White House Invokes Executive Privilege On Vast Cache of Kavanaugh Documents

Marsha Scott
September 4, 2018

The Trump administration will withhold 100,000 pages of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's White House service, citing executive privilege.

In remarks on "Fox News Sunday" about high court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's position of the ruling that legalizes abortion, the South Carolina Republican said he "wouldn't vote for anybody that says that every decision [of] the Supreme Court can not be revisited... through a process... of overturning long precedent".

The questioning is expected to be grueling, with Kavanaugh likely being pressed on his views on a bevy of legal issues, including executive power, reproductive rights, gun violence and privacy.

Democrats and Republicans have been arguing over the release of the documents for multiple weeks, according to the New York Times.

"It's not 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".

The documents in question, he wrote, "reflect deliberations and candid advice concerning the selection and nomination of judicial candidates, the confidentiality of which is critical to any president's ability to carry out this core constitutional executive function".

With his decades of work as a Washington power player - as a Bush lawyer, White House Staff Secretary, and then Appeals Court judge - Kavanaugh sports an extensive paper trail, a history Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell anxious about before President Trump nominated him.

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The Department of Justice and the White House said it had identified the documents to be within "constitutional privilege", Burck wrote in the letter, which was released by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Dick Durbin of IL, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate and also a member of the Judiciary Committee, said on "FOX News Sunday" that they'd be lucky to see six percent of all the documents out there.

To prepare for the hearing, Kavanaugh has participated in private rehearsals coordinated by the White House Counsel's Office, which have included more than a dozen participants - government lawyers, conservative academics, some of his former law clerks and even several senators.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Judiciary Committee member, echoed Durbin's concerns in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, saying, "This is not normal".

"Democrats have more than enough information to understand that this is a highly qualified jurist that should be the next Supreme Court justice", Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, said in an interview on ABC's "This Week".

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted the withholdings.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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