents on Friday totaling 12 pages as a result of Klobuchar's request.

"This argument is particularly strange coming from the only senator to actually take Chairman Grassley up on his offer to seek waivers on specific confidential material," a Republican committee spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee urged Democrats not to discuss confidential materials that were not granted a waiver during the committee hearings, warning it could jeopardize efforts to obtain such materials in the future.

Despite mounting frustration among Democrats over Kavanaugh's nomination, Klobuchar said she opposes calls from some progressives to walk out of the judge's hearing entirely.

"I think it's much more powerful if we go in there and we ask the questions," Klobuchar said. "We need that opportunity to ask the questions. If we walk out, it would simply be one side asking the questions."

While Democrats appear largely helpless to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation, Klobuchar said she'd like to see the Senate restore the requirement for judges to receive 60 votes that was first changed by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) during the Obama administration.

"I would have liked to see 60 votes, no matter what the judge is," she said. "I don't think we should have made that change when we look back at it, but it happened because we were so frustrated because President Obama wasn't able to get his nominees."

She noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) altered the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees, but acknowledged that there likely won't be an appetite to go back to the previous rule.

"I would prefer to bring it back," Klobuchar said. "We are where we are, and now I don't think anybody's going to want to hamstring themselves."

- Updated at 11:27 a.m. 

Outbrain
View desktop version